PopUp Business School finds early success in Upper Hutt

Budding Upper Hutt entrepreneurs achieve early success.  

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 7 MAY 2018—Upper Hutt City Council recently facilitated the PopUp Business School programme at the New Zealand Campus for Innovation and Sport (NZCIS). Grants and sponsorship from local businesses enabled the PopUp Business School to deliver its programme free-of-charge to members of the community who had business ideas but were struggling to know where to start or how to go about bring their ideas to fruition.

PopUp Business School Aotearoa, which is owned and run by Tony Henderson-Newport, was originally founded in the United Kingdom in 2012. Mr Henderson-Newport had some involvement in the UK venture and, seeing its value and success, moved to establish the PopUp Business School in New Zealand.

A community of Alumni is forming in Upper Hutt led by “The nit lady” Lou Zimmerman. Mrs Zimmerman’s business “Love 4 Lice” is focussed on health and wellbeing in children through the treatment of head lice. Alumni have since had a couple of coffee catch-ups. A number have also attended a Business Professional Women (BPW) event in Upper Hutt. An alumni pizza night is now being planned.

School attendee and fellow alumni member, Lee Barrott has been pleasantly surprised with the uptake and popularity of her product, the “Lee-thal Latté.” Ms Barrott’s product is a turmeric-based concentrate that—when added to milk—provides a healthy alternative to coffee. As part of the school, attendants were required to present their products to the local community through a trade show at Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre. Ms Barrott completely sold out of her product, having to take orders for more. The tradeshow also set the scene for conversations about potential investment.

Having completed the Popup Business School, both Mrs Zimmerman and Ms Barrott have become strong advocates of the school, describing it as “life-changing.”

“It was a massive eye-opener,” says Mrs Zimmerman. “There wasn’t a day during the school that I didn’t go ‘Wow!’ It was also great to discover the level of support there is out there for new and growing businesses. We’ve now been exposed to multiple networks and opportunities. We’ve also formed some great new friendships which will continue to grow through the alumni.”

“A big take out for me is the confidence,” says Ms Barrott. “The school really encouraged us to believe in ourselves, our products, and to take action and get the ball rolling. And the guest speakers at the school provided some really valuable and candid stories about their journey in business, the pitfalls and the successes. Regardless of the business outcomes, it has been a life-changing experience.”

Council’s Business Development Manager, Phil Gorman described the school as a very motivating and inspiring couple of weeks.

A report released by the organisation shortly after the school ran, also indicated a positive self-assessment for those who attended. Confidence had increased from 56% to 96%, motivation had increased from 74% to 90%, and business skills had increased from 56% to 82%.

The PopUp Business School was supported by Upper Hutt City Council, Wellington Region Economic Development Agency (WREDA), Farrah’s, BPW, and Xero. The school also featured guest speakers from local businesses, including Gillies Group, Created, Dzine Signs, and Strictly Savvy.

More information

A video of the PopUp Business school is available on YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=8VWe-fdFO9E

The business school report is available on our website: upperhuttcity.com/popup-business-school/