The first-ever Pop-Up Sutton market to give entrepreneurs a foot on the business ladder has taken place in Sutton town centre.

The market, at the north end of Sutton High Street on 9 and 10 April, showcased 12 new borough businesses ranging from natural cosmetics and jewellery to handmade skirts and heated slippers.

The Pop-Up market has been developed by Opportunity Sutton, the economic arm of Sutton Council, as part of its remit to stimulate and support new business in the borough by providing an opportunity for borough start-ups to showcase their fledgling business ventures. The market is being delivered in partnership with Successful Sutton, the town centre Business Improvement District.

The Pop-Up Sutton market stalls are being provided one weekend a month to give entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their products and services to borough residents and shoppers.

New businesses using the pop-up stalls were full of praise for the council’s entrepreneurial initiative.

Simi Sokan, Director of SnugToes, who set up her heated slippers business last year, said:

“The Pop-Up market is brilliant. The whole experience has been really good. Successful Sutton has been really helpful and provided me with invaluable start-up information. I would also like to thank Sutton Council for coming up with the initiative.”

Ana Santibanez, founder of Love4Life, who started her wrapped skirts and fashion accessory business at the end of 2015, added:

“The Pop-Up market is a wonderful idea. This is a great opportunity to meet people on the High Street and to make the best of myself and of my business.”

Over the coming 18 months Pop-Up Sutton programme will provide the new businesses with business support and guidance through a structured series of workshops covering all aspects of business development from financial planning, marketing and branding, customer service and health and safety, through to visual merchandising and social media.

The workshops and one-to-one advice sessions will guide the borough entrepreneurs through the process of setting up and running a business so that by the end of the programme they have a sustainable model for future growth.

Cllr Jayne McCoy, Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“We are delighted at the enthusiastic response from the businesses and shoppers to our first Pop-Up Sutton market on the High Street. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and we want to support and nurture our budding entrepreneurs and showcase their creativity and productivity so that small start-ups today become the big businesses of tomorrow.”