Boss It – self-employment for over 25's in Devon

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Making money doing what you love can be easier than you think. Pluss' Positive People programme believes that with the right tools, being your own boss is more within reach than many people may believe.

There has been a significant rise in the number of self-employed within the UK since 2001. This rapid growth, of 1.5million between 2001 and 2017 demonstrates that more and more people are developing the confidence and ingenuity to be their own boss, and take their hobby or passion to market.

The Positive People programme offers a lifeline to people who are out of work and over 25 to build hope, confidence and skills. The programme is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund and is piloting a new, completely free, bespoke self-employment programme in Plymouth that will be rolled out across Devon.

Positive People recognise that there are many people who may be out of work, for whatever reason, with a talent or skill that could be developed into a business that works for the individual.

Many people may struggle to fit in regular 9 to 5 hours around their home life. Self-employment offers the flexibility to work around family commitments and is becoming increasingly popular with parents, and those looking for a better work-life balance. 

Positive People are always actively looking for new ways to provide support for people that may be facing such barriers.

“Supporting people to become ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ is something Positive People have been working towards in partnership with Cosmic, our specialised digital partner, for some time now”, says Vicky Moss-Crump, Positive People Project Manager for Devon. “Our programme will provide participants with the skills to create their own business plan and branding, provide marketing insight and digital know-how, and support them with funding and website design”.

Positive People believe that a good idea, talent or skill can be harnessed and turned into something profitable for participants. The programme was developed on the notion that people have all they need to create success on the inside, it’s just about having the confidence and business know-how to take that forward.

“Our pilot programme took place in Plymouth between the 18th – 20th of July, and initial take-up was fantastic…we already have waiting lists of eager entrepreneurs!”. The self-employment programme takes place over three consecutive days, where all key areas of setting up your own business will be addressed. Besides this, participants will be provided with an additional 12 hours of business support once trading.

“What’s great about this programme is that people actually go away with the tools to start trading. They will have their business plan and branding, and the knowledge to access funding to get their businesses off the ground!”, says Vicky, “The Positive People project will be able to provide additional training, digital 1 to 1 support and purchase any necessary equipment necessary to the running of the business”.

“We have had an excellent sign-up response to our Positive People programme, with 12 sign-ups, we had a really diverse set of people with completely unique business ideas, including people wanting to set up a car wash business to a lady that makes her own candles with women from a refuge, which has served as great therapy and recovery for them”.

“This is a really exciting project, and we hope that our mission to support people towards their dreams of turning their hobby into a business will be as successful throughout Devon as it was in Plymouth!”, says Avril Bankes-Fay, Positive People Partnership Manager for Devon.

“We have also had interest from Devon County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership in our programme and we are keen to explore this partnership further!”, says Avril.

To find out more about the Positive People Project and our Self-Employment Programme please visit or to be added to our Self-Employment Programme waiting list please call Emma on 0330 0883 005 or email

Positive People is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.