Free online Business School workshops for new start-ups

ENTREPRENEURS of the future are being offered places on a free online workshop which aims to get them up and running, even in the face of COVID-19 restrictions.

The PopUp Business School opened for Surrey on Monday and is running to March 5 with a message of hope during tough times.

Simon Paine, PopUp Business School co-founder and CEO

The online course is aimed at everyone, from those with no cash or business experience to fledgling start-ups that need guidance to keep on track.

Simon Paine, PopUp Business School co-founder and CEO, said he wants to help the county bounce back after a wretched year of restrictions and crises.

“We know Surrey has been hit hard over the past year with businesses closed and people being ill, or worse. London has gone very quiet and this has had a big knock-on effect for people in the region.  

“But we believe things will get better and want to help people focus on the next chapter of their lives, where they are in control and doing something they love.”

He added it is both possible and desirable to start a business, even during the pandemic, and said COVID-19 should not stop anyone from doing so: “Now’s actually the best time to be starting up. Because, if you can make it work now, you’ll be perfectly placed when the world starts to open up again.”

PopUp’s events are led by successful entrepreneurs and professionals and include advice from those who have overcome the ups and downs of business life, then gone on to succeed. A PopUp event covers a different subject on each day running from 10am-12.30pm, and 1.30-3pm. Sessions include how to promote your business, how to build a website for free and drive traffic towards it, and effective networking.

The business school is available free of charge, due to sponsorship and funding from Surrey Heath Borough Council and Guildford Borough Council. PopUp promises no upselling and no hidden terms and conditions for participants.

PopUp’s own business model was turned upside down last year as restrictions meant it could no longer provide in-person events.

“We had to move everything online after our entire business model was turned upside down by COVID-19. So we changed the way we work and have moved to online or hybrid events,” said Simon.

“There are advantages with online events, the main one being that there’s no limit to the number of people who can attend. In some ways, the online events are also more accessible, because you don’t have to travel to us.

“Working online means people are actually better placed to start taking steps forward. For instance, we show people how to launch websites for free. Now, people are doing that during the course and sending us the links – it’s really inspiring.” Visit for more details.

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