High streets are the beating heart of our local communities. Having a presence on the high street gives businesses a unique opportunity to connect with their customers, and the responsibility to meet their needs as these change and evolve. What additional service could you offer to those who interact with your brand in person? What extra impact could you generate by sharing your spaces with neighbours and fellow makers? We have brought together a panel of three loved and respected local businesses, our high street heroes. Their founders will share practical tips through their inspiring stories and tell us more about their individual journeys. Mary Otumahana, award-winning musician and founder of The RecordShop; a grassroots independent organisation based in Wood Green, that focuses on making an impact with a multipurpose music space located on the high street. By providing access to a recording studio and music career training, Mary is leading a mission to educate, inform and inspire inner-city youths to connect to their community through music.Hellen Stirling-Baker, founder of children’s store, Small Stuff, has led her business from an experimental pop-up shop to a successful, eco-friendly bricks and clicks model at the heart of her high street in Crookes, Sheffield. A perfect example that being a small shop doesn’t mean you can’t have big values; Hellen is a local leader who champions ethical suppliers and supports other retailers, often sharing her shop for community-building events. Hellen is the deserved winner of this year’s High Street Hero for the Small Awards 2022.Carolynn Bain, founder of Afori Books, the first Black-owned bookshop in Brighton. Carolynn almost did the opposite of most during the pandemic; inspired to stock only Black authors in response to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, she started her business as an online shop. Demand was so high however, that Afrori Books was approached to open a physical bookshop in Lighthouse, a local Arts-based charity, with fit-out costs successfully crowdfunded. We are running this event with the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) who are also champions of high street businesses and are here to help, all year round.
We hear from three businesses who have used The Remakery as a platform to grow. By providing a more affordable workspace with surplus materials, The Remakery lays the foundation for a more sustainable way of working, making and living that reduces our impact on the environment. Each of these businesses have used The Remakery to keep their materials in circulation, while also providing opportunities for their local community.
Starting a business requires single-minded belief and commitment to your vision. It might be too big a challenge or too great a diversion to be wholly emissions-free and sustainable from the start, but doing one thing, something, from that start, can truly make a difference over time. In this discussion, Julie Deane CBE, founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company and Professor Bhaskar Vira, MA MPhil PhD, a leading expert in environmental economics at the University of Cambridge, will explore the many ways small businesses can learn from other countries leading the way in improving their resource efficiency. Join us and hear how getting real with what is achievable at the start of your business is still doing something amazing.
Recently, we’ve seen interest in sustainability surge, and awareness of sustainable practices in business grow. However, the lack of Black representation in industry conversations is as palpable as ever. In this eye-opening, honest discussion, we will be asking four successful female fashion and media entrepreneurs to share their experiences of bringing ethical practices to the heart of their businesses, and sustainability to the forefront of conversations. Hear their reflections on the issues they’ve faced, including: Navigating through different industries as Black women and advocates of sustainability; What does it take to build community interest in sustainability and what are the challenges; How can the fashion industry do better to be more inclusive?
Ever popular on Start-up Day, we’re happy to welcome back global market researchers Mintel to share the inside track on emerging trends affecting your business ideas right now. We’ll cut through all the jargon and data to bring you all the big headlines trending in key sectors and, of course, in sustainable living. Richard Cope is a Senior Trends Consultant at Mintel and author of its Sustainability Barometer. In his presentation he will share some of the most up to date trends data that will focus on how do you sell sustainability to consumers. Some of the main sections covered will be: The sustainability drivers of consumer buying behaviours How to learn from the best brands The latest news on emissions, measuring carbon footprints and waste reduction Power of using the right language in describing your sustainable practices and priorities How sustainability in the UK compares across the world. You can access Mintel data in Business & IP Centres across the country. Our expert staff are there to help you pick out and understand the stories such as these behind the stats, and inform some really key decisions as you build your business. Visit bl.uk/business to find your nearest Centre
Sustainability is no longer just a requirement for businesses; building a business that is more sustainable for its people, its investors, and our planet presents a huge opportunity. Rather than treat sustainability as an afterthought or as a boost to brand image, our panellists will discuss how they have infused sustainability into their core businesses model from day one and share the inexpensive methods they used to help you do the same. The session will be moderated by Lynne Robertson – Enterprise Education Lead and Sustainability Business Partner for Santander Business Banking. Followed by Santander key note - Susan Davis
This talk looks at the need to connect with community and other business owners during difficult times. When things became challenging, the panel had to quickly learn to lean on their communities. This helped them build a network to sustain their businesses, but also share knowledge, skills and experience with their peers. Each of the three speakers on this panel has a compelling story about how their community helped them pivot and build resilience through a network. Find out how communities generate value and how to build your own community-as-a-service network, whether you’re just starting or looking to grow your business's activity.