Small Business Saturday is almost upon us with its timely reminder to shop local and support the local economy.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in our economy, especially across the east of London where around 100,000 businesses have fewer than 50 employees. Survival rates are better in this part of the capital than in the rest of the country, yet even here on average approximately 45.6% of these businesses will stop trading within 3 years of starting up.
To help SMEs succeed, business owners are being given the opportunity to learn and grow with two free training programmes: the e-business programme which supports businesses to use digital platforms and thrive in an online age, and workshops to help SMEs become disability-friendly employers.
Supporting businesses to thrive online
SMEs in any sector in eight London Boroughs – Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Enfield, Royal Brough of Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest – are eligible for the free e-business support, thanks to a partnership known as Local London that enables the boroughs to share resources to support people and businesses.
Launched to coincide with Small Business Saturday, Local London have produced a short film explaining how the e-business programme can help entrepreneurs adapt and engage with customers.
Covering all aspects of online business, expert e-business advisors provide one-to-one tailored advice and training on what matters most to business owners. Business owners can opt for online or live one-to-one training or join group workshops, webinars and networking opportunities to learn from experts, build business connections and improve their business’s chances of survival.
The Local London e-business programme has already helped over 600 businesses across the sub-region to grow, take on employees, safeguard jobs, and become more sustainable by making best use of digital technology in their businesses.
The e-business programme is being run in partnership with Enterprise Enfield, Newham College of Further Education, and South East Enterprise.
Helping SMEs become disability-friendly employers
Separately, the Local London partnership is offering free training in collaboration with Work Connections London and the Federation of Small Businesses to help business owners become more inclusive employers.
Recognising that many SMEs want to be disability-friendly but don’t know how, the ‘Ability not Disability’ workshop outlines the benefits of a diverse workforce, legal requirements as well as financial help available to business owners to give them the confidence to employ people with disabilities.
The next workshop will take place online between 11:30-13:00 on 15 December 2022, places can be reserved online here.
The ‘Ability not Disability’ workshop is open to SME businesses in the London Boroughs named above, plus Bromley.
Sarah Murray, Director of Local London said “The Local London sub-region has a huge number of micro and small businesses, the support SMEs are getting across our boroughs means that their rate survival rate for 1-3 years is above the country’s average and we are determined to continue supporting them and the people who rely on them. At time of recovery post pandemic and in light of cost-of-living increases, supporting small businesses to succeed has never been more important.”
Find out more about the Local London SME E-business Programme.
Read our case studies about how we have helped SMEs in East London.
Book places and find out more about the free “Ability not Disability” workshops.