Published: 12:25, 16 July 2020
| Updated: 12:37, 16 July 2020
A job creation scheme which helped almost 3,000 people develop new business skills last year is being available across Kent.
The free PopUp Business School is taking its approach online allowing anyone who would like to make money from their hobby to access the course from home.
The five-day business course, which encourages people to use their existing skills to make money by doing something they love, takes a ‘no red tape’ approach to the challenge of setting up a new business.
Among its success stories is Faversham's Joanna Van Blommestein, who now trades at the Bra Boss of Kent after attending a course in Thanet.
In 2019 alone, PopUp helped 967 new businesses start up as a result of organising 37 courses across the country – all free, thanks to sponsorship by local support programmes to help new businesses in their area. They range from swimming coaching to cake making and from bookkeeping to fitness training.
With the Covid-19 pandemic putting an end to physical gatherings for the foreseeable future, PopUp has now set up a county-wide ‘virtual’ course that will follow the same pattern but will be held online for five days from Monday, August 3.
“Our courses are aimed at people who dream of making money from something they love,” explained PopUp Business School 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.”
Joanna Van Blommestein explained: "If I had borrowed lots of money to set up, I really would have been struggling to pay my debts by now.
“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.”
Sessions will include sales, social media and networking through to setting up a free website and marketing.
Adds Henry Nicholson: “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."
The online event is part of an £8.6million, 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.
To sign up for the virtual course click here.
More by this authorChris Britcher
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