Council closes the gap between business support services and local SMEs


Local small business owners and budding entrepreneurs were invited to Tower Hamlets’ Town Hall to meet the council’s key business support services in a bid to improve access to business support.

A range of council officers from 17 business facing teams including Procurement, Safer Communities, Public Health and Asset Management, were present on the day and shared information with attendees.

68 businesses registered for the Open for Business event and 180 were welcomed through the Town Hall doors on the 21 November.

Alongside meeting council officers and external business support organisations, the free event offered four expert-led masterclasses, tours of the newly refurbished Town Hall (the former Royal London Hospital), and a Women in Business mini market.

The Federation of Small Businesses and Small Business Research & Enterprise Centre were amongst 21 external business support organisations that hosted stalls and shared discounts on the day.

Owner of Awoke Plants, Sioḃán Wall, attended the event and hosted a stall at the mini market.

Sioḃán said: “I’m pleased to have met a lot of new contacts at the council and supporting organisations, all whilst trading briskly from my market stall for low carbon footprint houseplants.”

"As I start drawing up a business plan to re-open at garden centre at the former Growing Concerns site, I’m confident that Tower Hamlets has a strong network of business support in place.”

The event is the third in a series of business support organised by the Council’s Growth Service.

Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “Local business is the lifeblood of our community. Supporting and sustaining the growth of small businesses and startups is crucial to evolving our ever-vibrant economy and borough identity. 

“This event marks us closing the gap between our services and small business owners. Every small business owner should know what support is available to them and be taking advantage of it.”


The event was opened by Adity Dance Group with a traditional Bangla dance in support of Bangla Drama Season which was followed by an introduction from Councillor Abdul Wahid, Lead Member for Jobs, Skills and Growth.

Councillor Wahid said: “We have a number of business support programmes available, from free training and grant programmes to schemes that aim to reduce energy costs, and we’re always thinking ahead to how we can support businesses in this ever-changing environment. 

“One piece of advice I would give to every business in Tower Hamlets is, register to our free weekly business enterprise newsletter, all the current opportunities are listed on it and this way you can’t miss them.”


Officers from the council shared their gratitude to the external expert speakers who attended: Angie Madara, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder Partner of Athena FundX, David Shaw, Local Director HSBC, David Woods, Senior Manager London British Business Bank, Joseph Babalola, Head of Cashflow Lending Funding Bay, Andrew Brisbin, Director of Ventures Allia Impact, and Hassan Daher Founder, CEO of Qardus.

If you are a local business and you would like to learn more about what council support is on offer, or if you’d like to register to the weekly enterprise newsletter, please visit:

Posted on Monday 27th November 2023