Guest blog: Benefiting from the Skills and Opportunities Fund

Guest blog: Benefiting from the Skills and Opportunities Fund

Nicola Brown of Starting Point has worked with social enterprises in East London for eight years. She explains how the Skills and Opportunities Fund will support further growth in the area.

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Nicola Brown
Co-ordinator at Starting Point

18 December 2015

s&o winners

"We applied for funding from the Skills and Opportunities Fund to run a new project called New Beginnings."


My name is Nicola Brown and I have been the co-ordinator at Starting Point since its inception eight years ago. We are a specialist enterprise hub run by the East Thames housing association and social regeneration charity. Since we opened our doors we’ve helped countless charities, social enterprises and community groups get off the ground. It’s really rewarding and very beneficial to the community.

We applied for funding from the Skills and Opportunities Fund to run a new project called New Beginnings. New Beginnings will help people living in social housing in east London’s disadvantaged communities to start new enterprises.  By running this project we hope to help 100 local people directly, but many more will be touched by the improvements these new enterprises will make to their communities.

The groups who receive support from us really do go on to make a difference. One of our most loyal service users, Seun, has been operating from Starting Point for four years. His social enterprise, Brighter Steppings, has won awards for developing educational programmes for young people and running projects that have a social impact.

This funding will go a long way to help us continue to deliver a vital service to east London. We want to empower people to start businesses to not only improve their own situation, but to contribute positively to the social, environmental and economic atmosphere of their local communities. We are incredibly grateful to the Skills and Opportunities fund and look forward to working with them to benefit entrepreneurs in East London.

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