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Grassroots event fuels energy for entrepreneurs

Last week we attended Enterprise Cube’s Grassroots Enterprise event in London which brought together people from the social housing sector and residents – now resident entrepreneurs – to explore how more start-up business opportunities could be created in our neighbourhoods.

With 1 in 7 of the total workforce now self employed, the time could not have been better for GUAC and Enterprise Cube to come together.

The event buzzed with excitement throughout with conversations non-stop in-between the three workshops: Going Digital, Supporting Enterprise and Grassroots Impact.

Enterprise Cube is a social enterprise created to fill a gap between disadvantaged people and business. They demystify the basics of business start up and get ‘Strive’ course participants to deal with trading, business development and financial planning. Using peer to peer support and plenty of real life inspirational case studies, the Enterprise Cube work to help unemployed people to use their skills and passion to start their own businesses. A number of GUAC members have partnered with Enterprise Cube to deliver ‘Strive’ courses which result in real businesses getting off the ground, and flying, amongst our residents and communities.

grassroots_enterpriseGUAC’s deputy chair, William Miller from Amicus Horizon delivered a keynote speech at the event featuring examples of our members’ customers who have, with help from their housing association, become self employed. William was clear on the unique value of the Consortium:

“GUAC is about scaling up, partnering up, and increasing our impact within communities. We encourage all housing providers to join us so we can do more, reach more and build the case for the essential role of housing in employment support.”

There was real interest from the audience in the work that GUAC does and the ‘market stall’ we had was busy with enquiries about joining. We met a good number of our members and some of their entrepreneurial customers too, including Jamie Kemp who has now established and grown his own Chocolatier business.

William was joined as keynote speaker by Vidhya Alakeson, CEO of a new Big Lottery Fund £150m development programme called Power to Change. The fund is aimed at supporting new ‘community businesses’ to deliver services and products, supporting a new wave of grassroots enterprise which creates tangible benefits for the local community. For more information visit:

For more information on Enterprise Cube visit:

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