Given the year we’ve just had, it’s understandable to reflect on how far-reaching the economic effects of Covid-19 and lockdown will be, particularly on business and employment. Yet despite that fact, as a Peterborough native, I’m pleased to report the fiery entrepreneurial spirit of the people of Peterborough is burning brightly, with record numbers of business registrations in the last year.
As we start to see lockdown restrictions gradually lifted in the UK, much debate is being had about the big return to the office. It seems like a very long year ago that most of us office-workers had to leave our desks and work from home due to the Covid-19 crisis – and the experience has altered our lives and dominated our news feeds ever since.
As applications open for our new Ideation and Validation programme that will run for 2 months from our centre in Peterborough, we speak to Emma Mee, Programme Manager, about the programme, who it can help and how it can identify if a business idea can be turned into reality.
We always mark International Women’s Day (IWD) at Allia. And we’re not just jumping on the bandwagon for one day of the year either – our ethos has always been genuinely focused on equality and diversity for all. With a staff team that’s almost 65% female, and with women making up 3/5 of the senior management team, it makes a change from the many male dominated businesses around.
By Alex Potter, Programme Manager East London
We have all heard the importance of shopping local, increasing sustainable consumption habits and supporting our local businesses. From podcasts to news articles, we’ve been inundated with the importance of resilience in times of crisis; easier said than done – especially for businesses that have historically had less help in terms of community, resource and business support.
For many of us, 2021 could not come fast enough. I will not expound on the world’s collective gratitude in 2020 being finished, you can watch Netflix’s Death to 2020 for a much more humorous take on this! As we continue in yet another lockdown, I’d like to frame some of the work that Allia will be working on this year to support the impact start-ups and local businesses that are getting ready to step up and make a difference.
Medtech company Sutrue has created an automated suturing device that enables surgeons to easily perform stitches more accurately and safely in challenging sites.
Sutrue joined our Future 20 programme last year and is set to bring much needed innovation to the traditional suturing process which has not seen much progression in thousands of years.
Participants got expert advice in legal issues, HR, finance, strategy, marketing, productivity and coaching, with intensive and flexible 1-to-1 mentor support – through 17 workshops all delivered within one month. Two month-long programmes were run between May and July, and the cohort were able to form a tight-knit and supportive peer community, whilst learning practical skills such as how to take their business online, or to navigate a huge decrease in income.
And we’re off! Our latest Impact Accelerator in East London has just launched. We’re delighted to welcome 15 exciting ventures from across a range of diverse sectors – such as fashion, Fintech, health and wellbeing, transport, and more – that all focus on addressing global or local challenges in some way.
By Emma Mee
If you want to do something well, it’s a good idea to learn from someone who has been there and made all the mistakes before; experience is crucial. If you are venturing into the unknown, finding someone with experience who can act as a sounding board and advise on decisions can be invaluable – and that is where a mentor comes in.