Roadshow at Itaca’s in Ashford

Visitors to a roadshow aimed at inspiring would-be entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses were quick to learn that the tea and coffee were not the only free things on offer.

A roadshow that visited coffee shops in Canterbury, Ashford, Margate, Dartford and Maidstone highlighted the equally free online business advice offered by courses run by The Rebel School, funded by Kent County Council (KCC) in a bid to inspire new start-ups.

“Every day people come up with new business ideas, but many face challenges and obstacles that stop them turning their ideas into a reality. We designed the roadshow as an opportunity for people to chat about their ideas without feeling pressured to take them further,” Rebel School chief executive officer Henry Nicholson explained.

Combining free tea and coffee with informal business chats was aimed at inspiring Kent residents to take the next step with their business idea, which could be to sign up to The Rebel School’s next online start-up course planned for Monday 18 to Friday 29 September.

One visitor to the Dartford event, Filippo Santucci, described it as “friendly and informal but full of insights and great advice”. He said: “I came in with lots of ideas and a bit of confusion around my business idea and left with an easy first and efficient step to make. The information given was clear and helped me set achievable expectations, rather than putting lots of input and effort into doing lots of different things with possible disappointment as an output.”

Henry pointed out: “The Rebel School philosophy is based on helping people make money from doing something they love without getting tangled in red tape and without getting into debt.

“It was great to be able to get out into the community and spread that message. We are halfway through a series of online courses funded by KCC which has so far proved incredibly successful, and we are keen to keep up that momentum.

“So far on this incredible project we've had more than 300 amazing people come to spend time with us, learn how to start their own business and make their own money. The coffee roadshow was a gesture from us, a gift to those who invest in themselves to create amazing opportunities and ‘build extraordinary’.

“Collaborating with local, independent coffee shops across Kent was important to us as business isn’t a solo sport. We always encourage people to work together, as outside ideas and inputs can help businesses grow faster. We’re excited to be working with KCC and local district and town councils to bring free support to would-be entrepreneurs… via Zoom, of course.”

The Kent roadshow saw Rebel School colleagues hand out more than 250 drinks to local people and stakeholders who took the opportunity to catch up with the inspirational team behind so many new businesses. To sign up for the next, free, online course, visit

By Ed

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