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Pop-up business school provides winning ingredients for business start ups

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Pop-up business school provides winning ingredients for business start ups

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Published by Becki Ord for IPB Communications in Housing and also in Communities

(left to right) Hayley and Annemarie Miller, of The Miller Food Company. (left to right) Hayley and Annemarie Miller, of The Miller Food Company.

SUCCESS is on the menu for a Pendleton couple who have got their business up and running thanks to an innovative new business school organised by a leading housing regeneration scheme.

Annemarie and Hayley Miller have set up The Miller Food Company, which delivers healthy and nutritious lunches to local businesses and supplies catering for private functions, after attending the Pop-up Business School organised by Pendleton Together.

The entrepreneurial pair had the vision and the culinary skills to make their business idea a success, but lacked the winning ingredients to get their business off the ground.

However, after dropping in to a series of free workshops led by the Pop-up Business School, which covered top tips on turning a business idea into a reality, marketing a company for free through social media and confidence building, Annemarie and Hayley have the recipe to bring their tasty business idea to life.

Hayley, 23, who trained and works as a chef, said: “We first had the idea to set up a healthy eating catering company two years ago. We want to cater for people and businesses who want to eat healthy, nutritional food that is made from good quality ingredients but is at a reasonable price.

“However, we didn’t really know how to get things going and set up our own business. As soon as we heard about the Pop-up Business School we signed up straight away.”

The former catering and hospitality students from Salford City College will be cooking up a variety of tasty treats including super healthy salads, nutritionally packed savoury muffins, canapés, buffet delights and delicious fruit smoothies.

Annemarie, 26, said: “We have learnt so much in the last two weeks, it’s been amazing. We have set up our website, received invaluable business advice, learnt how to promote our business for free and we have even secured a kitchen that we can start cooking in. There is no way we could have done this so quickly and on our own.

“If you are looking for a healthy alternative for your conference, business meeting or party we can provide a full menu for you to choose from. For more information visit our website www.millerscatering.weebly.com .”

The Pop-up Business School has been based at Salford University’s Media City campus and targeted local people from the Pendleton area who had a business idea – other business start-ups have included house clearance, gardening, a media centre and a local author and publisher.

During its two weeks in Salford the Pop-up Business School has helped 20 budding entrepreneurs, who between them have 19 different business ideas, take the first steps to self-employment.

Early successes for the Pendleton Together Pop-up Business School include The Miller Food Company and a house clearance business that has secured some bookings. However, the support does not stop when the drop-ins end, as all of those who attended receive ongoing mentoring.

Pendleton Together, the consortium leading the £650 million regeneration of Pendleton, is committed to enhancing employment and training opportunities for local people and the Pop-up Business School is just one example of how this is being achieved. The consortium is a partnership between Together Housing Group, Keepmoat and Salford City Council.

Steve Close, Chief Executive of Together Housing Group, said: “The regeneration of Pendleton is not just about improving homes and communities, it’s also about the employment and training opportunities available over the coming years which are a significant part of the lasting legacy the project hopes to create.

“We wish Hayley and Annemarie all the best with their new business venture and look forward to hearing about their success and the success of the other business to come out of the Pop-up Business School. I’m proud that Pendleton Together has been able to provide such a positive and empowering opportunity for local people.”

The Pop-up Business School works closely with housing associations and regeneration companies, like Pendleton Together, to help them inspire their residents to become more enterprising and help them unleash their entrepreneurial potential.

Where traditional routes of funding enterprise in communities like Pendleton have dried up, the Pop-up Business School plugs this gap and helps to provide high quality inspiration and support for enterprising people.                                          

Assistant Mayor for Employment and Langworthy Councillor, Paul Dennett said: "Annemarie and Hayley's story is great news for the regeneration of Pendleton.  Affordable healthy eating for local businesses and private functions is a great business idea, especially when we are often reminded of the real consequences of a poor balanced diet, lack of nutrition and exercise.

"The Pop-up Business School has been a great initiative that clearly places people, their ideas, their creativity and their aspirations at the heart of what we want to achieve.  Also, small businesses within Pendleton and across Salford play a critical role in providing real sustainable employment opportunities for our residents and help us mitigate the harsh impacts of the economic downturn.

"I'd like to wish Annemarie and Hayley all the very best of luck with their new business."

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