Your Business, Your Growth –
Wandsworth Business Support Programme
The London borough of Wandsworth has a population of approximately 307,000 people and has over 16,000 businesses based in the borough, over 90% of which employ less than 10 employees. Branduin was invited to tender for two contracts to provide support to the businesses in the borough.
Wandsworth is committed to helping businesses, particularly SMEs, within the borough to grow. As part of the Your Business Your Growth programme, they issued two tenders that combined to be Networking Wandsworth:
- Helping early stage/pre-start businesses to make the best start
- Helping established businesses more forward.
Networking Wandsworth is one of four programmes that make up Your Business Your Growth. The others are:
- Wandsworth Foodies
- Supply Nine Elms
- Digital Enterprise Project
The programme is designed to contribute to a healthy local economy.
What did we do?
Working in partnership with Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, the original plan was to run two very separate programmes, aimed at the two distinct business stages of early stage and established. However, separating applicants to the programme proved to be very difficult and so the two programmes merged into one, meaning that every event had a mixture of pre-start, early stage and established businesses present.
The programme was split into three parts:
1. Public workshops on key areas of running a small business:
- Marketing and Social Media
- Business Planning
- Financial Management
- Managing Staff
- Making the best start for your business
2. One to one clinics
- Private one-hour sessions with our Business Advisors to discuss a key issue within the business
3. Focused Mentoring
- Additional time looking at developing a solution to the issue discussed within the clinics
- Usually on-site with the business
Branduin also managed the marketing of the programme, with highlights being coverage on both Wandsworth Radio and SW London TV. By working with both the Chamber of Commerce and the Council’s communication team, we were able to effectively communicate the programme and it’s benefits to 1000’s of businesses across the borough.
Social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter were utilized to both promote the programme and to communicate the results and feedback given.
In just under a year, the programme has helped well over 300 businesses.
- 27 workshops were delivered, with attendance ranging from 4 to 32 people
- Over 120 businesses received one to one business support
- 42 new businesses were launched
The cost of providing this level of support to the small business community within the borough was less than £150 per business.
Rather than simply adding a client testimonial here, we thought we’d share a few comments from the businesses themselves too:
Very good workshop for both beginners and people at different levels. Gave me new ideas to market my business. – Sherri Dawkins-Philip, SD Nutrition
Very good workshop that helped me to be more focused in my marketing and social media planning efforts. – Crescencia Nga Che, Crescence
Helped me to feel positive about what I need to do/can do next. – Angeline Morgan-Welsh, Angeline MW Ltd
Very concise and practical. No jargon and I left with a purpose. – Orode Faka, R.O.C.K.S.
Very beneficial and easy to understand – Alexandra Stubbs, Wingfield Digby
I was really impressed with the level of advice and support offered in this seminar – the detail was more specific than I expected, which was great. It was also very personalised towards what each individual was working on, so it was specifically helpful, rather than general. – Charlotte White
Nigel was very articulate and clear. Great listener and very pleasant. I would highly recommend him. – Ashley Buckle, My-SKN
Sean Gillen (Head of Enterprise Delivery, Serving Richmond and Wandsworth Councils) said:
“We’ve been working with Branduin for some time now, providing support for both start up and established businesses. We have found their support for local businesses to be high quality and very welcomed by the businesses – as evidenced by the feedback from the businesses themselves. The Branduin team have also been positive, helpful and easy to engage, all of which helps make our work easier and more effective.”