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.
Join Julie and the BIPC to hear the ways the Cambridge Satchel Company are adapting to the times and how, with creativity, practicality and optimism, we can continue to move forward.
Have you found yourself spending more time than ever around your kitchen table? Maybe you’ve been collaborating with team members over video call, or swapping nights out with home-cooked meals? Luckily the kitchen table can be just the place where great ideas can be born. Take it from Julie Deane. Starting at her very own kitchen table with a budget of just £600, her company - the Cambridge Satchel Company - has become one of the UK’s greatest retail success stories. Julie now invites you back to her kitchen table to share her experiences and thoughts for the future to help your own business thrive.
Julie will cover how going back to basics doesn’t mean downgrading ambition and growth, but instead, helps create focus where it’s needed and opens doors you may have overlooked. She will discuss how gaining clarity on the business you need to be today can help you make your money and resources go further.
Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire is hosting an open conversation exploring social enterprise, mental health and wellbeing, and environmental sustainability. Is it really possible to make money and do good at the same time?
Join Barry Crisp from BIPC Northamptonshire to find out, as he discusses the topic with Agi Brodzinski (Jolibi), Ali Mitchell (Wildflowers), Ben Francoise (Saints Coffee) and Salma Shah (Granola by Salma Shah).
Circular economy models regenerate resources across their lifecycle in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, which threaten our planet and its people. In addition to operational and strategic benefits to your business, it also maximises value creation in our economy, environment and societies.
In this panel discussion with Innovating for Growth alumni businesses: FRUU, Urban Cordial and Two Lives, moderated by Anna Triponel (Triponel Consulting), we will explore the practices and processes of circular economy businesses, so that you may be inspired to incorporate the same in yours.
For anyone starting (or scaling) a business in 2021, sustainability is likely on your radar, but how do you walk the walk from day one? In this session, we’ll be looking at how to embed a climate-conscious mentality to all aspects of your work, offering a series of tips to guide your decisions on everything from banking and web hosting, to products and packaging. Whether you’re a sole trader working from home, or a retailer with a shop front, we’ve got you covered - with room for a Q&A at the end if you have any particular burning questions.