Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – Portobello Business Centre
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are making strides in supporting start-ups and small businesses with their Portobello Business Centre. The Borough Council business hub centre is for start ups and fledgling businesses to gain access to an expert, to help them with advice and guidance for their business. Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have recognised the challenges that business face in their first 3 years and how often they need to call upon advice to stop them from the typical pitfalls of business. They can also get advice as to how to gear up to make the next step.
Their sole focus is to concentrate on supporting SMEs and start ups to thrive and grow; and with this venture, their aim is to see these businesses survive and avoid failure within their first 3 years and beyond. They also offer a networking service for businesses to make local connections.
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea deliver this support through a dedicated physical address. Here local SMEs are able to access advice and support from established businesses. The membership scheme that they offer enables SMEs to be able to reach out to a network of local businesses as well as accessing discounts from future training courses, workshops and one to one sessions.
Why is this such a good idea?
In doing so, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are supporting their local community to be able to set up more sustainable businesses which will help create a supportive community, grow investment within that community and funding back through the local authority as well. Longer term it is envisaged that there will be job creation too, within that local community or in broader terms being London.
The Borough Council has recognised that it is not enough to just support people to find their way onto the self employment ladder, or to give them the tools to set up a business. This is an important first step but what is more relevant, is being able to say that they have supported businesses to remain sustainable and to succeed in the +medium term. Whilst there is debate over the figures as to how many businesses fail within the first few years of business, it is still estimated to be within 30-50%. On top of this, there are figures which indicate that as many as 70% of start-ups fail, because they scale up too early.
With many people turning to freelancing and self employment, many of these people have never run businesses before, nor do they have the support of other mentors or experienced entrepreneurs who can offer them guidance. This is where the opportunity lies to make your community of self employed people and small business start ups as successful as they can be. Be the council that delivers a mentoring scheme or start up hub that can offer mentoring drop in sessions, training and more to your local community businesses and help them to follow a path of sustainability.
We discuss how to deliver a successful mentoring scheme here in more detail.
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If you’re thinking of running start up courses, why not get in contact with us to see how Smarter Society can help? Either contact us firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online contact form here.