A unique job creation opportunity that helped nearly 3,000 people develop new business skills in 2019 is now being made available across Kent – for free.
The five-day business course, which encourages people to use their existing skills to make money by doing something they love, takes a unique ‘no red tape’ approach to the challenge of setting up a new business – with considerable success.
Research shows that in 2019, PopUp’s 37 UK events contributed £19.2m to the local economy, including benefits savings of nearly £8m as people turned their hobbies and interests into business ventures.
With the Covid-19 pandemic putting an end to physical gatherings for the foreseeable future, PopUp has now set up a Kent-wide ‘virtual’ course that will follow exactly the same pattern but will be held online for five days from Monday 3 August.
Joanna, who kept costs down by setting up her business in a summer house in her garden, said the advice to “start small, get help from friends and contacts and don’t run up big debts” was spot on.
PopUp’s philosophy is firmly against people borrowing large amounts of money or worrying too much about business plans. “Our courses are aimed at people who dream of making money from something they love,” explained PopUp's Chief Operations Officer Henry Nicholson. “We inspire them to have a go and help them develop the skills they need, but we don’t encourage them to get into debt.”
That advice has proved invaluable during the Covid-19 pandemic. “If I had borrowed lots of money to set up, I really would have been struggling to pay my debts by now,” Joanna explained. “Because I set things up simply, I coped with the crisis and now the lockdown is easing I am fully booked for several weeks ahead.”
The online PopUp will run in the same way as the physical events, with sessions on all aspects of business, from sales, social media and networking through to setting up a free website and marketing. “We cover topics like tax and business structure, too, but we leave those until the end of the week because it’s more important to focus on your dream than on the technical issues,” Henry added.
“We will have the same level of engagement via the online platform and we will even be able to set up break out ‘rooms’ for group discussions,” he said. “It will be exactly the same as attending a physical event but without any travel costs or childcare concerns."
“As a society, we’ve had a tremendous challenge over the past few months with our small businesses and communities feeling the brunt of it. Now is the most important time to be helping, supporting and empowering people to keep going and build something incredible."
“If you have ever dreamed of setting up your own business – and we know that Covid-19 has had a big impact on the workforce – then this is the course for you. Bring that dream along and we will show you how to turn it into a business.”
The online event is part of an £8.6m, cross-channel project called Increase Valorisation Sociale (Increase VS), which is using European cash to deliver free workshops aimed at kick-starting small businesses and creating jobs.
It is being sponsored by West Kent Housing Association, Orbit Housing, Southern Housing Group, Town & Country Housing, Swale Borough Council, Hyde Housing and Optivo.
For more information or to book a free place, visit: www.popupbusinessschool.co.uk/kent
Notes to editors:
Contact: Henry Nicholson
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07971938676
Website: www.popupbusinessschool.co.uk Twitter: @popupbusiness
The event will be livestreamed online and runs every day from 3rd – 7th August between 10am – 3pm.
PopUp Business School was founded in 2012 by Alan Donegan and Simon Paine and helps people from all walks of life to start their own businesses. Its mission is to change the way entrepreneurship is taught across the world. It has educated over 7000 people in seven different countries through free events and helped launch 967 businesses in 2019 alone. Its work has been backed by organisations including Google, Henley Business School and the Department for Work and Pensions. The PopUp Business School is the best business advice that money can't buy - all of its events are free.