Barnet Council has been working with residents, many of whom had been struggling to get into the job market, become entrepreneurs and become their own bosses.

The free courses, run by the Rebel School, help people who may already have a business or business idea but are not sure how to get started, to enter the market without putting themselves at financial risk.

After attending a recent two-week boot camp, 30 Barnet residents will now be demonstrating their new products and services at Brent Cross Shopping Centre on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th May.

Barnet Council’s Small Business Champion, Cllr Anne Clarke, said:

“We know that people in Barnet are very entrepreneurial, there were more than 4,000 newly registered businesses in Barnet in 2021 alone. We also know and that for many people, self-employment is a very flexible work option and the most practical route out of unemployment.

“I’ve been speaking to people who had been struggling to find work or the know-how to make their new business idea flourish, who are now filled with confidence and excitement about their next steps.

One of the course attendees, Lasantha Jayasinghe, who’s currently setting up a business, said:

“I’m definitely more informed and empowered than when I started out.

“It really made me motivated to keep going with my business and gave me tools around how to talk to clients, especially on areas I find difficult like pricing.

“I hope to have my website up and running soon too thanks to all the tips I’ve been given on it and on search optimisation.”

The Rebel School offers an alternative route to getting started, inspired by the founder’s personal experience of unsatisfactory, traditional business courses, all of which push loans, debt and business plans.

Since 2010, the Rebel Business School has been travelling the UK and worldwide providing 5 or 10-day sessions supporting people into self-employment and setting up a business for free.

Henry Nicholson, the Rebel School’s CEO said:

“There’s never been a more important time to empower communities to make their own money, create opportunities and learn new things. Barnet is already a hugely energised business landscape with the majority of businesses being sole-traders and micro-enterprises, we just need to open up the door for more people to start and truly start to make self-employment an accessible option for all.”

There will be 30 stallholders from 11am – 6pm over two days, May 4th and 5th, at the Centre Court in Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Dr, London, NW4 3FP.

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