By head of marketing of the Rebel Business School, Kimberley Taylor.
On 7th – 18th February 2022 168 people from across Berkshire attended a start-up training funded by five councils across the county* and delivered by The Rebel School.
Rebel business course is about actions, not the theory.
During the online course, people made sales for the first time, published websites without having strong tech skills and learned how to build a network to help them on their journey and through the inevitable tough times.
One participant Catalina Duque-Archer commented “Rebel Business School is for real people and the benefit has been priceless.”
The main online course was followed by four in-person networking and trading event held in the different boroughs where the participants could practice their new sales, marketing and networking skills.
So what happened to Rebel Business School Berkshire participants one year on?
Tanya Cossins Story.
A year on and the participants are still using the skills they learned during the course.
Like Tanya Cossins, who had just quit her accountancy job and came into the course wanting to start a business but wasn’t sure what she wanted to do.
The course helped her see that she would love to run a business around her hobby – making cakes for her children. Her husband suggested talking to the owner of a local cake supplies shop about his retirement plans.
She did but he wasn’t ready to let the business go just yet. Over the next few months, he trained Tanya and officially handed the business over to her in December.
“Rebel Business School helped me see that I could run a business around my passion, the shop is close to where I live and from there everything seemed to fall into place.”
Now that Tanya has taken over the shop, Pipedreams in Eton Wick she’s been on quite a journey and has big plans for what to do next.
“The course taught me to just get on with things and not wait until they were perfect. For example, I thought I should wait until I had sorted out a new shop front before I set up my Instagram, but I remembered Rebel telling me to just do it. So, I did and now I my Instagram is growing, and more people are learning about the shop.”
She’s developing the shop every day to better suit her target customer – busy mums who are making cakes for their children and plans to offer sugar craft and cupcake decorating classes from the venue.
Rebel courses help the existing business.
Paula Barbenza Story.
While most people who joined the course were new to the business, around 25% were existing businesses who wanted to have a bigger impact and grow their sales like Paula Barbenza.
Paula had been running her business, Como en Casa for 6 years when she came across a post about the Rebel Business School course on Facebook. She thought “It’s free, there’s always something new I can learn and if I don’t find it useful then I can leave.”
Instead, she stayed, learning new sales skills and getting a reminder to focus on profit margin rather than sales. “Before I would want to say yes to every request, but the course reminded me that it’s ok to say no to requests that won’t work for me and don’t value the time and care it takes to make my products.”
She also stopped procrastinating on creating her website and launched www.recoleta.shop at the course. The website has helped increase the number of people who come to her market stall to buy her delicious Argentinean delights. She plans to open her own shop this year.
*Special thanks to Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Reading CIC, Bracknell Forest Council, Wokingham Borough Council and West Berkshire Council for funding this project.
Kimberley is the Head of Marketing at Rebel. She works with our lovely funding partners, external organisations and our marketing team to get as many local people to know about our courses as possible!
Find out more about Kimberley on our team page.