Enterprise hub starting up to boost new businesses in Redbridge

A new enterprise hub is starting up in Ilford to help budding entrepreneurs make their business ideas a reality.

Training charity Barnabas Workshops, based in High Road, is transforming a floor of its building for the new venture.

There will be a hot desk area with meeting rooms and a creative room for paintings and art.

The Recorder is a media partner for the project, which aims to give business ideas a boost by providing facilities, expertise and networking.

The only thing missing from the centre is a name and Barnabas Workshops want you to choose it.

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Chief executive Bernadette Benn said she wanted the community to be part of the project from the very beginning.

The centre is taking suggestions by email and the winner will get a bottle of champagne.

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Mrs Benn believes the hub is needed to support Redbridge businesses.

She said: “There isn’t anything like it here.

“Redbridge has a very high business start-up rate but also one of the highest failure rates, although it’s hard to measure.

“Lots of small businesses we’ve worked with get into difficulty because of things out of their control.

“However good an idea is, it still needs a strong business plan, financing and support.”

The enterprise hub will provide a business address, reception support for visitors, secretarial work, human resources, legal support and opportunities to network with other businesses.

Services can be hired at low cost for weeks, days or hours.

Mrs Benn added: “We’re not just looking at entrepreneurs who already have a business, we’re looking for people with hobbies or interests that can be developed into a business opportunity.”

Barnabas Workshops was established in 1996 to help unemployed Redbridge residents find and keep jobs.

The charity provides training, advice and runs courses.

Ilford Business Improvement District chairman Marc Myers said he “applauded” the enterprise hub.

He added: “We hope that the future businesses of Ilford’s Town Centre can start their journey with Barnabas before adding to the vibrancy of the town’s diverse business community.

“The business hub will mitigate the risk and offer a town centre location from which to grow. A wonderful addition to our town.”

Email your name ideas to info@barnabasworkshops.co.uk. The winner will be picked later this month.

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