1. Our very first meeting ...
2. Our most successful events
We have literally had hundreds attend our business networking events! They have been held all over the borough from monthly coffee catchups, to summer and winter affairs hosted at the Town Hall, Vestry House Museum and the Wm Morris Gallery, to name just a few. A particularly memorable event was an amazing night of fun noisy networking at the House of Commons with Stella Creasy MP, Harriet Harman QC, MP and Baroness Oona King setting the tone of the evening. More images here.
3. A mammoth workshop series
The network has facilitated a number of workshops over the past 10 years. This has included those for creative businesses with Artillery (founders of the E17 Art Trail) and The Growth Series, with Enterprise Nation & THP Accountants. However by far the biggest programme was with Waltham Forest Central Library where a whopping 30 workshops were run.
4. Our supporters: Adams Catering Hire says ...
"It was lovely to relax and socialise (with the prospect of business). The Indian Head Massage was wonderfull – should have lasted all evening. Will definitely do again! The network gives me an excuse for a chat (sometimes about work) with other women in EXACTLY the same position as me – family/work conflicts. Never enough time, what comes first etc etc. Thanks for organising."
Stef Adams, Adams Catering Hire
5. Our supporters: InView Photography says ...
"As my first time meeting this network, I really enjoyed the informal and friendly atmosphere. Having a taster back massage treatment and a little 'Sweet Feet' ointment goody bag, were really nice touches. I want to build local business relations, and this network offers just that ... I see it as a great way to support and encourage strong local working relationships, and make some new friends on the journey." Claire Byrne www.inviewphotography.co.uk
6. Creative Exchange
With so many creative business owners in the borough, it makes sense to make ourselves known and see how we can collaborate. Creative Exchange has aimed to do that, bringing together creative professionals at three events so far hosted by Blackhorse Ateliers, Elbow Creative and Gnome House. Read more.
7. First business competition winners
Nick Bertram of Stow Film Lounge and his then business partner became our very first overall Waltham Forest Small Business Competition winner. Their business polled 234 votes our of 640 to win! There are six category winners and then one overall winner that have won prizes, publicity and a much coveted promotional banner they can include in their marketing. Previous winners have included Build, Paul Henry Architects, Read more here.
8. Writing about local business
We've always known that there thousands of brilliant small businesses in our borough. So when the opportunity came up to write about them, it was an opportunity we could not miss! The Waltham Forest Echo is distributed throughout the borough and the business column showcases great businesses and their owners throughout. See who's been featured: WF Echo Business Column
9. Our top supporters
So many people have helped to make the network happen! Big thanks to Sunita Gangoo who has been there from the start, Stef Lowry, Pat Howie and Liz Fenton for encouragement, the Wm Morris Gallery for collaborating with us on Christmas events, Stella Creasy and Clare Coghill, and many, many more who have supported the network over the years.
10. Working with enterprise organisations
One of the outcomes of being a well connected network has been to attract opportunities with organisations who wish to engage with SMEs in Waltham Forest. This has given us the opportunity to work with organisations such as East London Business Place, Cavendish Consortium (now NWES) and Waltham Forest Council, Newham Council, University of East London to name a few.