Spaces Business is a company that converts empty buildings into enterprise hubs for local businesses.
Mark applied to the Inclusive Entrepreneurship Programme as its values and targeted approach really appealed to him as supporting enterprise in a fair, inclusive way is an aim of his own business.
The grant he received was very useful in helping him secure a lease on the building that he has since developed into distinct spaces, such as an art exhibition space and a healthy living bar as well as open areas for other small, local businesses to move into.
He also found that the consultancy made life so much easier as it gave him advice on how to train young people to support the ‘backend’ of the business and things that needed to be in place to get other entrepreneurs into his space. The consultants also helped him to think through ideas on how to tackle challenges he faced throughout the process and still make income during them.
A development that Mark did not realise would come from this programme is that it connected him up with Islington Council who encouraged him to set up a Black Owned Business forum to organise monthly events with and survey them on key resources that they need access to.