Firm Futures The relationship with the mentor was the key thing for me - he gave me confidence and practical support which helped me believe in myself and take my business forward. Firm Futures is an initiative that helps people in Islington and the surrounding area, who are not in permanent, full-time employment, set up their own businesses. Through a series of monthly workshops, Firm Futures builds the confidence and skills needed to set up a business and provides a free package of support including a grant, mentoring and subsidised workspace. Firm Futures is delivered through a unique partnership between three Islington organisations that are working together to support local people in becoming self-employed: law firm Slaughter and May, St Luke’s Community Centre and enterprise experts B Consultancy. There are two stages: Level 1 comprises monthly workshops open to an unlimited number of participants (32 in 2018), including those who may not know if self-employment is for them. The aim is to develop confidence, business skills and self-employment know-how. Level 2 provides subsidised workspace at St Luke’s, mentors and more in-depth workshops to guide the participants through the process of creating a detailed business plan and launching their business. 10 individuals receive a grant of up to £2,000 to cover start-up costs. There would be an assessment at the end of level 1. Your commitment and active participation in Level 1 of the project cycle can then take you onto level 2 of the initiate. The project was first launched in 2013 and has seen single parents, young entrepreneurs and those not able to find full-time employment secure a place. Of the 27 businesses that received support, 67% are still trading or are close to trading. The businesses that have taken off as a result of support from Firm Futures include a branding business, a bakery, baby massage, yoga teaching, personalised embroidered gifts, mobile beauty business, a freelance photographer and a florist stall. To Apply: Applicants must live in Islington, or in one of the following postcodes: EC2, EC3, EC4, E1W, E1, E2, N4, N5, N6, N7, N16, N19, NW1, WC1, and WC2. The next round of the 2019/2020 initiative will commence in September 2019. The first workshop (for registered members of the initiative only) is scheduled to take place on 24th September 2019. Firm Futures Timeline - Level 1 **FOR REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS ONLY** Date and time Workshop topic(s) Location 24 September 2019 10:30 -12noon An introduction to self-employment and developing your business idea St Luke’s 23 October 2019 10-2pm Market identification, research and testing St Luke’s November 2019 10-2pm Business and financial planning 30 mins coffee/networking to end St Luke’s January 2020 Time TBC Marketing and creating a digital presence Slaughter and May February 2020 Time TBC Moving from benefits into business (1 hr) 30 mins break Meet the bank manager (1 hr) St Luke’s March 2020 Time TBC Legal issues: The basics Slaughter and May May 2020 Time TBC Presenting, pitching and networking Developing your personal brand Slaughter and May For more information about registering your interest for the next round, please contact us on [email protected] / Tel 020 7549 81779.