A scheme was launched in Lewisham last month to help entrepreneurs who are at the beginning stages of setting up a creative or digital business.
The project, developed by Dek Growth, will support creative and digital businesses in a range of areas such as mentoring, start-up advice, innovation, and product and service development. The £2 million programme is available to businesses with up to 250 employees.
Lewisham Council has said that the business services and information and communication are the two fastest growing sectors of the borough. These two areas will provide for 69% of all new jobs in London by 2036. The Office for National Statistics research has shown that since 2015 the number of small businesses in Lewisham has increased by 905 and the number of micro businesses has increased by 16,505.
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “Frequently, all a small and medium-sized enterprise needs is a helping hand with finding a key piece of the puzzle to get the idea from mind to market. That’s why we’re proud to promote this programme to support the growth, innovation and commercial viability of local creative and digital businesses.”
The programme, that began on November 22, also offers free masterclasses by academics from Goldsmiths, University of London and London South Bank University. They cover topics such as the latest developments in artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other innovations that can support businesses.
Rosalind Davis, a tutor for Dek Growth told ELL: “I delivered a course in Social Media and Digital Marketing to nine students on the DEK programme to help them consider marketing and engagement strategies. It’s great that these small businesses are getting this free and valuable support!”
The scheme will be running for three years and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Lewisham Council. Goldsmiths, University of London, London South Bank University, London Small Business Centre and Lewisham Council lead it.