Pop up business school inspires businesses to flourish in North Somerset

October 19, 2012

certified with the Social Enterprise Mark, Alliance Homes supports Popup Business School

John Penrose, Alan Donegan, attendee, and Simon Paine. Photograph was taken by Troy Pointer, a professional photographer who attended the PopUp Business School.

Run in partnership with Alliance Homes and Knightstone Housing Association, the PopUp Business School opened its doors at the beginning of October to local people with the aim of teaching people how to start a business from scratch. For two weeks, over 40 people from all walks of life have learnt the skills they need to turn their business dreams into reality.

Co-founder of the PopUp Business School, Alan Donegan, said “It is incredible to see the personal journey that the participants have gone on; from lacking confidence, knowledge and finances to having a trading business in two weeks. It really shows that with hard work, people can achieve their dreams!”

Throughout the two weeks, the PopUp Business School, held at the Motex Centre in Weston-super-Mare, ran a competition for the fastest business created. The award went to a local business which works with shops to maximise their selling potential and in its first week, received 200 website visits and sold its first contract.

The award was presented by John Penrose MP, who came along on the last day to show his support for this local venture. Mr Penrose even took part in a social media workshop, learning how to make full use of Twitter.

Michael Williams, Business Enterprise Manager at Alliance Homes, said: “The results from the last two weeks indicate that this business model helps people to gain the confidence and the technological skills required to compete in today’s economy. The way consumers and business interact is changing and new forms of technological media such as Facebook and twitter will provide opportunities for business leaders from more diverse backgrounds.”

Heidi Leyshon, Community Empowerment Team Manager at Knightstone, said: “We loved the innovation in this partnership. It gives 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”

Mr Donegan added, “The whole purpose of this pop up business school was to help people sort their financial situation out. We designed this so people could set up and start making money immediately.”

Alliance Homes is a certified social enterprise, with the Social Enterprise Mark.

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