Shared Assets is delighted to be working with Organiclea, Landworkers’ Alliance, The Ubele Initiative and Eves Hill Veg Co to develop and deliver a new training programme to provide incubator support to new entrants into agroecological farming in the South East of England.
The programme will support new entrant farmers to develop their entrepreneurial skills and create opportunities to compete for access to land and finance.
It is available to two different cohorts of agroecological farmers - depending on your level of experience - and will run between January and April 2023.
The ‘start up’ programme is aimed at new entrants who are looking to start a land-based business and will cover subjects such as access to land and finance, business planning, community involvement, and leadership development. It is aimed at individuals with farming, conservation, land management experience or expertise (but not through their own business). Organiclea will lead on the development and delivery of mentoring, training and support services for the start up cohort.
The ‘scale up’ programme is aimed at recent entrants who are looking to develop their business to a new level, requiring increased access to land and/or finance. It is aimed at individuals with up to 10 years’ experience running or being a partner in a land-based business. It is likely to cover subjects such as scaling and growing, diversifying your business, financing large scale businesses, involving the community in a pre-existing business and maintaining and increasing access to land. Landworkers’ Alliance will lead on the development and delivery of mentoring, training and support services for the scale up cohort.
What will successful applicants receive?
Both the start up and scale programme will offer successful applicants
- Online training
We'll be launching an online learning platform which will give you access to a range of workshops, talks and guides that you can access in your own time. Workshops will cover a range of topics to help your farm enterprise to grow such as business planning
- Face-to-face peer learning
We’ll kick things off with an event to bring everyone together, and continue to host in-person and online events which you will help shape - you will meet fellow entrant farmers, share advice and discuss latest farming opportunities
- Site visits
We’ll take you to visit established and successful agroecological farms to learn from experienced growers and farmers. You’ll have the chance to see in-person established sites, and talk with experienced producers about their approach including marketing food, site planning, growing your business and anything else you are curious about.
- Bespoke mentoring and coaching
We’ll work with you on a one-to-one basis to coach and mentor you around opportunities and challenges you face when taking your farm enterprise forward.
- Opportunities to pitch your business ideas to funders and landowners
We’ll be talking to funders and landowners about all the new entrants who join the programme and where we can we will match you with funding opportunities and land that can help your enterprise grow.
If you are a new entrant agroecological farmer in the South East of England and are interested in finding out more about this exciting training opportunity:
- for the start-up cohort, please find the application form here.
- for the scale-up cohort, please find the application form here.
If you are a landowner and think you may be able to provide access to land for any of our trainees to test out, establish or grow their businesses please provide your contact details here.
If you are a funder or investor and would be interested in engaging with trainees, including hearing their pitches for funding and investment, please provide your contact details here.
If you (or your planned farm) are based in the South West of England, please see the New Entrant Support Scheme South West Expression of Interest, coordinated by our friends at the Land Workers' Alliance.
The New Entrant Incubator Pilots programme is funded by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra). To find out more about the programme and the other pilot projects taking place in different parts of England please click here.