The ABE Level 3 Certificate in Business Start-Up (QCF) is designed to equip learners to start their own small business.
Learners will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills associated with starting a small business. They will learn how to assess the feasibility of their business idea, research the market, raise finance, and produce a business plan.
They will also be introduced to the key areas of managing a business, such as finance, customer relations, sales and marketing, and managing resources, including developing an understanding of how they themselves can be an effective resource for their business.
No formal qualifications are necessary.
This qualification consists of four mandatory units, each worth six QCF credits. Learners must achieve all these units, totalling 24 credits, in order to gain the qualification:
Assessment is a mix of both exams and written tasks.
Learners who have successfully completed this Level 3 qualification meet the entry criteria for the following ABE Level 4 qualifications:
ABE has progression agreements with over 80 universities worldwide, providing a cost-effective route to a Bachelors or Masters degree. Learners who complete an ABE Level 4 qualification may choose to take advantage of this option to begin a university degree, or they may continue to study higher level ABE qualifications which provide access to the second or final year of a Bachelors degree.
When teenager Rufaro Hwindingwi left school after her GCSEs, she was unsure which career was right for her.
The teenager went to a Derby College enrolment day with an idea that business might be a good path to follow. Now she is studying Level 2 business and has a part-time job with award-winning Derby estate agents Hannells.
She also has her sights set on Business at Level 3, before going on to university to a take a Business Management Degree and then a Masters.
But Rufaro, 17, explained that initially she planned to follow her mother into health and social care...but the subject was not her main passion.
She liked the style and content of Derby College's module based Level 2 business course saying she prefers coursework to exam-based learning.
Rufaro said she has studied eight units, with areas including the techniques and purpose of branding and the value of brand recognition, as well as how to be professional online, on the phone and face-to-face.
She has also learnt about managing cashflow, cashflow forecasts and how to analyse break even graphs and charts.
As part of her studies, Rufaro had two weeks' work experience with Hannells Estate Agents through its Academy link with Derby College.
Hannells area sales manager Victoria Downing said: "Derby College's business course is designed to prepare students for the workplace. Rufaro really was outstanding. We were able to have a conversation about her working part-time with us, because we had an unfilled vacancy, and it's great to have her with us."
Derby College's Employer Academy programme aims to boost students' employability skills and job prospects as well as giving employers the opportunity to shape the college curriculum.
It also reduces employers' costs for recruiting young people into job and apprenticeship roles after their College course.
I'm going to continue with Hannells and then go onto Level 3 in business at Derby College. That's my next step. Then I'm thinking of a Business Management degree at Birmingham City University or the University of Birmingham. I think Business Management may be a base for another course, maybe a Masters.