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Germinate Enterprise

Help your rural community thrive through enterprise development

Setting up a business front coverWe are delighted that after two years of development and testing, our Germinate Enterprise rural business start-up materials are available for free download.

Germinate Enterprise is a way to:

  • tackle hidden rural poverty

  • retain working age / young people in our villages

  • assist farm diversification

  • take advantage of high speed rural broadband as this becomes available

  • benefit existing businesses (through the “Multiplier effect”)

  • use business skills within congregations.

Germinate Enterprise is a six session business start-up course that helps participants decide:

  • whether to start a business, social enterprise or become self-employed

  • what the right business is for them to start

  • whether their business idea is viable.

The course is simple but profound and accessible to those from any educational background. Participants on the pilots ranged from those with Ph.D.’s to those that left school at 16. It is especially appropriate for those uncertain as to whether starting a business is for them.

The response from pilot programmes has been enthusiastic:

“This course really helped me think logically step-by-step (about) setting up a business for the first time”

“The structure of the course is excellent – succinct and easy to understand and implement”

“I learned a lot and now I feel more confident in starting a business”

“I love the fact this course is for regular people to help them better themselves”

The materials (workbook, session plan, visual aids, business plan and cash flow templates, local advertising poster / flyer) have been updated following the pilots for any church or community group to deliver. There is no licence fee when delivered by a not-for-profit organisation (for-profit businesses should contact The Arthur Rank Centre). Printed workbooks will be available to buy soon.

We are also preparing a range of “Beer Mat Mentoring” materials, to support informal mentoring groups for aspiring entrepreneurs.


How to obtain and use the Germinate Enterprise materials

The workbook can be viewed here

The Facilitator's Guide can be viewed here

If you would like to use the workbook individually it will help you greatly to receive two workbook templates (business plan and cash flow templates). To receive these, please fill in the form below and tick the relevant box.

However, we strongly recommend that Germinate Enterprise is run as a small group. Why not invite interested friends to join you as you work through the material? Or run the programme for aspiring entrepreneurs in your area? If so, please complete the form below so that we can:

  • Send you the facilitator materials (session plan, PowerPoint, advertising flyer, etc.)
  • Keep you in touch with training and funding opportunities
  • Tell you about Beer Mat Mentoring briefings, as they become available.

If you have further questions please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We will do all we can to support you on this exciting and rewarding journey.


Please note that we will retain your contact details and from time to time contact you with information on new materials, grants, facilitator training, etc. All mailings will have an unsubscribe button.

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Germinate Enterprise is proud to be supported by The Prince's Countryside Fund