Innovation & Enterprise


Build your own business 2: Explore and test your idea

If you have a business idea or passion you want to turn into a business, this free eight-week course will help you test and refine your idea.

This free eight-week course will help you start to turn your idea or passion into a viable business or social enterprise.

Using recognised tools and techniques, you'll learn how to develop a full business plan and explore the potential market.

This is the second of three courses in the ‘Build your own business’ series.

Who it’s for

This course is for UCL students who are new to entrepreneurship and have an idea for a business or social enterprise.

Staff, research associates and recent graduates (within 3 years of graduating) may also take part but will not be able to win the prize money or in-kind mentoring.

You’re advised to attend Build your own business 1: Discover and develop your entrepreneurial strengths before taking this course.


You’ll need to:

  • have a business idea that you want to develop
  • show you’re keen to build the knowledge and skills required for a startup

Businesses already in the Hatchery incubator or endorsed for a Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa cannot apply. 

What you’ll learn

The course will help you:

  • develop confidence in your business idea 
  • validate your business idea to ensure it's realistic 
  • understand who your customers and stakeholders are
  • understand the steps to getting your service or product to your customers
  • understand business basic finance, including cost structures and revenue streams
  • perform market research
  • practise and improve your business pitching skills

What to expect

This is an online interactive, activity-based workshop.

In a series of practical online sessions, you’ll work alongside other entrepreneurs to sharpen your skills, stress test your ideas and establish a market for your business or social enterprise.

You'll work through case studies, take part in small group discussions, and listen to visiting speakers who‘ll share their experiences.

Pitching competition

At the end of the programme you'll have the chance to take part in a pitching competition. It’s not compulsory but it’s a great way to practise your presentation skills.

To qualify you’ll need to:

  • attend 75% of the sessions
  • show how you’ve developed and validated your idea

While everyone on the programme is welcome to take part in the competition, only students are eligible to win prize money or in-kind mentoring prizes. If you're part of a team, you'll only be able to win any prize money if the lead applicant is a UCL student.

Dates, time and place

This free course normally runs on Tuesdays, from 4pm to 6pm, over 8 weeks. It's currently being run online.

Registration is currently closed for this course.

About the lead facilitator

This programme is led by Caroline Broad, Director of Broad Associates Ltd. Broad Associates specialises in delivering interactive workshops for researchers looking to develop their innovation and entrepreneurship skills.

Meet our entrepreneurs


Mher Datyan, founder of NorArar Education Initiative
Mher Datyan

Mher launched an education business for displaced children in Armenia while studying for his MA in Educational Leadership. 

Taking part in Build your own business programmes helped Mher solidify his idea and develop a sustainable business model.

Read Mher’s story >  

Related courses

After completing this course, you can apply to take part in Build you own business 3: Launch your business.

You might also be interested in our other courses and events.

Read our privacy notice to understand how UCL Innovation & Enterprise will deal with your personal data.

UCL Innovation & Enterprise reserves the right to make changes to the programme, location and/or speakers without prior notice. Such alterations are occasionally necessary due to circumstances beyond our control.