Portsmouth MP inspires the city’s entrepreneurs of the future
Portsmouth residents have been celebrating the success of the city’s first PopUp Business School. Despite the challenges presented to its usual format by current restrictions, the course saw 144 members of the local community get involved in a series of engaging online workshops.
Attendees were spurred on by local MP Penny Mordaunt, who ‘popped in’ on the virtual event to speak to them and find out how it all works. Speaking at the event, Penny said: ‘In these especially challenging times, it’s great to see entrepreneurship and self-employment being promoted and encouraged, not only helping people to get back on their feet, but also to thrive.’
The course helped to inspire a range of people and give them the tools and confidence they need to launch their ideas into reality. Participants ranged from those with no previous business experience at all to those already running successful start-ups who simply needed some guidance to weather these challenging times.
The two-week course provided online training through a mix of hands-on sessions, one-to-one coaching, workshops and local peer support, all packaged so that local Portsmouth residents could ‘attend’ from their homes. Participants were able to develop a range of practical skills and insights, from learning how tackle tax returns and reliefs through to personal presentation skills and learning how to pitch business ideas.
Southern Housing Group resident, Marc Merry, said: ‘The course exceeded all expectations and provided me with everything I need to start my own business. As well as teaching me fundamental business concepts, the course has really boosted my self-confidence. It’s great to see Southern Housing Group investing in its residents and giving them the tools they need to succeed.’
Since its inception, PopUp Business School has helped over 1,500 businesses across the UK become a success. Recognising the value that the course has for people in the community, local housing association Southern Housing Group and Portsmouth City Council partnered with PopUp Business School to help fund the course.
Southern Housing Group Director of Community Investment and Care, Anabel Palmer, said: ‘Southern Housing Group is delighted to have helped bring the fantastic PopUp Business School to Portsmouth. We’ve seen first-hand the benefits attending this course can bring to residents and the skills participants learn are truly life-changing.’
Councillor Darren Sanders, Portsmouth’s cabinet member for housing and preventing homelessness added: ‘Sponsoring a PopUp Business School course is just one of the many ways that Portsmouth Council has been supporting its residents through these tough economic times. We hope to be able to bring this invaluable course back to the city in the near-future.’
Simon Paine, PopUp Business School co-founder and CEO, explained: ‘There’s nothing better than meeting someone with no business experience and guiding them through their first sale - it can transform lives.
‘You don’t need money, experience or a university degree to start a business. You just need an idea, some passion and a bit of help.
‘Many of those attending will leave with a business and a first sale. Those who don’t will still take away business skills, practical advice and confidence. We like to say: ‘this is the best business course money can’t buy.’