MyLifeMix 2021 – Free Business Start-Up Course for Women

The award-winning Portobello Business Centre with business advisor Elsa Caleb and supported by Kensington + Chelsea Foundation are delighted to bring you the ‘MyLifeMix 2021’ Programme. This comprehensive 9-week programme will take you from having the seed of a business idea through to getting your business up-and-running.

This course is fully-funded for women who live in RBKC and have not yet started a business nor registered as self-employed. We are particularly interested in applications from women with caring responsibilities. An £80 refundable deposit is required, more information in the COST section below. 

These courses for budding women entrepreneurs of any age deliver not just business skills, but structured support through a process of thinking through the complex issues around balancing other weighty responsibilities while running a business.

The courses run during school hours, during term-time only, to enable women with children to drop them off and to collect them from school. In addition to providing a sound grasp of basic disciplines such as marketing and finance, the courses will:

  • boost confidence
  • support each woman to define success on her own terms
  • enable her to see her life as a whole
  • build a business that has each woman’s own unique priorities embedded in the foundation as she moves forward. 

This is a chance to learn what is involved and to see for yourself just how easy it can be to set-up and run your own business. So, if you have a business idea, a hobby you would like to make money from, or are simply wondering if you have got what it takes, then this course is for you. In the company of like-minded women you will have a lot of fun and explore topics such as:

  • What is an entrepreneur?
  • Why choose self-employment?
  • What are the skills and qualities of an entrepreneur?
  • Work-life balance and your vision of your future
  • Business plans. What are they and who are they for?
  • You as your best marketing resource
  • Managing paperwork and your finances

To register, please complete the online registration form by clicking the button below; an invoice for the refundable £80 deposit will follow:

Places on this course are limited. While we do our best to accommodate all interested residents, your registration does not guarantee that a place is confirmed – see the COST section for more details.

DATES: the Programme runs one day a week over a 9-week period starting on Tuesday 28th September 2021. There is no session during half-term week.

LOCATION: Canalside House, 383 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5AA and online via Zoom – see the daily agenda below. Please ensure you have a device with access to the Zoom platform for the online sessions.

COST: this course is provided without charge for women who live in RBKC and who have not yet started a small business nor registered as self-employed. An £80 refundable deposit is required, an invoice will be issued to each attendee by the PBC team.

Refunds will be made after attendance and completion of the ENTIRE 9-week course, along with completed paperwork and / or a statement of circumstance.

Due to high demand, places on this course will be offered on a strict first-come, first-served basis. PAYMENT OF THE REFUNDABLE £80 DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED BEFORE WE CONFIRM YOUR PLACE ON THE COURSE. A short pre-course interview with our Business Advisor Maria Stammers will also be arranged in order to ensure that each attendee gets the most out of this programme.


Week 1 – 28th September 2021 – The Basics for Starting Your Business (at Canalside House)

Elsa Caleb

  • Personal journal
  • Reflect on the reasons for starting a business
  • Identify the advantages and commitments of running a business
  • Identify personal development needs (SWOT analysis)
  • Review skills
  • Understand how to develop a business idea
  • Review products and services
  • Business values and what that means
  • COVID 19 – adjustments. Things to consider
  • Feedback form

Week 2 – 5th October 2021 – The Business Plan (at Canalside House)

Elsa Caleb & Maria Stammers

Writing an effective Business Plan. Choosing the correct legal status for your business:

  • Sole Trader
  • Partnership
  • Limited Partnership
  • Limited Company by Shares & Limited by Guarantee
  • Community Interest Company
  • Social Enterprise

MyLifeMix Business Wheel

Vision and Mission Statements

Feedback form

Week 3 – 12th October 2021 – The Market & Market Research (online via Zoom)

Elsa Caleb & Nina Risoli

  • What is market research?
  • Understanding the market for your business
  • How to develop business contacts
  • How to build relationships with your customers
  • How do you present your business?
  • How do you promote your business?
  • How do you manage your time?
  • Feedback form

Week 4 – 19th October 2021 – Understanding Personal Survival Budget, Sales Forecast, and Cashflow Forecast (at Canalside House or online via Zoom – to be confirmed) 

Elsa Caleb. Guest speaker Helen Erhabor

  • Personal Survival Budget
  • Understanding income and expenditure
  • Setting sales targets
  • Completing a Sales Forecast
  • Completing a Cashflow Forecast
  • Understanding profit and loss
  • Feedback form


Week 5 – 2nd November 2021 – Understanding Finance & HMRC (at Canalside House or online via Zoom – to be confirmed) 

Elsa Caleb & Hasit Dedhia

  • When do I have to register with HMRC?
  • How much will my National Insurance Contributions be and how will they be paid?
  • When and how do I pay my taxes?
  • What counts as a business expense?
  • Can you explain how using things such as my car for both work and personal use works?
  • How much does it cost to have an accountant do my tax return for me?
  • Is there a software you could provide to your customers to enable them to keep records that make self-assessment easy?
  • Grants and loans – criteria
  • Feedback form

Week 6 – 9th November 2021 – Marketing & Branding (at Canalside House or online via Zoom – to be confirmed) 

Elsa Caleb & Carole Pyke

  • Personal branding
  • Storyboard
  • Values
  • Introduction to marketing
  • The importance of marketing
  • Feedback form

Week 7 – 17th November 2021 – Understanding the Benefits of Social Media, Having a Website & Trading Online (at Canalside House or online via Zoom – to be confirmed) 

Elsa Caleb & Julian Holden


  • What is a domain / hosting / website builder and what is the difference?
  • How to get started with WordPress
  • Picking a theme
  • Setting-up pages
  • Building a menu structure
  • How to create a form to collect leads
  • Adding social integration
  • Very basic search engine optimisation
  • Testing
  • Next steps

Social Media:

  • What does social media offer your business
  • What channels are right for you?
  • Setting-up accounts
  • Keeping a consistent tone and branding for your business
  • Social media post structure – statement, hashtag, call-to-action, image
  • How to react to negative comments
  • Scheduling and time-saving tips
  • Engagement
  • Feedback form


  • Trading online
  • Areas to consider when setting up
  • Google Maps
  • Google Analytics
  • Cyber Policy

Zoom & Microsoft Teams:

  • How to use the platforms that are available
  • The benefits of using these platforms for your business
  • Equipment required
  • Protocol

Week 8 – 23rd November 2021 – Presentations (in person, location to be confirmed)

  • Presentations
  • Next steps

This course is fully-funded for women who live in RBKC and have not yet started a business nor registered as self-employed. We are particularly interested in applications from women with caring responsibilities. Please visit our Projects page for more information or contact

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Sep 28 2021 - Nov 23 2021


9:00 am - 2:30 pm


Canalside House and Online (Zoom)
Portobello Business Centre


Portobello Business Centre

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