The Entrepreneur Experience Programme – iUK Academy



The Entrepreneur Experience

Our Entrepreneur Experience programme is designed for UK and international graduates looking to acquire the essential skills, knowledge and work experience to begin their entrepreneurial journey in the UK.

Our programme is the ideal pathway for international graduates wishing to set up innovative business in the UK under the Start-up or Innovator visa programmes. If you have a business idea, our comprehensive programme will help you determine whether your idea is innovative, viable and scalable and prepare you to meet the criteria and apply for visa endorsement in the UK.


The Entrepreneur Experience Programme equips you with a set of core essential entrepreneurial skills and competencies, preparing you to take your innovative business through from idea to execution. The programme is designed specifically for those looking to successfully start, sustain and scale a new business in the United Kingdom.


Our unique programme also includes a four week virtual internship at a successful UK SME. By combining experiential learning with the entrepreneurial process, you will have the opportunity to apply your acquired knowledge, skills, and judgment in a real world environment and make connections to drive forward your career.

Successful completion of this program entitles you to Certification by the IOEE, Institute of Enterprise & Entrepreneurs. Learn more at

Who’s it for?

Who’s it for?

Our core teaching modules are taught over 8 weeks by successful UK entrepreneurs and market leading industry experts. Whichever sector you are looking to enter, the Entrepreneur Experience covers all aspects of starting and growing your business, from initial idea validation through to finding advisors and exploring financing options.

As part of the programme, our unique four week virtual internship placements allow you to gain hands on experience and learn the secrets to building a successful company and will help to accelerate your eligibility for the UK’s business visa categories.

Once you have completed the core teaching modules and the internship, you’ll have the knowledge and experience to apply for Startup or Innovator visa endorsement with the option of choosing ongoing mentoring and support through our Milestone Mentoring Programme.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the Entrepreneurial Experience, you will have everything you need to know to launch your own successful startup business in the UK. You will be able to:

Evaluate the opportunity for your business idea and determine the ideal business model required to bring the idea to market
Identify your ideal target audience and develop a top-level marketing and communications strategy to launch your new product or service
Evaluate and put together your early stage management team and grow your network
Understand the key issues to be aware of when setting up your business in the UK and the roles and responsibilities for business owners
Gain a solid understanding of financial management for your business
Learn the different ways to raise finance for your venture and how to negotiate with investors
Master the techniques of creating a successful pitch and secure investment
Apply your learning to real world situations through work experience

Program Outline

Program Outline

Week 1: Developing Viable Business Ideas & Models

  • Learn how to evaluate your business idea and bring it to market.
    • Develop a high-level strategy for your business and the ideal business model
    • Beat the competitors who are playing in your chosen space
    • Identify your value proposition and the activities required to deliver it
    • Use a business canvas to innovate and pivot your business model

Week 2: Going to Market

  • Developing a top-level marketing strategy is critical to success. Learn how to:
    • Understand your user’s needs, experiences, behaviours and goals
    • Create reliable and realistic representations of your key audience segments
    • Plan the optimum messaging and channels to deliver those messages
    • Nurture the customer experience by mapping across different channels

Week 3: Thrive Sustainably as a Conscious Entrepreneur

  • What does it mean to be a Conscious Entrepreneur? Learn how to:
    • Consciously create your path of success as an entrepreneur and leader
    • Decide your purpose, values, vision, mission and how your business will fit into your life
    • Build awareness in the 5 foundational areas: strengths, weaknesses, mindset, personality preferences and self-sabotage tendencies
    • Kick-start your unique personal and professional development action plan

Week 4: Find the Right Startup Team

  • Running a successful business depends more on who you have. We’ll teach you how to:
    • Reflect on the capabilities, skills, mindsets and experience you should consider for potential team members
    • Consider a co-founder partnership
    • Approach common problems with hiring and understand hiring methodology
    • Discover the importance of an ‘inner circle’
    • Discover best practices to increase the quality and size of your network exponentially

Week 5: Accountancy and Tax Considerations

  • The UK encompasses a highly regulated environment and there are key issues you should be aware of. With respect to living and setting up a business in the United Kingdom, we’ll cover:
    • Personal tax and related areas
    • Business affairs, including setting-up a limited company in the UK, compliance requirements and the details on various business taxes
    • Effective financial management of a company and business, including financial statements, business plans, budgeting & forecasting and related matters.

Week 6: Legal Considerations to Start a New Business

  • Learn the roles and responsibilities of business owners when starting a new firm, what regulatory standards they must meet, and other legal issues:
    • Company formation, including types of business,registration and issuing shares
    • Directors’ and shareholders’ roles and responsibilities
    • Company Management
    • Key Agreements
    • Protecting IP
    • Regulatory & Compliance

Week 7: Managing Investment and Fund Raising

  • Learn the different ways to raise finance for your venture, when to do this, what documentation is required and how to ensure you are well prepared to negotiate effectively with a potential investor
    • The different types of investment
    • Traditional sources of financing
    • Alternative sources of financing: overdrafts and loans, angels, business grants etc.
    • Investor terminology and key documents: due diligence, terms sheets etc.
    • Finance rounds: seed, growth, A-E, preparing for exit

Week 8: Create Your Pitch

  • Learn how best to go about a fundraising process and how to present and put together an Investor Pitch.
    • What to consider before taking on investors
    • Different types of investors and their advantages and disadvantages
    • What a fundraising process looks like
    • When to raise funds and how much
    • How to value your business
    • How to tell a story using the story arc
    • How to shape your messaging for potential investors

Weeks 9: 12 Work Experience

  • Apply your knowledge and skills in practice in a virtual internship at an established UK SME.
    • Placement in an industry relevant to your business idea
    • One-to-one mentoring by your supervisor to discuss projects and progress
    • Flexible with the option of 2-4 weeks
    • Flexible hours of work and project timelines
    • Valuable networking opportunities

Meet the Faculty

Expert Faculty

Team+Pic_MarkMark Farrer-Brown
Founder, Fit to Lead

Mark is a coach and mentor for entrepreneurs and the founder of Fit to Lead. Having experienced the entrepreneurial journey from all perspectives – as an entrepreneur, director, mentor, coach and investor, Mark is uniquely placed to help entrepreneurs survive and thrive as they go on the rollercoaster ride.

Mark supports and challenges Founders through Fit to Lead’s holistic approach to discover their true potential and become great CEOs who are built to last. Mark is also a business angel and have invested in over 60 companies in the UK, US and India.

Team+Pic_JonathanJonathan Banister
Founder, Make Happy

With 25 years of experience working with individuals and teams from start-ups to FTSE 100 companies in both Europe and Asia, Jonathan facilitates a wide range of approaches to help clients develop innovative solutions grounded in strategic insights.

Jonathan helps entrepreneurs, business leaders and their teams exploit their creativity and collective intelligence to strengthen their business models, marketing and innovation programmes and organisational development.


Maria Fandrakis,
Partner, Smith and Williamson

Maria co-ordinates Smith & Williamson’s business outsourcing services to a wide range of clients, ranging from sole proprietors, entrepreneurs & scale-ups through to internationally owned UK companies.

Maria heads up the firm’s business outsourcing services offering on a National basis. The services covered include: Unaudited statutory accounts, VAT, Bookkeeping, Management accounts, Accounting software advice, Budgeting, Cash flows, Forecasting, Payroll, Company secretarial services and related services.

Maria’s service orientated approach has benefited clients during her past 22 years of business experience.

Team+Pic_AndrewAndrew Smith
Lawyer, LawBite

Andrew has 17 years’ experience in banking and finance, corporate and commercial law.

Andrew qualified at Deacons, a top 10 firm in Sydney then worked in the Banking and Finance Unit at Addleshaw Goddard in London from 1997 to 2002 acting for banks on structured property finance deals and large projects. He was appointed partner at Ashfords gaining broad experience in commercial contracts, corporate finance and banking. In 2011 he started an ABS law firm for Prydis, a group of financial advisors and chartered accountants building a legal team to deal with a broad range of business and private client work.

Since 2012 Andrew has worked in the SME market in the West Country. His clients are generally owner managed and family businesses.

Program Details


Intake start dates 2022:

  • 07 January – 01 April
  • 18 April – 15 July
  • 05 September – 25 November

Learn more about this program

Want to learn more about this program? Send us an enquiry below and our team will get in touch with you.

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