East London Future Business Centre – research into reality

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Allia and JP Morgan Chase Foundation are delighted to announce that they are working on a pilot project to open an incubation and acceleration centre for small businesses in East London. The proposed Future Business Centre responds to research done in early 2016 that looked at some of the challenges facing East London as it goes through a significant phase of development and regeneration and recognising the importance of ensuring that local communities – including those from disadvantaged backgrounds – are not left behind in the wake of regeneration.

The research explored some of the key challenges facing East London:-

  • Lower employment rates in some boroughs despite strong educational achievement
  • Business density issues and a prevalence of micro enterprises
  • The need for additional business support to help existing businesses to scale and drive local economic contribution

Allia is now looking to develop their Future Business Centre model in one of four key boroughs in East London; Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Newham  where it can effectively engage with a wide variety of entrepreneurs and businesses. Taking learning from their successful Centres in Cambridge and Peterborough, they hope to open the new centre in Spring/Summer 2017 and will combine supported workspace, co-working, managed workspace and event and meeting space.

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Since 1999 Allia has been supporting impact enterprises, creating job growth and enabling community transformation as well as specifically encouraging and supporting ventures that have a positive impact on people, planet and place. Allia will build on their long history of engagement with local communities including some in East London, supporting local enterprises to address unemployment and their more recent experience of helping start-up and scale businesses through structured business programmes such as Serious Impact and Social Incubator East (now Cambridge Social Ventures). Working with other organisations and initiatives operating in the East such as the Bromley By Bow Centre, Year Here, Mass Challenge, Here East, LLDC and Newable will be critical to the design of the business support programme.

The new programme aims to work with existing SMEs to help drive improved business performance, growth and support to create local employment through a combination of incubation with access to free workspace and support and a separate mentoring programme for externally-based businesses. Evidence shows that support from incubators can increase the two-year survival rate for start-ups from 75.6 per cent up to 92 per cent for all small businesses.

If you are interested in supporting the project through collaboration, co-location or you have an available site then please do contact Caroline.Hyde@allia.org.uk.

If you are looking for support for your impact idea or business then please get in touch by emailing seriousimpact@allia.org.uk