First of its kind free course for UK's neurodivergent entrepreneurs

A Brighton-based company is offering a first of its kind free course to 12 neurodivergent entrepreneurs, potentially helping the UK's next Richard Branson to get started in business.

Mark Blake, who was among the winners of a recent £6.2m award from UK’s Innovation Agency Innovate UK, has set up the first ever Business Startup Accelerator Course for Neurodivergent Founders specifically to help neurodivergent entrepreneurs get started with their businesses.

Mark Blake is Co-Founder and director of Joyfully Different, a non-profit business support community and learning hub for neurodivergent entrepreneurs.

He said: "Studies suggest that people with ADHD are six times more likely to start their own businesses and 20-40% of business owners are dyslexic.

"Only 22% of autistic adults are in any kind of employment in the UK and yet the UK’s Autism Strategy does not include any mention of self-employment.

"As an autistic entrepreneur with ADHD and dyslexia, I'm determined to change things for neurodivergent founders."

Famous entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, Walt Disney, Jamie Oliver, and Barbara Corcoran are known to be neurodivergent. Some believe having a different way of thinking can be a huge bonus to a company founder.

Blake's idea of a neurodivergent-friendly business accelerator aims to support a cohort of 12 aspiring neurodivergent entrepreneurs to gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to launch their own businesses in 2024.

Blake said: “It’s the honour of my life to work on a project that is the first of its kind with such incredible people.

"The project is going to reach so many people who have been ignored by mainstream business support and give them the chance to build a business that can help unlock their authenticity and have economic independence. It feels humbling and amazing to be chosen for such a prestigious award.”

The deadline to apply for Joyfully Different's business startup accelerator is Sunday, March 31st.