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Our 40th Anniversary Celebration

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Article Written by Ella Brown

StartUp Croydon has once more shown itself as a trailblazer among local businesses, with the event on the 13th of July 2023 showcasing a rich history and strong connections to the community and its residents.

Hosted at the Private Old Palace school, the event began at 6 pm lasting until midnight and celebrated forty years of StartUp Croydon. One of the oldest buildings in Croydon, Old Palace has a fascinating history and has served as a residence for several Archbishops of Canterbury, and was initially a stately home that dates back to the Tudor and Norman eras.

The theme for the evening, however, was Great Gatsby and local entrepreneurs, business owners and tenants were in attendance. it was apparent that every detail had been considered in the preparation for the evening. Entertainment was provided by local businesses and included caricature artists, Beats and Eats for fantastic dance music which had everyone dancing til midnight a magician, Trumpet and Roses Balloons who made jaws drop with the fantastic themed decoration and The Cocktail Bar who provided cocktails all evening inclusive of the ticket price! The food was provided by  Bickles  which included chicken skewers and patties. Tam’s Kitchen were the masterminds behind the three-tier cake that guests could request slices from later in the evening, with smaller cupcakes of the same colour schemes and decorations provided by the company alongside the larger cake.

During the evening, I had the opportunity to speak to Hilda Sackey of H.S Photographing who ws the event photographer about what she was most excited to see next from StartUp Croydon. ‘Having been to this event today, I am looking forward to what other events they will be throwing, because this is out of this world.’

Among the guests, were sponsors from the business community whose generosity made the event possible.

Statements from sponsors included

We are delighted to show our support on the 40th Anniversary of Start-up Croydon and congratulate the team on all the great work they do working with small businesses in the local community.” Bryden Johnson

We are proud to sponsor the 40th-anniversary celebration of StartUp Croydon, a local charity dedicated to supporting and nurturing start-ups. As a company deeply rooted in Croydon, we understand the importance of fostering a thriving business community. Gulp Digital

Donnelly Financial Advice supports the good work of Start-Up Croydon and by extension the people of Croydon in achieving financial freedom and success through owning businesses committed to the Borough.”

Our Mantra is to support both our clients and local businesses/ charities whenever possible.  Supporting StartUp Croydon on this Anniversary Year allows us to do this perfectly. Coversure 

Congratulations to StartUp Croydon on its 40-year anniversary, Omer & Company Accountants are delighted to celebrate with you to support four decades of innovation, assisting entrepreneurs in our community to success. Here’s to many more years of collaboration between businesses, new and established.

As mentors over the last couple of years, we’ve seen first-hand the great strides forward that Start-up Croydon has made and we wanted to lend our support to an organisation that is doing such great things for local entrepreneurs Atom CTO

Other sponsors included:

White Label Creative

Acerta 24

London South Bank University ( Croydon Campus)

Aegys Smartcare

The HR Dept

Highlights of the celebrations included a speech from the Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry who congratulated Startup Croydon on its recent news regarding opening a new Creative Digital Lab in their business hub as well as the presentation of the Geoffrey Dove award to Rajan Amin.

We would like to congratulate Rajan as a worthy winner of this new enterprise award for Croydon. Rajan moved his insurance company Coversure to Croydon in 2015 and fully embraced the Croydon networking scene. He quickly volunteered to be chairman of The Croydon Chamber of Commerce and his enthusiasm and commitment to connecting people made such a difference to small business owners in the borough. Through the pandemic, Rajan worked hard to keep spirits up and when the Croydon Chamber closed Rajan grew a group of local professionals to develop Connecting Croydon a new network supporting grassroots charities and connecting business owners through regular events. Congratulations to Rajan for all his achievements and his energy to connect the business community.

I spoke to other participants on the evening including, Nathaniel Kerr of Cinco Amor who had the following to look forward to during this occasion, ‘The opportunity to engage with the businesses within my community, to see their ambitions and goals, and how as a community we can come together and support each other, and lead towards a vibrant future.’ Throughout the evening, the community did just that- supporting one another and making new connections as they sampled the food being taken around by waitresses.

Though new connections between guests were also no doubt being established, the celebration also served as a reminder of the history and importance of StartUp Croydon’s place within the local community and its significance to mentoring and helping smaller and medium-sized businesses.

StartUp Croydon began in 1983 in Croydon under the name Croydon Business Venture and was started by Bernard Weatherhill and Geoffrey Dove to help support the ambitions of local entrepreneurs.

The current CEO of the organisation Saffron Saunders has relished the support received from local stakeholders to mark the occasion. They say life begins at 40 and while celebrating this momentous occasion Startup Croydon will be embarking on an exciting new project. The Creative Digital Lab will support local creatives with state-of-the-art equipment to develop career pathways for local people.

The digital era has revolutionised business support and this investment will help to continue the good work achieved in previous years and maintain our relevance in the future.

Thank you to everyone that joined us for our celebration and continues to help create good news stories for our borough.

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