London is absolutely packed with public, commercial and third sector training providers. Prices in the formal sector range up to £17,814 per year and include free courses in very basic Levels 1 to 3 in English and Maths. To find formal and informal courses in London is easiest using the National Careers Service course catalogue which does list out of date content but is still the best tool available. There is also a listing for a non-certificated 1-day course on Joomla at the University of Westminster for £350.
For students and alumni of the capital’s higher education (HE) providers there is the added benefit of a passably serious commitment by Universities and Colleges to enterprise. There is lots of extra-curricular support and informal education available, complimented by entrepreneurs-in-residence such as University College London’s Dan Brown. Many higher and further education providers also have student-led support networks such as the UCL Enterprise Society offering numerous to engage in ‘networking events, mentoring, competitions and workshops’. Many of these enterprise networks provide awards and grants to ‘start-ups’, as do many Students’ Unions. The broader Widening Participation/Continuing Adult Education sector, do the same and are also actively broadening their formal offer, especially now that the higher education sector proper is charging their students over £200 per 3-hour lecture.
For a much, much wider offer of free and affordable education, the informal tradition in London, listed on Eventbrite and Meetup provides a packed schedule of seminars, workshops, lectures and conferences covering a great range of subjects. The quality isn’t assured but judicious selection minimises disappointment. Meetup listed events are run by more intellectual and consistent organisations but then less frequently vocational and free to attend than those of listed on Eventbrite.
Two of the best resources for commercial, and to a lesser extent social enterprises are the British Library hosted Business & Intellectual Property Centre and the City Business Library located around the corner from the Guildhall. Both host hundreds of free or affordable advice and training events annually and maintain a fantastic selection of resources, such as a great collection of specialised books and free to access online research databases. The staff at both are really helpful but then their list of ‘partner organisations’ is not particularly quality assured. For instance UK2 offers cPanel hosting for almost twice the price of other cPanel hosting providers £59.40 per year instead of £29.99.
There are thousands of free public lectures and seminars organised by the Capital's 30+ higher education schools of management and business, as well as the schools with a focus on social enterprise, the third sector more generally, political enterprise and public policy. Some, but not many of the organisers create Eventbrite listing for their events. An interesting trend in outreach is for higher education providers to organise for a short period a facility, such as pop-up Universities and Colleges for lectures on a broad range of subjects. Additionally HE providers host a wide range of informal clubs and societies and the official London Joomla Users Group meets every month in the Engineering Building of University College London in Bloomsbury. There are also a huge number of research institutes, think tanks, lobbying and campaigning organisations, and thousands of representative organisations, including Foreign Embassies that all organise events with an educational purpose.
There is so much happening in London that it is impossible to maintain a listing of it all. We maintain lists of enterprise agencies, further education providers, local government adult education services, higher education careers services, and higher education enterprise sections. There is also a list of London and the surrounding Counties' Councils for Voluntary Service who offer a very good range of enterprise training for social enterprises. Additionally below are the formal enterprise and website building courses in Greater London:
Below are pages detailing the social and commercial support providers in the 33 local authority areas in Greater London:
Further Education Enterprise Courses
Higher Education Enterprise Schools
The Higher Education sector in the capital is packed full of world quality public and private institutions. Each has a fantastic range of part-time and short courses that can be easily scheduled around your existing commitments. Most importantly they all have fantastic libraries that have had their books selected by people that have read them, are teaching the subject and most importantly know the subject and its best authors very well. Most offer access for an annual payment and I would recommend being a member of an academic library for the rest of your career.
Getting on to a training course of any duration is worthwhile both for the teaching and also the forum of fellow students with a similar interest in the subject but a widely different range of backgrounds, experiences, expectations and opinions. These opportunities to discuss with fellow adult learners, bringing many unconceivable insights for you to benefit, facilitated formally in classrooms and informally in clubs and societies, are incredibly valuable. The chance to listen and to speak, to learn and to teach, to hear the opinion of friendly critic or a critical friend and to return the service is the second greatest tool for personal and enterprise development: ‘Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; for men learn while they teach.’ Seneca the Younger 4BC-65AD.
Below is a list of Higher Education Business Schools in the capital that may miss out some specialised arts and science business departments, schools of management and smaller private institutions, but should give you an entry into the services they offer. Then there are the links to their events which are sometimes infrequent but on other occasions of outstanding quality:
University of Greenwich