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Your idea: Your guide

New toolkit from UnLtd to help you bring your ideas to life

April 2016

By Adam Dixon, UnLtd

As one of the Local Trust’s partners, UnLtd supports people in Big Local areas to start businesses that do good through the Star People programme. We support people like Corina, who helps young women to build their confidence and succeed, and Rachella, who set up a community market in her area. We seek to find talented and resourceful people who are determined to make their Big Local area even better.

UnLtd’s support for these Star People takes the form of an Award – a package of funding and support, including residential events designed to get like-minded people together for a weekend for intensive learning. In reality, we know that not everyone can attend these events in person. However, we want to make sure that all Star People get access to our support, regardless of their location or circumstances.

To address this, we challenged ourselves to develop a new, accessible ‘self serve’ tool that potential and existing early-stage Award winners could use to develop their ideas. To make this a success, we knew we’d need to involve Star People themselves.

Getting our audience involved

To kick off planning, we brought together a range of Star People from across different Big Local areas. They shared with us what they’d learnt when they started up and advised on what they thought would be helpful for other people going through the same thing.

Our key driver was for the tool to be as accessible as possible. If the focus group didn’t like or understand something, then we listened to what they had to say. One thing that came through very powerfully was the value Award winners placed on the views of other people who had been through a similar experience. We therefore asked if some Star People could share their stories and advice in their own words, and took this idea a step further by commissioning two videographers to capture their thoughts on film. It’s these direct learning experiences that have formed the backbone of the tool we’ve created: you can try two a few of the videos below and find more in the guide. 

The final product

So what did we end up with? From all of this listening and learning we created Your Idea, Your Guide. It aims to supports Star People on their journey and help them achieve their ambitions to make their Big Local area even better. The digital version is augmented by a series of bite sized videos from Star People themselves- try a few below and find more in the guide.

Big Local areas already have a strong spirit of collaboration and working with them really influenced our approach. It’s something we’d encourage others to do - whether you’re creating a toolkit, website or marketing campaign, getting your audience involved helps you to create a better product.

How could you use this guide?

If you’re a Star Person or are thinking of applying to be one, Your Idea: Your Guide will help you develop your entrepreneurial idea. But the guide is also for anyone with an idea to create social change in a Big Local area. Whether you want help thinking through how your idea could work, or want templates to help with basic financial planning, take a look and see which parts of the guide can help you. The guide is available online and in printed form. If you would like printed copies, please contact comms@unltd.org.uk.

 

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