'Pop up shop Showcase for local entrepreneurs' – support for start up businesses in Cheltenham

Published on 7th February 2012

Cheltenham enterprise club

On Saturday 11 February, the mayor will be visiting a pop shop in Beechwood shopping centre where for one day,

eight individuals will be showcasing their small businesses, related to their personal interests and talents.

The Centre for Enterprise and Development (c4ed) has been running workshops for people who have found it hard to get work and encouraging them to develop small business ideas. Over four weeks, the entrepreneurs were coached through how to develop a business idea, undertake market research, and start a business plan.

As a result, all the individuals have set up small businesses including an architect technician, a vintage clothes designer, a piano tutor delivering online courses, a food event organiser, a photographer, a companion for the elderly, an oil boiler service engineer, a graphic designer/clothes designer and a motorbike tour business in the Himalayas and the Cotswolds.

John Rendle, enterprise coach at c4ed, "In this difficult climate, there is little funding for small start ups to promote their business, but with the help of Cheltenham Borough Council’s Business Pride and the Beechwood Shopping Centre, eight of these individuals are showcasing their businesses in order to demonstrate and encourage others to consider alternatives to unemployment and to hopefully find one or two potential clients in the local community.  This pop-up shop will showcase the diverse range of people and businesses starting up and we would encourage anyone who has thought of running a business to come in and have a chat."

The closure of the Business Link advisory service which supported new start up businesses has left a gap. Cheltenham Borough Council's Business Pride has contributed £300 to marketing costs and a sign for the top of the shop to help them promote the day and Winston, a graphic designer created the artwork.

Case studies

Winston Hoyte specialises in Graphic Design, Visual Art & Print and has started his own business - Mancinism Design. The company specialises in t-shirt design, web design, promotional material and stationery. Winston is hoping his venture and hard work will pay off with a successful business, however, it has not been an easy journey.

 “I had a small self-employed business in London, but circumstances found me homeless and I had to give up my practise after just three years. Being a single man, homeless and a member of an “ethnic minority”, I came up against barriers that most people don’t encounter, but I’ve always volunteered my skills and been involved in support groups to be recognised for my pro-activity, talents and ambitions.

Since getting myself back on my feet in Cheltenham, I’ve gained many invaluable connections with people and organisations which have subsequently aided the start-up of my business.”

Sam Lovett has a completely different business, he has turned his passion for riding motorcycles to adventure destinations into a full time motorcycle tour business. Having over 30 years’ touring experience under his belt Sam is excited about sharing his love of India and the Cotswolds with fellow motorcyclists who will benefit from his complete tour planning service and full guidance.

Sam says, “I recognise that a successful motorcycle adventure tour provides a satisfying balance between a challenging but achievable riding experience, the flexibility to meet and enjoy the unexpected and the opportunity to take time making sense of the many sights, sounds, people and places that we encounter along the way.”

Sam is passionate about his new business and, despite the economic climate, recognises an opportunity for growth within a niche market. He has welcomed the support of the Cheltenham Enterprise Club, of which he is a member, and the feedback and further business knowledge he has gained.

The Centre for Enterprise and Development (c4ed) run free weekly business support clinics at Cheltenham Borough Council. Please contact the councils economic development team on 01242 775176 or email alice.welham@cheltenham.gov.uk