Help design our new business support programme so that you can access the support that’s right for you

Southwark’s businesses are an essential part of our economy and what makes Southwark a unique place to live and work. Many local businesses have been hit hard by Covid-19, so it’s vital that we support businesses to grow and prosper, and that people who are exploring starting a business have access to the support and information they need to make it a success.

We know that the pandemic has not affected everyone equally and that starting a business can be more difficult for some people than others, simply due to their ethnic background, gender, age or whether they have a disability. Not everyone has the same experience of applying for funding, accessing business support opportunities or connecting with business networks.

How are we supporting businesses?

Southwark Council is designing a programme of support for micro businesses. It will include one-to-one advice, business mentoring, networking opportunities, and some grants will be available. The service will support people at all stages: from those exploring the idea of self-employment, right through to those who already have an established business that they want to scale up and grow.

It is essential that the right kind of support is there for people who are typically under-represented in business. This means people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, women, young people and disabled people.

There’s a lot of discussion about equality and diversity and we’ve already listened to and learned from a lot of people’s views. But we know that people have different experiences and some of these issues are complex. That’s why we’re using the space below to explore some topics in more detail.

Please share your views on our new business support programme so that it’s fully inclusive and offers the support that’s right for you.

Share your views by 12 December 2021.

How to take part

  • Anyone can take part (we welcome views from everyone)
  • Read, rate or comment on the existing ideas
  • Add a new idea that hasn’t already been posted (you’ll need to register to comment or post an idea)
  • Search and filter to find specific topics

What happens after I post?

  • Ideas and comments will be published immediately
  • Posts that duplicate existing ideas will be locked to new comments to keep the conversation in one place
  • Posts that don’t meet our moderation policy will be removed
  • We will reply to posts or answer questions

Next Steps

Your comments and ideas will directly impact on how we design the programme of business support. It will take a little bit of time to get the service up and running and we aim to have it ready to use in spring 2022.

Find out when it launches and stay up to date with other business opportunities by signing up to our Southwark Business Update. Email SouthwarkBusinessDesk@southwark.gov.uk to sign up to the mailing list.

5 ideas