In 1982, The Rt.Hon. Bernard Weatherill M.P., the then Member of Parliament for Croydon North East, began discussions with leading members of the Croydon business community and the Croydon Council about the viability of starting an Enterprise Agency for Croydon. In 1983, Croydon Business Venture Limited was formed with its remit to help individuals, including the unemployed, to start their own business.
We have helped those wanting to start their own business with both business planning and with the development of basic business skills. Our initial task is to ensure that our clients have a realistic understanding of the way of life, which accompanies self-employment; notably the impact of working 50-60 hours a week can have on personal lives and relationships. We address all the issues through a monthly half-day awareness seminar (free) and a New Business Awareness Seminar (3 day seminar – £20). The latter seminar covers all aspects of running your own business including selling, marketing, time management, finance, cash flow and administration.
In addition to training, we provide business coaching during that difficult start up period when so many businesses can fail. Running your own business can be a lonely experience and having somebody to talk to can be invaluable.
A separate but related activity is the provision of office accommodation at Weatherill House adjacent to Wandle Park on the Purley Way in Croydon. We provide a full range of services including reception, switchboard, photocopying, fax and security, for a fixed monthly charge, and with no long-term obligation.
Conference rooms are available for our tenants free of charge and for external hirings at an agreed fee.
Businesses can also use us as their business address. We receive their post and take telephone calls and either forward them or hold them for collection. This is useful to people who work from home but who do not want their home address to be known by their customers.
We ensure a sympathetic ear to people from all walks of life, sometimes to advise them that their business idea is not viable, but not to deter them, and to provide encouragement to persevere and look for other business opportunities.