Saffron Saunders, CEO at StartUp Croydon, has taken on the challenge of moving StartUp Croydon forward as a charity and she is very keen to enlist the help of talented, experienced leaders in business to help our up-and-coming entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
Join our Volunteer Network to support and inspire the next generation of business leaders (by Saffron Saunders):
Taking the helm of Start Up Croydon has been such an interesting experience.
As an organisation that has been around for nearly 40 years and is the only enterprise centre in the area, we are the first port of call for anyone thinking of starting their own business. We are hearing from ambitious individuals with ideas ranging from setting up as a Free-lance project manager looking for advice on fiscal matters to another expanding their start up home delivery service via a dark kitchen and needing to compose a business plan.
It’s a very exciting time to be supporting small business as the landscape is changing when it comes to employment opportunities. Many people within the hospitality and retail sector, which according to national statistics is a high proportion of Croydon residence, now find them selves without a secure future. The economic landscape is shifting as it has done in history several times before now. The most recent was back in the early 1980’s when our forefathers had the vision for Croydon Business Venture, which went on to be re branded as Start Up Croydon around 5 years ago.
Due to the severe recession of the early 80’s unemployment rose to 3 million and the high unemployment persisted throughout the decade. It was the highest levels of unemployment since the Great Depression and we now find ourselves in a similar period of transition and unease.
Although there is much doom and gloom The number of online job adverts in mid-February reached 80% of the level seen a year earlier. It had fallen as low as 34% in the first lockdown. We now see more Healthcare vacancies and many more opportunities in transport, logistic and warehouse roles offering new much needed employment paths.
Here at Start Up Croydon, we meet the ambitious trailblazers. Those people who want to do it themselves and want to lead others. They are often experienced employees within their particular sector, with the vision to do it themselves but lacking the knowhow or confidence to truly get started.
At the other end of the scale, we have found that successful entrepreneurs and retired professionals are passionate about supporting people at the start of their journey. Although we offer Free training and mentoring we believe we can help more.
We are in a great position to cultivate a volunteer network.
We have therefor developed an initiative to put trusted local volunteers in touch with early stage entrepreneurs all within the borough of Croydon. If you have a few hours a month free, and would like to be involved please complete this form.