A New Generation of Micro-Entrepreneurs!

Positive People champion participants that take their hobby, craft, trade or business idea to market as a self-employed start-up venture. Throughout the summer and autumn of 2018, we have been running completely new and unique courses and clubs in Cornwall to support people with an entrepreneurship vision!

Self-employment success starts with belief, confidence and a good idea. It can be a daunting task moving away from either being unemployed or a history of being an employee to becoming your own boss and solely responsible for your own income.

Positive People recognised that many people may have the ideas, but a lack of enterprise knowledge and business acumen may be holding back their dreams and ambitions. Subsequently, Positive People launched a Pop-Up Business School and Cornwall Enterprise Club to provide people with specialised support from industry experts to develop their business ideas into working business models!

The Enterprise Club ran in both Liskeard and Saltash every Wednesday as a completely free drop-in session with Mike Cherry from Cherry Consultants. With over 35 years diverse experience in Business Banking and Welfare and Employability, Mike’s passions for ‘helping people discover their real value, happiness, fulfilment and self-esteem’ inspired him to set-up the clubs.

The clubs were well attended, with participants attending regularly to develop their business plans and receive mentoring and peer support to realise their goals.

Michael was one of those participants who came along to the clubs to realise his dreams of self-employment. Michael, originally from Kent, moved to Looe in Cornwall to set-up home with his four terriers and embrace the Cornish community way of life. “From the very first time I visited Looe back in 2001, I knew this was where I wanted to live, where I wanted to work and most of all be a part of the wonderful community”, says Michael.

“I have work experience in many different fields, and I’m always willing to try new kinds of work, I decided that it was about time I started to work for myself and had the idea of starting a garden maintenance and gutter cleaning service. I very much love the community I live in, and my services are marketed as a community gardener, alongside my gutter cleaning service – a lot of people don’t have the time to tend to their gardens, and some people who are retired may not be able, so I think this is where my target market lies”, says Michael.

“I’ve already started expanding my service offering, and business is going well. I would say to anyone that is thinking about setting up their own business to just go for it, but do something that you love, I enjoy working outside, so this was the perfect venture for me”.

Positive People also launched Cornwall’s Pop-Up Business School in Saltash, which was run over a week’s course of consecutive days, with topics such as social media, business funding, networking, website design and optimisation covered by leading specialists in their fields.

Beverley was one of the budding entrepreneurs who came along to the course with ambitions of giving new leases of life to old, unused and neglected items. “The Pop-Up Business School was such a positive experience, it was really insightful to meet up with like-minded people, who although may have been younger than me, we were able to bounce off each other!”, says Beverley.

For Beverley, age is no barrier to learning, despite approaching 60 years of age. “There is so much to learn, and exploring new opportunities and networking is really important to grow as both a business and a person”. The course allowed Beverley to develop her logo and brand with the help of experienced graphic designer, Simon, who also attended the course to develop his own business idea as a self-employed designer. “We call ourselves the dream team!”, explains Beverley. “Simon and I have really connected, despite differing in age, we meet up for coffee regularly and share ideas, we have things to learn from each other – it’s a two-way street – the peer support subsequent to the Pop-Up Business School has been invaluable for all of us going forwards with our business ideas, it just goes to show how beneficial attending courses like Pop-Up can be”, says Beverley.

“Coming to the Pop-Up Business School was fantastic for me, if I hadn’t of phoned that day and secured my place I don’t know where I’d be…my advice to anyone thinking of taking their dreams forwards and start making money would be to ask for help, ask people, what’s the worst that can happen – have no fear, just do it! I’m now looking at new ways to take my business forwards, not just recycling old things but my main goal is to teach people how to do it for themselves, to learn a new skill and embrace the creation of something new from old!”. Beverley.