My recent blog post appearing in Enfield Together online Magazine www.enfieldtogether.co.uk
Enterprise Enfield has been providing business support services to north London’s thriving business community for the past 30 years. During this time it has informed, guided and helped thousands of businesses – from tentative pre-starts and new enterprises just getting up and running to established companies and large firms looking to expand and develop.
George Nahlis, Founder and Editor of Enfield Together Online Magazine and hyper-local community and business site recently met up with Des Johnson, Enterprise Enfield’s Chief Executive, to find out what support was available for Enfield residents thinking of starting up in business and those that have only recently started running their business.
George says “What I found was a vibrant, refreshing and welcoming environment, where any local business start up or entrepreneur could access a wide range of training, support and advice and local networks of like minded-people. As a past client of Enfield Enterprise some 20 years ago, I was totally delighted that Enfield Enterprise has continued to remain fresh and well resourced for the needs of the 21st century start-up business.”
Des Johnson explained that she and her colleagues at Enfield Enterprise are keen to ensure that anyone starting a business is able to utilise their services as a form of one-stop shop. “We want local business people to be equipped with the right information as they start up. This is in order that they can make the right decisions as they move forward and have an informed choice about where to take their business and look at their personal situation. Therefore we encourage people to attend introductory business training, which is affordably priced, before they visit one of our specialist business advisors. In this way our clients can maximise on their meeting with the advisor and may choose to go on and have further meetings as they roll out the business.”
But it doesn’t end there, since Enfield Enterprise’s mission is to provide ongoing support and resources in the form of its recently refurbished business suite called the Let’s Go Business Hub. Says Des, “We have free Wifi, free meeting space, affordable training rooms catering for small and larger audiences and clients can also use the lounge for meetings and business networking and product launches. There are also hot desks to hire and mailboxes for which clients can use Enterprise Enfield as their business address, giving local people starting out the much needed credibility they need without intrusion into their personal address.”
After a tour of the Hub, including its state of the art IT suite, I was introduced to the Hub Coordinator, Kyri Photiou, who is on hand and ready to help new and existing clients make the best use of the facilities and support available. Kyri is keen to welcome new businesses to try the Hub’s services, and as we talked I saw clients coming in to settle down to work in the lounge’s hot desking area. With a warm hello and nod of acquaintance that told me Kyri is all about great customer service. The Lounge has been designed very well to give a good balance through its bright and positive but not garish colour scheme and good quality decor and furnishings.
The Let’s Go! Business Hub is host to regular business networking meetings – including those run by We Network as well as seminars and workshops run by and attended by local business people, many of whom started out with the support of Enterprise Enfield, some are also past award winners of their much-coveted annual Business Award competition.
Des told me, “We also have links with the local banks, and North London Credit Union to help businesses get the right financial support and prepare their business plans.”
Enterprise Enfield are delighted to offer an “Inspiring Women Programme” which is an intensive 6 month scheme providing a unique opportunity for women in Enfield to increase their business knowledge, personal skills and confidence to achieve their business dreams. All the dedicated support is provided FREE of charge as it is fully funded by local charity, The RSA Trust.
Ever with an eye to the future, Des told me about their Talent Match scheme for 18-24 year olds which is a service provided to young people living in Enfield, Haringey or Waltham Forest, to help them learn more about the various career paths and future options available and where their interests may be channelled – whether this is to find employment or start a business.
To conclude, the future does certainly look bright for local people thinking of setting up in business. It’s a good place to start and for help to keep going in the tougher times.
Links to Enterprise Enfield resources and events
- Let’s Go Business Hub – correspondence address, room hire, business lounge with wi fi, hot desks and business support group: http://enterpriseenfield.org/cms/index.php?action=detail&pageid=2,148
- Sponsorship opportunities for Enterprise Enfield’s 30th Anniversary Business Awards: http://enterpriseenfield.org/news/index.php?action=detail&newsid=410
- Retrofit London workshops for businesses in construction/ building and property management sectors:http://enterpriseenfield.org/news/index.php?action=detail&mode=list&newsid=408
- Vacancy for a Business Development Manager for the Let’s Go! Business Hub: link:http://enterpriseenfield.org/news/index.php?action=detail&newsid=409
- Applications are now open for the RSA Trust Inspiring Women Programme – a free 6 month support programme providing dedicated mentoring, personal coaching and training to help women living in Enfield start their own businesses: http://enterpriseenfield.org/cms/index.php?action=detail&pageid=12
- Free advice and support for unemployed 18 – 24 year olds (in Enfield, Haringey or Waltham Forest) to find work or start a business: http://enterpriseenfield.org/cms/index.php?action=detail&pageid=118
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