One year on, one hundred businesses supported. And we’re back in Hackney!
Last summer, Allia launched a brand new business support initiative in East London – the ‘Grow Your Business’ programme. The concept was straight-forward, to offer free business support for existing small businesses located in East London.
What made our approach different? We focused on helping businesses grow their revenues with the ultimate aim of creating new jobs for other local residents. We also decided that rather than make people come to us for help, we would establish support programmes close to where the small businesses are based, and running at times that suited the owners.
The programme has been a resounding success. Some of the highlights include:
- Over 100 East London small businesses supported through our free 12-week programme
- Running programmes in four East London Boroughs including Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham & Waltham Forest
- Working with businesses across variety of sectors including creative, retail, health & wellbeing, food and drink, and community
- Partnering with some great organisations including Craft Central, and the Local Authorities in Hackney, Waltham Forest and Newham.
- Positive support from East London MP’s and Mayors.
- A display day event, giving an opportunity for local businesses to meet potential customers and showcase their products and services.
One year on, we are now coming back to our East London base to run a Grow Your Business Programme for a new batch of local businesses. We have opened applications for the next Hackney cohort starting in early 2019. We now have more traction, partners, contacts and scale – so the return to Hackney will be bigger and better than ever!
Allia Serious Impact delivers its Grow Your Business programme at no cost; we are looking for businesses who want to gain more customers and grow. You could be running any kind of business, whether it’s a café, corner shop, local garage, roofing company or fashion-related; it doesn’t matter, we just want to help you grow.
Meet three local businesses who joined last year’s programme and are already seeing positive growth – from huge increases in sales, to being listed with national retailers.
Flo: Eco-friendly feminine care products that are affordable and accessible
Flo make natural, organic and sustainable feminine care products, while using profit to give back to women in need through various charities. They are now listed with national retailers such as Ocado and WH Smith Travel.
“We wanted to start a business that gave back to women but was also cool, affordable and accessible. The UK market was lacking organic feminine care products, so we wanted to make them more accessible.”
I am Nut Ok: Artisan plant-based vegan cheese produced by hand
The business started as a passion project by creating tasty alternatives for a new vegan who was struggling to give up cheese. I am Nut Ok produce 100% plant-based products, containing no animals or animal by products – which can be attributed to being a leading cause of climate change and environmental damage.
“This programme is highly recommended for early stage businesses who need help to maximise time and resources.”
Lou’s Pots ‘n‘ Pans: Caribbean American soul food with the simple essence of home cooking
After returning from Trinidad after 3 years of running a food business, Lyndon Louis decided to start Lou’s Pots ‘n’ Pans so he could continue to be his own boss – and it’s been hugely successful.
“One year on since I joined the programme, the sales have more than doubled. Thank you to the Allia team.”
Applications are now open for the next Grow Your Business programme in Hackney, starting in the new year. Exclusive to businesses that are based in Hackney or are supporting the local area in some way. Click here to find out more and apply
Sources: The Independent