Free Online Business School for Start-Ups launches across Stratford District

Press Release

Published on 6 January 2021

Stratford entrepreneurs of the future are being offered free places on an online workshop to turn their hobbies and dreams into a successful business.

Stratford-on-Avon District Council's Venture House has partnered with the hugely popular PopUp Business School to help would-be start-ups across the District to get their ideas off the ground this February.

Designed to inspire people and help them find the confidence to make their business ideas a reality, the PopUp Business School is aimed at everyone, from those with no cash and no business experience to fledgling start-ups that need guidance to keep on track.

The online five-day workshop will run from Monday 15th February to Friday 19th February, and will be held from 10am to 3pm each day.

PopUp's events are led by successful entrepreneurs and professionals and can be very sought after, with events regularly attracting over 100 aspiring business owners.

Attendees can expect a completely different approach to starting a business, Simon Paine, PopUp Business School co-founder and CEO, explained.

He said: "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'."

The online training schedule includes a mix of practical sessions, one-to-one coaching, workshop sessions and local peer support that local residents can attend from their homes. 

At a similar event, over a quarter of attendees started a new business and gained their first sale within five days.

While the team has a great track record of inspiring new businesses, they also introduce and talk about a range of work-focused skills aimed at helping people improve their job prospects, even if setting up their own business is a step too far.

Cllr Matt Jennings, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Tourism at Stratford-on-Avon District Council, said: "With many people having a serious think about their futures due to the pandemic, there will be plenty in Stratford District who will be unsure about what to do next.

"PopUp Business School is a perfect way for people who are thinking about getting into self-employment to learn the basics and create their own business.

"It's free to attend, so I'd encourage anyone interested, no matter their age or experience, to sign up."

For more information about the workshop or to book a free place, visit: www.popupbusinessschool/stratford

PopUp Business School

PopUp Business School was founded in 2012 by Alan Donegan and Simon Paine and helps people from all walks of life to start their own businesses. Its mission is to change the way entrepreneurship is taught across the world. It has educated over 7,000 people in seven different countries through free events and helped launch 967 businesses in 2019 alone. Its work has been backed by organisations including Google, Henley Business School and the Department for Work and Pensions. The PopUp Business School is the best business advice that money can't buy - all of its events are free.

  1. The PopUp Business School was founded in 2012 to give business and enterprise skills to people that need it the most
  2. The PopUp Business School approach is the complete opposite to traditional start-up support
  3. Co-founders of the PopUp Business School are Alan Donegan and Simon Paine
  4. 45-55% of people that attend the PopUp Business School get a business or micro-enterprise off the ground
  5. 98% of participants experience a significant boost in their confidence, business skills and ability to make things happen.
  6. Find out more about the impact of PopUp Business School around the world at

Venture House Business Centre

Venture House is Stratford-on-Avon District Council's business centre which opened after receiving £450,000 of funding from the Government's Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

Venture House provides flexible and innovative co-working, office and meeting spaces to new and growing businesses.  Situated close to the town centre and major road & rail networks, Venture House also offers free business advice & support, workshops & networking.

There is an ongoing and successful programme of business support available across the county for new and growing businesses.  Because of the pandemic and the high numbers employed locally in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors, it was felt that the PopUp School would provide an extra level of support for our residents.

Due to the pandemic, the Centre has been closed since March 2020, with the exception of the serviced offices. However, the Venture House team continue to provide businesses and budding entrepreneurs with support on a remote basis and are still contactable by email: and phone: 07483 100488 


Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 06/01/2021