A programme of events that aims to support and help develop Croydon businesses is to take place throughout October as part of the first Croydon Business Month.
More than 40 free events have been organised by the council and its partners to take place around the borough, offering tips and advice for those looking to start or already running their own business.
The schedule of events come just weeks after the Small Business Commission, set up by the council to investigate the barriers to growth for local small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) in Croydon, presented its findings to over 100 local businesses. The report recommended ways in which the council and its partners could further support the development of local small businesses.
Croydon Business Month kicks off with the opening of Croydon Pop-Up Business School, which offers a week long course focused on helping entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground to start their businesses. The programme covers topics such as starting a business with no money, how to build a website for free and how to make money doing what you love.
On October 10, an Ask the Expert roadshow will take place. The informal drop in session will be offering quality business advice and support on how to start up and grow a business. To ensure all Croydon businesses have the chance to engage with the panel, four sessions will also be run in the district centres.
Social Enterprise Saturday will mark the halfway point of the month. The day-long event at the Whitgift Centre will provide a market place where people can promote their social enterprises to the public and find out more about setting up and marketing their social value business.
Capitalising on the success of the relaunch of the Sunday market at Surrey Street, Entrepreneur Sunday will see a wealth of new goods being displayed and sold from Surrey Street market stalls.
Keen to also engage young business minds, a separate young entrepreneurs market will also take place on Surrey Street on October 28, giving young people up to the age of 25, the chance to put their business acumen to the test by operating their own stalls and selling their own goods.
‘Croydon Live’ will also focus on the borough’s young people getting into business. The event on 26 October will be centred on providing employment opportunities, apprenticeships and advice and training on interview skills, CV writing, building confidence and managing money. Open to 16 to 24 year olds, the event will be attended by a range of employers who will be detailing the suitable vacancies with their companies.
A special event on how to grow your brand online with little to no budget will bring the first Croydon Business Month to a close. The session, run by Natwest, will explain the vital tools that can be used to boost your business’ online presence.
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs said: “Croydon Business Network is essential to our local economy and the council is committed to doing all it can to support our entrepreneurs.
“The first annual Croydon Business Month is being held not only to offer guidance, support and advice to Croydon businesses to enable them to continue to thrive, but also to celebrate their achievements so far. I’m delighted new entrepreneurs as well as experienced business owners will be able to take advantage of this varied programme of events to help nurture their business.”
To see the full programme of events and for details on how to book a space visit https://croydonsmallbiz.com/events/