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

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 (online via Zoom) 

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 (online via Zoom) 

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 (online via Zoom) 

Elsa Caleb & Carole Pyke

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

Week 7 – 18th November 2021 – Understanding the Benefits of Social Media, Having a Website & Trading Online (online via Zoom) 

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 Day (online via Zoom)

  • 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

The event is finished.


Sep 28 2021


Canalside House and Online (Zoom)
Portobello Business Centre


Portobello Business Centre