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‘Start your own enterprise’ course empowers local residents

Tackling unemployment in Wormholt and White City Big Local

February 2016

By Lucy Mullaly, marketing and events co-ordinator, Wormholt and White City Big Local

In November 2015, Wormholt and White City Big Local launched an enterprise course for local residents. The impact of this course has been hugely positive with 18 students graduating at a ceremony in December, many sharing stories of how the course has given them increased confidence in their ability and business ideas as well as a set of tools to help them move forward with their business plans.

How we got started

We realised early on that there was a wealth of talent and entrepreneurial spirit in our community. Our Community Chest funding initiative has been hugely positive and beneficial to the local community with numerous local residents receiving small pots of money to put into action ideas they have to improve the area in which we live. We found many viable business ideas amongst the applicants.

It was always our intention to support local people in setting up their own businesses and initially we considered offering financial support and start up loans. 

However, through consultation with residents it became clear that guidance, information and business support was really needed, rather than just funding.

We commissioned Tree Shepherd to deliver their ‘Start your own enterprise’ course and mentoring programme which was a comprehensive course covering the nuts and bolts of business start-up including marketing, target audience, accounts and cash flow, investment and partnerships.

The results

Of 21 students who started the course, we were delighted that 18 local residents stayed for the duration and graduated with increased skills and knowledge. We based the course at Wood Lane Community Centre where the students gathered weekly to learn from their Tree Shepherd tutor.

Feedback from those who took part in the course has been very positive. Stories of how the course enabled the students to believe in themselves and their abilities made for a very moving graduation ceremony (pictured), at which we were delighted to be joined by Local Trust chief executive Debbie Ladds and Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham Mercy Umeh.

“I have learnt things I wasn’t aware of and also what I know has been renewed in my mind and expanded on. It’s a great eye opener, I found it enjoyable and have learnt fast.” 

- Toyah Bamgbelu, local resident

“I would recommend this course to anyone in the community because I believe they would benefit from it. People will become more confident and get the chance to share their ideas with other people. Everyone would benefit from it!” 

- Susan Araromi, local resident

“The course was very inspiring. I learnt a lot of things that have helped me to refocus my objectives and sharpen them. I’m ready to go!”  

- Cassim Adepegba, local resident

Tree Shepherd will now continue to offer one to one and group mentoring to our graduates as they move forward with their businesses and put into action some of the lessons they have learnt. We’re really excited about the impact these individuals will have within our community now that they are armed with confidence and the practical tools to move forward with their business plans. We’re also keen to run further courses to inspire a new band of entrepreneurs to dream big and make a difference in Wormholt and White City.


Want to see more enterprise in your area?

Attend 'Let's talk about enterprise!', a networking event for Big Local areas in London on 27 February.

Apply for intensive support from UnLtd to develop social enterprise in your area.

Get inspired by reading about South Bermondsey Big Local's community kitchen- another project tackling unemployment in London.

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