Lambeth leading the way in supporting start-up businesses

21 September 2018

Written by: Communications team

Better Lambeth - Jobs and skills - News and announcements - Sustainable growth and opportunity

Lambeth Council has been recognised by a national award scheme for its work on supporting enterprise and business start-ups.

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Lambeth leading the way in supporting start-up businesses

The council was highly commended for its ‘Lambeth Works’ project that innovatively and imaginatively provides flexible workspace for small and growing businesses.

The project has already led to the creation of five workspaces in the borough – Tripod and Pop Brixton in Brixton, Granby Space and Build Studios in Waterloo and the Health Foundry at St Thomas’ Hospital – supporting over 300 business and creating more than 200 new jobs to date.

A sixth – International House is set to become one of London’s largest when it opens doors to entrepreneurs later this month.

The winners of the Enterprising Britain Awards were announced on Friday (21 Sept), with Lambeth highly commended in the category of ‘Improving the Business Environment’.

Word from the Cabinet

Cllr Matthew Bennett, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Jobs, said: “We are serious about encouraging and supporting the creative and digital economy, helping businesses to grow and create jobs in our borough.

“Lambeth Works is delivering a huge amount of workspace, with more to come, that is helping a real variety of small businesses and entrepreneurs, on council land and in council buildings at lower than market cost, with specialist organisations managing the space.

“It’s all about providing opportunity and ensuring that the benefits of growth in the borough are felt by everybody.”

More to come

Lambeth Works is working to create six more workspaces across the borough by 2021, including the aforementioned International House in Brixton.

All workspaces that are part of Lambeth Works sign up to various ‘community giveback’ agreements, aiming to further spread the benefits of growth in the local area. These include a drive to work with local stakeholders and suppliers, marketing to local residents first and foremost, targeting opportunities at young people from the local area and a commitment to paying the London Living Wage.

Enterprising Britain Awards

The Enterprising Britain Awards celebrate the work of public sector and UK Government-backed organisations that support and encourage entrepreneurial spirit, with entrants competing in four categories – Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit, Building Enterprise Skills, Improving the Business Environment and Support for Exporting.

In its submission to the awards, Lambeth Works is described as ‘the most ambitious affordable and supportive workspace programme for start-ups, micro and small business in Britain. It represents a unique, strategic response to the need for more workspace and contributes to our drive to create a world-class business ecosystem.’


Zoe Adjonyoh, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen (Business located in Pop Brixton)

Zoe Adjonyoh, founder of Zoe's Ghana Kitchen

Zoe Adjonyoh, founder of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen

“Pop Brixton has been instrumental in allowing my brand to test it’s restaurant concept without absorbing too much financial risk -A3 spaces usually have prohibitively high lease premiums for a bootstrap start-up such as mine, along with outrageous lease rents.

“Moving in to Pop Brixton meant we could take risks with our menu rather than with our money and this has allowed us to grow and develop our menu offerings over time -responding to customer feedback.

“The Community around Pop Brixton enables a rare opportunity to interact with and learn from other traders across disciplines and share ideas as well as participate in giving back to the community we are part of on a regular basis -something very close to the ethos of our brand and a key plus for local businesses to be able to do so in a structured and useful way.”

Jess Tsang, Head of Operations. Meanwhile Space CIC

“Lambeth’s initiative to unlock these affordable workspaces is vital. Creating work spaces that are bespoke, creative, ambitious and affordable is what Meanwhile Space works hard to do. In the day to day course of our work, we hear first-hand from young businesses how hard it can be to find suitable space. Often they are poised to grow and take on more staff and the key thing holding them back is fairly priced workspace which does not tie them into long lease terms.

“Lambeth Council’s support helps to unlock and catalyse opportunities to create the type of space these young businesses need. This in turn generates employment impacts, public realm improvements and increases the diversity of businesses able to operate on high streets.”

Hannah Chamberlain, Founder, Mental Snapp (Business located in the Health Foundry)

The Health Foundry at St Thomas’ Hospital

“I’m really appreciating the depth of knowledge and expertise at Health Foundry. I was previously based in a co-working space which didn’t have their health specialism, but the introductions and information Health Foundry are able to swing my way has more than justified the switch. Looking forward to furthering the connections I’m making with their support.

So I reckon without Health Foundry it would’ve been much harder to connect to Mike Wright and Jenny from the Digital Health Accelerator. Also being surrounded by SME’s working on similar things is great -just from the members’ Show and Tell I learnt so much by talking with my peers. The NHS and the health market is so complex that you need to draw on all the expertise you can.”