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Start-up Business Support is Thriving in Croydon

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On Thursday 11th November, at our Flagship residence of Weatherill House, we hosted our first real face2face event since the pandemic. Events are a huge part of building community and as a flexible office space wanting to show off our home, we were delighted to finally be able to bring our community together.

We were thrilled when approached to collaborate on the event by the National Enterprise Network(NEN) whose mission is to represent, unite and support all organisations who are passionate about inspiring and encouraging enterprise – as Croydon’s only Enterprise centre, we have been members of this organisation for many years  and were very excited to work together to raise awareness of the Lean Innovation for Micro Enterprise software (LIME) an Erasmus + product which is completely free for anyone to use. It has been developed through research and development across Europe and used by Higher Education Institutions, Small Business Advisors and Regional Development Organisations.

The evening started well with over 70 local people arriving to meet others, promote their businesses and have a delightful evening of networking with Caribbean canapes and drinks to boot.

Our CEO Saffron Saunders kicked off the evening with a stat from the Office of National Statistics re current self-employment rates.  The point being that, due to the increase in private sector businesses of around 200,000 per year, our work here at StartUp Croydon is never done.

Bringing together the people we have worked with over the past few years to support their ambitions by helping them to meet other small business owners was the object of the evening.  We have affectionately named our alumni ‘Startup Simmerers’ and are now offering additional services such as mentoring and free access to a resource library to support research and development of business plans. We hope that these additional services will further increase success rates of our Start up Simmerers.

We also reached out to our professional friends in the area and pulled together a group of impressive individuals who then worked the room with skill and persuasion on their particular subject matter, which ranged from: Taking on your first employee with Fintan O’Toole, to understanding a robust business model with Adryanne Johnson to forecasting and understanding accounts with Paul Taylor

Conversation was very engaging and new connections were made, which in time will go on to help our local economy – Startup Croydon’s mission is delivered!

Amy Knight of NEN then took to the stage to showcase LIME who have been able to use the power of social media to create content that teaches small business owners the principles of Lean Innovation. The modules launch with a short Tiktok making them effortlessly recognisable and engaging.

The ethos of the modules is that lean innovation is a combination of three main approaches:

  1. The ability to identify new opportunities through the use of design thinking
  2. The ability to quickly, and with fewer resources, develop, prototype, learn, validate, and improve business solutions
  3. The ability to apply Agile processes, which enable teams to reduce waste, make incremental improvements, and eliminate the bureaucracy that often hinders innovation

Lean-Innovation-Multiplier Event-presenter slides

Guests were then able to try out the modules in our new Business Resource Library, giving participants the chance to understand their innovation level and readiness finding out which resources would be ideal for them to use In their own time, to get a deeper understanding of  the lean innovation skillset approach.

Members of the audience included advisors from Business For London, LSBU and Southwark Council who had joined the event to meet small business owners and offer opportunities. Feedback from delegates was the event was excellent, creating business opportunities with a buzzing atmosphere.

Attendees were able to engage in conversation with multiple guests and promote their  business to one another and get a deeper understanding of what kind of work everyone does. Professional entrepreneurs were amongst the 70 guests who arrived for the occasion to have open conversations about what it really takes to run a business successfully and how they could collaborate and support one another.

Start Up Croydon looks forward to delivering further events and is open to future sponsorship opportunities. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a product or service of value to our community.

If you  are considering self employment as your next step please get in touch here

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