Free small business support thanks to pilot initiative


Hackney Council has joined with the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, in association with J.P. Morgan, to launch the initiative called ‘People Skills’, a free service to provide a range of management and HR skills to support to the borough’s growing small business community.

Launching yesterday at Hoxton’s The Trampery, a shared workspace designed for entrepreneurs, Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, was joined by representatives from the CIPD and J.P.

Morgan, Jo Swinson, former Business Minister, Industry and Enterprise and members of the small business community to launch People Skills. During the event, he outlined the many free tailored resources that will be made available to small businesses in Hackney, which will include direct 1-2-1 consultancy support, in person with a HR professional or over the phone, to help overcome business challenges.

There will also be free access to a wide range of online HR and people management information and practical templates training, learning and networking events covering a range of development and learning topics.

People Skills will also encourage small businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in and provide opportunities, from work experience to apprenticeships, for Hackney’s young people by building links with local schools and colleges.

The pilot initiative also aims to teach businesses more about how to support and drive growth in the local economy while providing their workforce with the skills and training to help their business to grow. Two further People Skills pilots are being launched over Summer 2015 in Stoke-on-Trent and Glasgow.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration believes the movement is important for Hackneys growing SME population.

“Hackney has one of the highest concentrations of small and medium sized businesses in the whole of the UK. It is incredibly important that Hackney’s growing community of small businesses maintain their global reputation for creativity and innovation across the many different sectors found in our local economy.

“Working in partnership with the CIPD and J.P. Morgan, Hackney is offering an innovative free resource that businesses can tap into with one-to-one advice and workshops on how to manage and grow a team, how to improve productivity, and how to effectively connect with business opportunities. This is just one initiative amongst many that we are launching to help support our local business community grow.”