Our PopUp Business School opened its doors at the beginning of October with the aim of teaching people how to start a business from scratch. For two weeks only, over 40 people from all walks of life learnt the skills they needed to turn their business ideas into reality.
Co-founder of the PopUp Business School model, Alan Donegan said: "It is incredible to see the personal journey that the people have gone on; from lacking confidence, knowledge and finances on the first day to having a trading business after only two weeks. It really shows that with hard work, you can achieve your dream!"
Throughout the two weeks, the PopUp Business School, which was held at the Motex Centre in Weston-super-Mare, ran a competition for the fastest business created. The award went to a local business that works with retail outlets to maximise their selling potential - in the first week, they received over 200 hits to their website and sold their first contract. The award was presented by John Penrose MP, who came along on the last day to show his support. Mr Penrose even took part in a social media workshop, learning how to make full use of Twitter.
The PopUp Business School was a joint venture between Alliance Homes and Knightstone Housing Association. Michael Williams, Business Enterprise Manager at Alliance Homes, said: "The way consumers and businesses interact is changing and new forms of media such as Facebook and Twitter are providing opportunities for business leaders from more diverse backgrounds. The PopUp Business School is the perfect way to help people gain valuable skills that allow them to embrace this new way of working."
Heidi Leyshon, Community Empowerment Team Manager at Knightstone, added: "We loved the innovation in this partnership. It gave residents in North Somerset a different solution to the local jobs market. The school has given people the confidence to take their ideas forward, make a difference to their lives and contribute to their local economy."