Fresh Start Business Academies
a ‘FRESH’ way of doing business

The Fresh Start academies started in 2006 and have always been based around delivering key business principals needed to help run a successful business. We bring in a range of professional speakers both from the locality and at national level such as bankers, accountants, solicitors, environmental advisers and land agents. We then combine this alongside real life farming and business case studies and visits to help provide information and support. The academy process is designed to build confidence and knowledge and create unique networking opportunities and introduce to new ways of thinking and working.

So if you are looking for inspiration in a supportive environment – It’s time to put those business ideas into action!


Our academies – all you need to know

3 key areas drive our academy process:

  • Business Academy
  • Mentoring
  • Matchmaking

Originally we started off with generic business academies, but over the past 5 years we have changed our approach slightly by developing different types of academy for various sectors. As the title suggests we concentrate on the ’business’ side of faming and land based enterprises and cover such topics as business planning, sources of finance, applying for tenancies, adding value through diversification, interview coaching and innovative ways with business approaches. All our academies vary slightly so to see the current programmes and how we deliver the sessions, click on the ‘Current Academy List’ button.

Below are the different categories of academies we deliver or are developing under our current funding and overviews to describe each programme in more detail.

Beef and Sheep Academy

The latest academy to be completed by Fresh Start is a beef and sheep academy in Yorkshire primarily based at Bishop Burton College and involved speakers from across the industry including experts in business planning, finance, marketing and production costs.

Horticulture Academy

The first Fresh Start horticulture academy was successfully completed in the south west in venues around Bristol in autumn 2016 (South-west Horticulture Academy Details).  Due to the interest received in this academy further horticulture academies will be scheduled at other venues around the country in the future.

Pig Academy

We have worked with BQP (British Quality Pigs) part of the Dalehead group and suppliers of pork to Waitrose since 2011. This is academy covers business basics packaged with a detailed look at the contract BQP pig rearing system including planning, costings, environmental considerations and a visit to a local BQP contract producer.
This has proved a very popular scheme and had resulted in new pig business starting up into production or currently going through planning.

Dairy Academy

A sector which has been hard hit by recent milk price reductions but is incredibly important for our food production as a nation. Also, it is notoriously requires large amounts of capital to get into dairying for a new entrant.

To complement the core business sections this academy takes a more detailed look at national and international markets, renewables and farm energy efficiency, alternative uses of milk and a range of businesses structures with particular focus on joint ventures which work incredibly well in this sector.

Uplands Academy

With an emphasis on upland enterprises and challenges, this introduces complementary business sessions such as a full ‘tenancy exercise’ including interview practice and developing a business plan and presenting it.

Diversification and establishing a range of income streams is also very important for the Uplands and we look at this in more detail, along with the complex planning issues often encountered in these areas and associated environmental schemes.

Fresh Start PLUS

A new advanced business academy aimed particularly at those who have attended previous academies or who have had more business experience. Detailed business planning is part of this course along with succession planning, staffing and business structures, management and marketing.

The first pilot of this academy successfully took place in Yorkshire from January – March 2015.