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Over a 10 day period, Rebel Business School (previously known as PopUp Business School) covers 20 workshops that are structured to get participants ready so they can make their businesses and ideas thrive by tearing up the rule book together.
It is free for members to attend and would not be possible without backing from Wellington New Zealand, Kāpiti Coast District Council (KCDC) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
The School was introduced to New Zealand from the United Kingdom by Kiwi Tony Henderson-Newport in 2017 and has continued to operate ever since.
The most recent course took place on the Kāpiti Coast from Jun 14 to 25 starting at 9.30am to 2.30pm on Zoom calls for six days and in-venue at the Kāpiti Impact Hub in Paraparaumu for four days. This included a trade show of the new businesses and a graduation ceremony on the final day.
It was not compulsory for participants to attend all days of the event but was recommended and encouraged so they could get the most out of it.
Around thirty attended every day right up until the very end of graduation despite recent Covid-19 setting changes to Alert Level 2. Social distancing and public health guidelines were followed to make it still possible.
Everyone got the chance to explore new ways to make money and understand how to manage it while doing something they love.
The core focus was delivering the opportunity to expand networks within the business world while creating new opportunities for each other by learning new skills and tools needed for success.
They learned to create a website for free, the quickest way to find the right customer and start a business with no money.
The trade show was set up at Coastlands Mall seven days after the course started.
It allowed participants to get out of their comfort zone and show off their products, services and ideas to potential customers passing by.
Some stalls offered surveys and newsletter sign-ups to gather interest within their market. Members from the Council supported the idea of participants putting themselves out there by having a chat with as many as possible.
Tony Henderson-Newport says the School is there to help transform new ideas that will eventually become a reality.
“What amazes me is that people come with a vision and idea. Our job is to help transform that idea into something that is real. If it is one thing that we enjoy, it is seeing those light bulb moments. People realise that they can do it,” he said.
“One of the things I enjoy is that there are two end benefits, and the first is the way that a business will grow — the second is to the region and the community development. There is a little ripple effect from a small business, and it is not always evident. Love that part.”
“In the background of everybody’s mind, a little bit like everybody has a book in them; I believe that they have a business in their brain. I love the fact that irrespective of whether they bring that business to life or not, they have got new life skills and new business skills.”
As the course is free for members, he added that it wouldn’t have happened without support from their funding partners.
“Really grateful. We have some incredible sponsors — Wellington NZ, KCDC and MSD — all put money on the table so that our participants can come for free,” he said.
“The interesting thing is that all of them have a particular vision, and that is that our attendees can transform lives in their communities through small business.”
People who are interested can go to their website at rebelbusinessschool.nz. Everyone is welcome to attend the courses when they pop up on the events page.
Image: SUPPLIED/Rebel Business School Aotearoa (Photo taken prior Covid-19 Alert Level changes)
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