Pop up Business School


11 - 22 September 2017 at Newport Market, 10am - 4pm

Book your place at Newport Pop-up business school

Inspirational, amazing and brilliant – just some of the words used by those who attended the Pop-up business school in Newport in February 2017. 

More than 100 people attended free workshops and talks held in the gallery area of Newport Market, an initiative funded by Newport City Council's business development fund.  

Held over a fortnight, it attracted more than 100 people from those with just a germ of an idea to established businesses. 

Even those who already had thriving ventures found the event informative and helpful.

Here is what people who attended in February said: 

Elaine Langford decided to turn something she did for family and friends into a new business,  Llanmartin Lawns and Landscapes. 'When I was made redundant, it was something I was thinking of doing and the Pop-up Business School has given me just the push I needed.'

Email: elainelangford21@fsmail.net  

Twenty-year-old Ryan Griffiths already had experience in business, having set up his own online company at the age of just 16. Now the young entrepreneur is preparing to open his own coffee shop just outside Friars Walk so he was picking up some top tips at the event.  

Jeff Smith, aka Erbie the Clown, is rekindling a venture. He stopped being an entertainer at the time of the recession in 2009 and has worked as a bus driver for eight years. He recently put on the bowler hat, red nose and big shoes again to offer his services at parties, promotional events and shop openings. 'I came to the pop-up business school because the environment has changes since 2009 and the way forward is now through social media.'

'I started up a business twitter account and within four hours I had two inquiries and another one this morning. They (those running the school) have been phenomenal and they’ve even done me a video. Without a shadow of a doubt it was well worth coming.'


Annette Buttress, of Ringland, makes bespoke textile gifts, such as bags and aprons, under her new business name of Annette’s Fabric Creations. 'I used to work for the council and when I finished I decided to go for my dream but I didn’t have a clue how to do it properly. The pop-up business school has been amazing. They have helped me with a website and a page on Facebook.'

Email: queenieb64@gmail.com  

Dr Wendy Taylor provides key stage two to key stage five English tuition in people’s homes. The qualified teacher, who is DBS checked, said: 'I wanted to know about social media advertising and it has been extremely helpful. If anyone else is thinking about going to a similar event, I would definitely recommend it.'

Email: wendytaylor691@btinternet.com  

Chris Phillips attended to get some advice for his wife Rachel’s new business - RJ Phillips Interiors in Church Road. 'It has been very useful.'


Will Davies, who lives just outside Newport, has a business idea. 'I want to set up a Welsh translation agency for small private businesses. I’ve had the idea for a while but coming here has given me the kick I needed to get on and do it. There has been lots of energy from the people here.' 

Jackie Taylor was one of those who travelled from outside Newport for the event. Jackie, of Newbridge, is an holistic therapist and was interested in renting a market stall. 'I’m glad I came, it has given me more knowledge and confidence.'  

Kea’s Craft Cabin is the brainchild of Lesley Marks whose clever fingers turn old books into amazing items for all occasions. 'Straightaway I had feedback and confidence from coming here. I’ve picked up some useful tips for driving the business forward and been given more confidence to use computers and Facebook.'

Email: lesley.marks@btinternet.com  

Jackie Shaddad, of Rogerstone, is a full-time carer for her parents and would like to turn her cake decorating hobby into a business, called Mama J Cakes, so that she could work around them. 'I was a bit nervous about coming here but they have been so insightful and like a breath of fresh air. It’s nice to know it can be so flexible and I can start up with no money.'  

Andrea Carter, of Lillypod Designs in Abergavenny, began making 'twiddle muffs', sensory items for people with dementia to keep their hands and minds focused, after her dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and needed something to keep his hands occupied. 'Abergavenny council sent me information about the free pop-up business school. It was something I always wanted to do but didn’t know how, but now I do. It has been brilliant and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to start their own business.'  

Irene Duncan, of Shaftesbury in Newport, makes bespoke Belgian chocolates and wants to branch out to selling at fairs and hold chocolate parties. At the moment it is a hobby but she would like to do it as a business and needed help with IT. 'I didn’t know where to start but everyone has been really friendly and given me lots of good ideas, things that I hadn’t thought of. I would definitely recommend it.'  

Elle’s Belles, run by Nicola Radford, sells vintage and retro Hollywood inspired jewellery and handbags. 'I started my business on Facebook last year and my customers come from all over the UK. I decided to look at local craft fairs and I’ve joined lots of local Newport pages and made contacts that way. The school has been very informative. I now know how to use Twitter and about setting up a website for free. I set up a stall in the market for a day and it went really well. It changed my perception of Newport Market. The stall holders were really welcoming.' 

Judit Doczi, of Newport, offers alternative emotional wellbeing therapies and life coaching. 'It was useful. It’s not the first time I’ve been but you can always learn something new.'


Liz Orford, of Newport, is a beauty therapist specialising in big occasions. Her mobile business, Luxx Locks, has recently launched and can be found on Facebook. 'They (the business school) have been brilliant.'  

Rhian George, who lives near Caerphilly, bakes and decorates cakes for all occasions and is thinking of expanding into protein bars - as Rhian’s Cakes and Protein Bakes. 'I’ve been doing it for about four years as a hobby and I’ve been thinking for a while that I would like to start a business, but wherever I’ve been sent before has talked about business plans and having cash before you start. They’ve shown me that you don’t need any of that – just start!'  

Daniella Mercy, of Llanmartin, said: 'I’m planning to start a holistic business with relaxation and wellbeing therapies. I want to work on body, mind and spirit. I have done it for five years but just with family and friends. They are so happy with it I think I could make it work. I was apprehensive because of the legal and promotional aspects of running a business but this has given me a lot of inspiration and great energy. They have explained things so clearly and make you believe it’s just there for you to reach out and grab it. This has definitely put an accelerator on my plans and I really want to do it now.' 

Annette Farmer already has an established and successful business in Newport Market, X-clusive Jewellery. 'It (the popup business school) has been an inspiration. I’ve been in business for almost 30 years but I’ve learned so much and it was great that it was free. Even though I had the business to run I made time to attend and the stuff I have learned has been amazing.'

X-clusive Jewellery, Unit 6/7 Newport Market entrance, email annettefarmer@hotmail.co.uk   

Natalie Skinner, also known as the Fairy Godmother, also attended the workshops. 'I offer a mobile prom service (Prinny’s Prom Beauties) for girls who can try on dresses in the comfort of their own homes. I bring the magic to them. I’m based in Newport and am now in my third year. It has helped girls with anxiety problems or with body issues who don’t feel comfortable going into a store, and also mums who are disabled and can’t go and share that memory, and even dads who want to get involved but don’t want to sit in a dress shop. A lot of people are already aware of my business but this has opened more doors for me.' 

Christine Patterson, of Newport, has started The Armour Clothing which she described as a scriptual clothing company using designs from Biblical stories. She and her friend Meire Correa de Moraes, who makes personalised invitations, had found the popup business school very useful. 'Wow, yes. It’s been so great.' said Meire.  

Heidi Mehta, of Llanwern, is a printmaker and textile artist. 'I would like to set up professionally and came to make sure I start off on the right footing. It has helped in ways that I hadn’t imagined. I perceived it to be quite difficult to set up but I’ve been given some really useful tips. I’ve already started work on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.'  

Louise Brady and Donna Smith are behind Big Teas, Little Teas specialising in family-friendly afternoon teas as well as providing cakes and sandwiches for other occasions. 'The pop-up business school was brilliant. It shows you other ways of doing things in a relaxed environment.'  

Artist Justin Carroll is looking for venues or pop-up art galleries to show his work. 'The pop-up business school has been fantastic, absolutely brilliant.'