Innovative business school returns to Solihull to help start-ups ‘get unstuck’


Free support is on offer to Solihull’s entrepreneurs of the future from a Queen’s Award-winning organisation dedicated to getting businesses off the ground.

Rebel Business School is back in town next week to host a free online course.

Their mission is to bring a message of hope as the region recovers from the economic impact of COVID-19.

The course is open to everyone, from those with no cash or business experience to fledgling start-ups in need of a bit of expert guidance to keep on track. 

This two-week event is entirely free to attend - thanks to funding from Solihull Council and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership(GBSLEP).

The cash is part of a £50k pot from Solihull Council and GBSLEP to improve skills sets in the region, in this case business skills.

Sessions will run from 10am to 3pm each weekday from Monday 7 to Friday 18 March, and will cover key topics including sales, marketing, websites, tax, compliance – and much more.  

For people who can’t make all those sessions, or who only want to join some topics, online modules will be made available outside the schedule.  

Book your free place via the Rebel Business School website: Solihull | Rebel Business School March 2022 (

Solihull Council Leader Councillor Ian Courts said: “Our Employment & Skills Team has partnered with Rebel to give local people the opportunity to take up this exciting and innovative training.

“I would say to anyone wondering if they could run their own business – maybe turn a hobby or a passion into a job - do go along and see what is possible, there’s nothing to lose.

“Boosting local people’s skills and helping them access good work is a huge priority for the Council and we’re delighted to have the invaluable support of the Local Enterprise Partnership in this.”

Helen Higson, Chair of GBSLEP’s employment and skills board, said: “After a challenging two years, it’s really important that we support our local budding entrepreneurs and start-ups to grow their businesses.

“Business support and skills training is at the heart of GBSLEP’s mission to drive inclusive economic growth.

“We do this through our unique triple helix structure of bringing together public, private and academic partners.

“Our funding towards this project was delivered as part of our COVID-19 response.

“We launched an open call for skills projects last September with the twin aims of supporting the local economy through the pandemic and contributing to the strategic aims of the LEP.

“This Solihull Council-led project was one of the schemes that was successful in receiving funding.”

Rebel courses are led by successful entrepreneurs and professionals and feature advice from real people who have overcome many of the ups and downs of business life - and gone on to succeed.

Simon Paine, co-founder of Rebel Business School said: “The Midlands is the engine of the UK economy, so we are looking forward to adding some more gas to the tank by inspiring its small business owners.”

“We show that anyone can start up a business. You don’t need money or a fancy education.

“In fact, what most people need is a boost to their confidence.”

Rebel first came to Solihull in November last year. Among the attendees then was Nicola Simpson, founder of social care training company Montgomery Simpson Care Training Consultancy.

Nicola said: "The course was recommended to me, as I was looking for some direction in turning my idea into a training business for the social care sector.”

"I learned to use social media more confidently and to consistently market my business.

“There were also some really useful tips around building self-confidence and reducing fear, increasing productivity and reducing procrastination.

“I now have more confidence in myself. I have made a sale as a result of my increased social media presence and have many more conversations ongoing.”

Simon says Nicola’s example makes what he and his team are doing feel so worthwhile. 

He said: “A big well done to Nicola, I think what she has done is awesome. I just love hearing about how people have improved their lives and businesses as a result of our courses. 

“Sometimes, people get just a little bit stuck and helping them get unstuck is a big part of what we do.” 

He says the traditional way to start a business tends to put people off and prevents many potentially great entrepreneurs from getting started.

“We do things differently - we rebel against traditional business advice. We won’t make you write long-winded business plans and certainly won’t advise you to take a loan.   

“The West Midlands is filled with entrepreneurial talent and potential. There are so many people out there who could be running a business and leading a happier life because of it.”

Solihull’s Employment & Skills Team is here help with job opportunities and to match individuals’ skills to local vacancies.

If you are actively looking for employment, contact us or visit the Solihull Recruitment and Training Centre:

  • 0121 704 6869
  • Solihull Recruitment and Training Centre, Maple Walk, Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre, B37 5TS (Open Tuesday-Friday)

The Solihull Rebel Business School is available free of charge to participants, through sponsorship and funding from Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.   

In 2021 Rebel Business School won a Queen’s Award in the Promoting Opportunity category and its work has been backed by organisations including Google, Henley Business School and the Department for Work and Pensions.