Big boost for small business in Tower Hamlets

Cllr Joshua Peck welcomes the opening of the Hub

Small business start-ups, budding creatives and ambitious local entrepreneurs have received a big boost with the opening of the Whitechapel Enterprise Hub, in the home of the former post office building on Whitechapel Road.

The new centre for enterprise offers attractive and flexible working and meeting space, alongside practical support and specialist start-up courses to help local residents and businesses to thrive. 

A team of architects and contractors have transformed the 280sqm Royal Mail site with a grant of almost £230,000 following a successful bid we made to the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund.   

It marks a key next step in the wider Whitechapel Vision, which is regenerating the area by delivering:

  • a new Crossrail station in 2018
  • transformation of the former Old Royal London Hospital to a new Civic Centre in the heart of the borough
  • 3,500 new homes
  • 5,000 new jobs
  • a rejuvenated town centre, including improved shops, high street, open spaces and new public squares.

The Hub, with a great location right on Whitechapel Road, will also become the new home for the London Small Business Centre (LSBC), a non-for-profit charity, now part of the wider Nwes group, which will provide a range of business support services, including delivering business courses on our behalf.

Over the next three years LSBC will also deliver 100 new jobs, 10 new start-up businesses and a new local apprenticeship opportunity.

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said:

“Tower Hamlets has an entrepreneurial spirit which goes back hundreds of years, with Whitechapel at the very centre of much of that enterprising zeal.

“It’s entirely fitting that, as the area benefits from record levels of investment, local people are supported to develop their great ideas, and to become the next generation of start-up successes.”

Councillor Joshua Peck, Tower Hamlets Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth said:

“As a council we are really passionate about creating an environment in which our residents can start their own businesses, and take full advantage of the great opportunities that exist locally for economic growth and job creation.

“This new Whitechapel Hub will give residents across the whole of the borough top quality affordable working space, expert business support, and access to grants and funding to turn their great ideas into long term successful enterprises.”

Laurie Wiseman, CEO of LSBC said:

“It’s so thrilling and exciting to see what has been achieved to create this fantastic new centre.  Our vision and remit has always been to transform the communities that we serve, and I’m delighted that after two years of enormous hard work and team effort we are now open to support local businesses.”  

The smart new facilities at the Hub include access to high quality ICT and a range of affordable co-located working spaces, meeting rooms, studios and pods, all available to rent over periods that suit the specific needs of local businesses.

Local small and medium businesses and individuals looking to make their business ideas a reality are encouraged to contact the Whitechapel Enterprise Hub on 020 7456 0430 or email weh@nwes.org.uk 

 The opening times for the Hub will be 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday and the full address is 206 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1AA. 

Start-Up ready and access to funding

One of the key programmes that LSBC is delivering with the Council is called Start-Up ready, which supports local people looking to launch a business, and gives advice on creating a business plan, marketing, bookkeeping and finance

Those who successfully complete the course are eligible to pitch for grant funding of up to £5000.  They are also made aware of other sources of funding available too.

The application process for these grants will be open soon, and the next Start-Up ready course kicks off on August 10.  For further information visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/enterprise or contact the Enterprise team on 020 7364 2278 or email thenterprise@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Our dedicated enterprise team supports local entrepreneurs and small businesses.  The team can point towards expert practical advice, introduce local people to networking opportunities, and support residents with great ideas to turn their business ideas into a viable reality. 

 Current projects include:

  • a comprehensive package of support on offer for residents who wish to start their own businesses through the Start Up Ready scheme
  • support for retailers to find better ways of marketing their businesses through Retail Marketing Ready - including access to the online directory The Retail Place
  • a scheme to help owners of small businesses to find suitable premises on flexible, affordable terms
  • assistance for all businesses to win contracts with large organisations through the launch of the Supply Ready initiative.

 To find out how we can support your entrepreneurial dreams, visit

www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/enterprise or contact the enterprise team direct on 020 7364 2278 or email thenterprise@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Posted on Tuesday 25th July 2017