Let's talk business and try to win millions

Local people encouraged to expose their business brains

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Samantha Grant

Local entrepreneur Samantha Grant


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People in Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing are being urged to express their opinions and ideas on going into business, in order to win millions of pounds of government funding for the area.

Both residents and local business owners are being encouraged to fill in an online questionnaire at www.lbhf.gov.uk about the kinds of support that would help them to launch or run a business.

Their answers will be used to shape a bid to the Government Office for London’s LEGI fund (Local Enterprise & Growth Initiative) which, if successful, would mean an extra £20 million in business-related projects and training for the most deprived parts of the two boroughs.

Already, the two local authorities have carried out a wide-ranging consultation exercise with young people, community groups, small business owners and major employers under the banner ‘Venture 2 Business’. Several events will be held over the coming two months to further the process, including a showcase of the work of eight emerging entrepreneurs at the West 12 shopping centre in Shepherds Bush throughout August.

To encourage people to complete the online questionnaire, the names of all the people who respond will be entered into a hat and a prize of £50 will be awarded to the first name drawn. The deadline for entering the draw is August 24th. The questionnaire can be found by clicking on the link in the Latest News section of the home page at www.lbhf.gov.uk

Cllr Frances Stainton, Hammersmith & Fulham council’s cabinet member for Regeneration, says “I would very much like to encourage local residents and business owners to log on and take part in this business questionnaire. It’s vital that local people have the best possible economic opportunities, and the Local Enterprise & Growth Initiative money would allow us to extend our programme of supporting local businesses and attracting investment into the area. With a one in nine chance of winning the LEGI funding, it’s vital to show that all parts of the community are coming forward with their ideas and ‘backing the bid’. So please go online and make the Venture 2 Business plan as strong and comprehensive as it can be.”

Samantha Grant, who lives in Ealing and works in Hammersmith & Fulham, is one of the eight entrepreneurs who will be displaying their wares at the West 12 Shopping Centre in August and talking with shoppers about the challenges of starting up a business.

Samantha, who is currently launching a bespoke soft furnishings company, Maroon, says “My business specialises in quality handmade, bespoke leather cushions – offering a personal touch for the home or office. As a start-up business, this is an unrivalled opportunity to raise awareness of Maroon and our website, www.bymaroon.com. I’m very much looking forward to meeting local people and sharing my experiences of going it alone.”

August 2, 2006