The last 18 months have caused a new kind of anxiety for small business and start-up founders. One of the key things we’ve been hearing about is a lack of engagement outside their founder ‘bubbles’. People haven’t been networking; they haven’t been chatting over coffee or meeting at the water cooler and thus have missed the opportunity to meet new contacts.
We’re busy at Allia Future Business Centres with lots of recruitment for our business support programmes across all locations!
Our free business support programmes started running in 2013 and are now delivered across East London, Peterborough and Cambridge. Our programmes are designed to help entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground, help small businesses and start-ups to grow and scale, and help ventures to create positive impact in social and environmental innovation.
At Allia, we have been working with impact ventures for many years (70+ ventures and over £90 million raised by alumni). Yet we are still iterating on how we can make the Impact Accelerator more and more relevant to founders and the ecosystem as a whole.
Allia C&C – an expert in socially responsible finance – has joined forces with the Impact Investing Institute, Big Society Capital and Social Enterprise UK to lobby for the threshold for Retail Charity Bonds (RCB) to be lowered to allow more charity borrowers access to this type of funding.
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.