The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North
Simon Paine
What's on
May 2022
Reading time 5 minutes

Living North speaks to Simon Paine from The Rebel Business School, a free business school in Doncaster teaching newbies and entrepreneurs alike how to start and grow their businesses without any money

You don’t have to reach Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk levels of business domination be a successful businessperson – in fact, earning a modest day-to-day living doing what you love is the backbone of owning a genuinely successful enterprise. Simon Paine, co-founder of The Rebel Business School, is keen to help people take the dive over the next two weeks, running day courses from the 9th–20th May and the 4th–8th July at the Savoy cinema in Doncaster.

Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Simon Paine, I’m the CEO and co-founder of The Rebel Business School

How would you explain The Rebel Business School to someone who has never heard of it before? 

We teach the complete opposite of the traditional approach to starting a business. Instead of needing a business plan and needing to borrow money to start a business, we show people how to get started for free – showing people they can make money from doing the things they love. 

Where is The Rebel Business School and how long is it on for?

The Rebel Business school is being hosted in the Savoy cinema in Doncaster, it’s on now and finishes on Friday 20th May. We'll be back in Doncaster for another week of free training on the 4th–8th of July.

Why do we need more entrepreneurial brains in Yorkshire? 

It’s about how the world of work has changed, many more people don’t want to work for someone else. What starting a business does is put the power into ordinary people’s hands, allowing us to make money doing things that we love on our terms. 

What’s the biggest barrier stopping people from taking the dive and starting their own business? 

The number one barrier is fear, not having enough confidence to start. The second biggest barrier is people thinking that they need money, and that starting a business and having money are linked. We help people find that confidence to start regardless of income. 

Who leads the event? 

The events are led by The Rebel School team, some of which are run by me, and others are run by experienced small business owners in the area. 

What do you think Yorkshire has to offer UK business?

Yorkshire is such a diverse area, there’s a great mix of smaller communities, towns, and cities. That provides an opportunity for people to find loyal customers in regional areas. 

'One of the myths of business is that you have to be next-level successful, but you don't have to have everything together all of the time'

Why is it important that business isn’t completely centralised in London?

The good thing about counties outside of London is that in someways it’s easier to become famous locally for the products or services you provide. In London there are millions of people fighting to be seen and heard, whereas in smaller Yorkshire towns it’s easier for entrepreneurs to stand out for what they do.

What’s a Yorkshire start-up or entrepreneur that’s really impressed you in recent years? 

The entrepreneurs that stand out to me are the ones with simple concepts that they’re really passionate about – people that just do what they love. For example, we have one guy who turned up to the course today, called Declan, and he handcrafts wands out of wood inspired by the Harry Potter franchise. His business is making and selling them. That stands out to me because it’s based on passion and it’s what he loves to do, all he needs is a bit of help from us to find his target audience and then he’s away.

What kind of businesses would you like to see more of? 

I’d like to see more financially sustainable businesses, small businesses that inspire people to do what they want and build a modest income to support themselves and their family. Where people struggle is figuring out how to calculate their regular income. That’s something we’re keen to help with, allowing people to wake up the next day, month, year, and continue to do the thing they love because they’ve figured out a way to get paid appropriately and regularly for it. 

One of the myths of business is that you have to be next-level successful, but you don't have to have everything together all of the time. More than ever people want to experiment with side hustles, even if it isn’t their main income or something they want to do for the rest of their lives – and that’s fine, it doesn’t have to be. It’s aright for us to experiment with ideas and then decide to move in a different direction. the old school way of starting a business prevents us from playing with concepts, the old schools ays we need a business plan, loan, funding, legal plan, but none of that is true. I love the idea of aiming for a middle ground and seeing where it takes you. 

What would you say to people who want to start their own business venture but are worried about the monetary risk? 

Our first lesson in our course is how to start a business without any money, you can find resources for free, use customer money to grow your business, and actually it’s all about starting a business in profit. Now with the cost of living etcetera, the concept of making immediate profit from a business could be the difference between paying their bills or not.

How can people get involved and join The Rebel Business School?

You just need to jump on our website,, and click the link to join our Doncaster talk. 

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.