Affinity Sutton and Pop-Up Business School help people in Borehamwood become self employed

Borehamwood Times: Mark Gittos with participants in the course Mark Gittos with participants in the course

Tibetan chants combined with elevator pitches during a workshop which seeks to give budding entrepreneurs the tools to realise their dreams.

Around 50 people attended Farriers Way Community Centre in Borehamwood for the first day of a two week course that aims to enable people to start their own businesses. 

The course, which is run by the Pop-Up Business School, teaches people how to network, how to use social media and design websites and gain the confidence to start out on their own.

In the first session, people carried out activities designed to teach them the difference between hearing and listening and learned how to describe their ideas concisely and confidently during a short 'elevator pitch'

Laura Bailey, who is a coach at the business school, said the aim was to help people start a business cheaply by using non-traditional business models.

She said: “We want to give people the confidence to set up on their own.

“There’s a whole range of ages here, from people who already have their own businesses and would like advice to those who have no idea where to begin.

“We’re allowing them to develop their ideas in a safe environment. Even though they’ve only just begun they’re already growing in confidence and growing more comfortable with each other.

"We’re creating our very own business network here.”

Mark Gittos, who also works at the school, said: “I’m hoping by the end of the course at least some of the people here will have already made their first sale.”

The free course was organised by housing association Affinity Sutton as part of its Ready 2 Work scheme.

Andrea Galloway from Affinity Sutton said about half of the people attending were housing association tenants who were struggling to find a job.

She said: “This course is an excellent way of giving our tenants the tools to get back into work, which is what our Ready 2 Work scheme is about.

“You can see the people here are having a good time and are engaged in what they are learning.”

People who are interested in participating the programme and would be able to start on Monday can still sign up by visiting www.popupbusinesssschool.co.uk/affinity-sutton.

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