On the 31st of October, Lennard Drogendijk, Director of EU|BIC Business Development Friesland (BDF) visited Newable, a business support organisation located in London, to learn about the organisations’ approach when supporting under-represented entrepreneurs and offer more inclusive services.
During one full day, Lennard was introduced to the inclusive programmes that Newable is active in. He met the entire team and participated in a mentee session to a company called Smoking Mirrors, in the theatre sector. After the enriching morning, Lennard had the opportunity to meet with the founder of Bounce Back, a social enterprise educating people working in construction in the prisons of London. This sector has been increasing since skilled workers are leaving the UK due to potential reality of Brexit kicking in.
BDF and Newable discovered that, despite working in very different contexts (BDF is in Leeuwarden with 100.000 inhabitants and Newable in London with 8.000.000 people) they share some common challenges. For example, they both struggle with government budget-cuts, which makes it hard from them to develop their inclusive agendas. Moreover, they find that many local governments are receiving an increasing number of tasks from central governments and those responsibilities do not match the total budget needed for the tasks they have to execute. This results in smaller budgets for external organisations to perform inclusive activities.
Both organisations also engage in several EU-funded programmes and found grounds to collaborate in Interreg or ErasmusPlus calls.
“At Newable, we were very happy to welcome Lennard to our London Headquarters. The team presented an overview of Newable’s diverse business support service offer to SMEs based in the South East of England. This ranges from Investment and financial support through scale up and export support delivered on behalf of the UK Department for International Trade. We found the interaction with BDF informative and constructive and will be seeking opportunities to work together on European projects following Brexit”, said Monica Montero.
Lennard insisted that: “We foresee shared projects in the future and both Newable and BDF trust upon their respective networks to form a good international and reliable partner for SME support”.
The peer to peer review visits allow the exchange of best practices and provide inspiration to EBN members on how to better shape services for groups such as women, migrants, young and unemployed people. The visits are organised within the framework of the FIBIA programme, supported by JPMorgan Chase Foundation and delivered by EBN. Other EBN Members have benefitted from this opportunity such as BIC Euronova. Interested in taking part? Get in touch with Clarelisa Camilleri.
Moreover, do not miss the opportunity to participate at the FIBIA training on “Shaping inclusive business support services: encouraging women, migrants, the young and unemployed into your business incubator”, 10 and 11 December 2018 in London. It is free of charge and there are limited places left!
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