DeMontfort University’s flagship business startup programme ‘The Crucible’ is being made available free of charge to anyone with an idea.

Thanks to the LLEP’s Business Gateway, the five-month programme will provide practical masterclasses in business essentials such as marketing, finance, intellectual property law, copywriting, and growth management.

Each session will be delivered by a businessperson who is also an expert in that area because of their personal experience with their own business.

Sonia Baigent, chair of the Business Gateway Board, said:

“It’s so important to nurture new business ideas in order to keep our economy vibrant and evolving. To do that, you have to make sure that the people with these ideas receive the very best support at the start of their journey, within a creative and stimulating environment.  That’s what we’re getting with the Crucible programme.

“We know that one of the things that differentiates DMU’s approach is their focus on the individual.  As well as providing the essential business foundations, the Crucible team really build people’s confidence, resilience and belief in themselves as entrepreneurs who can succeed.  85% of the businesses launched through Crucible over the last five years are still going.”       

Percy Emmett, Director of DMU’s MBA programmes, who oversees The Crucible, said:

“We are thrilled to partner with the Business Gateway to support Leicestershire’s SMEs.  

“Businesses will have workshops with our team of experienced trainers who are all businesspeople with years of experience across a range of sectors. This will be supplemented with advice and mentoring through personal 1-2-1s.  

“The Crucible is DMU’s flagship business start-up programme, and we are pleased that we are now able to offer our training to SMEs. Our philosophy at Crucible is to focus not just on the business idea, but on developing the resilience and confidence of these emerging entrepreneurs.  That’s what’s really different about Crucible.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the Crucible Start-Up programme, which begins on 24 February, should contact the Business Gateway on 0116 366 8487 or