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Sinead MacManus, co-founder of Fluency, shares her reasons behind joining Entrepreneur Academe and what progress the company has seen since joining.

Fluency is a digital skills learning platform that helps young people upskill and connects them to work opportunities. My co-founder Ian and I started the company two years ago as we saw a market gap in terms of businesses of all sizes needing talent with digital skills, and wanted to help young people close their employability gap and connect to a sector with fast-growing career opportunities.

I wanted to join Entrepreneur Academe for a number of reasons. Firstly to access the support and advice of the mentor network. So far we have got help with writing our new business and marketing plan, as well as looking at the financial projections for the next few years in advance of our second funding round this autumn. Secondly, it’s great to meet and be surrounded by such inspirational female entrepreneurs. I always find I learn so much from others who are ahead of me on this entrepreneurial journey. And in return I hope I have helped those on the programme who are starting out.

We’ve come a long way since we joined EA in May. We’ve grown our user base steadily week on week. We’ve launched seven new courses in the platform including a Paid Search course co-designed with leading digital marketing agency Forward3D. We have got our first paying clients for the recruitment side of the business – something we are now looking to scale with our employer features connecting businesses to talent within the platform. We’re delivering blended learning courses (combining online and offline training) for young people on behalf of Peabody housing association and single parents in Islington supported by Bank of Tokyo. And we’re off to India in October to look at partnerships to launch Fluency over there.”

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