From education to employment

New programme to boost entrepreneurship and upskilling for London’s under-represented groups

A new ESF and London Growth Hub initiative, Start Up, Step Up London

A new ESF and London Growth Hub initiative, Start Up, Step Up London launched on Wednesday 18 September 2019, to help open pathways and support enterprise skills for Londoners currently underrepresented in entrepreneurship.

Delivered by Visionnaires, part of Capital City College Group, the pioneering programme will give participants access to workshops, targeted skills training, coaching and mentoring.

Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal said: “I know first-hand the power of entrepreneurship to transform lives. But we need to do more to ensure that Londoners – and especially women – from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity and the know-how to start and grow a business. Step Up, Start Up can make a huge impact, and I’m proud we’re launching it today.”

Start Up, Step Up London is part of the Mayor of London’s commitment to improving diversity and representation in London’s entrepreneurship and follows extensive consultation held by the London Growth Hub over the last 18 months.

It is built directly on the recommendations of current and budding entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds not traditionally represented in start up businesses, including women, people with disabilities and from BAME, and low income backgrounds.

Jackie Chapman, Operations Director at Capital City College Group, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to change the face of entrepreneurship in London and harness the talent of London’s next wave of budding business leaders. We are delighted to be working with the London Growth Hub to deliver this exciting initiative.”

The new programme will help create a new generation of entrepreneurs and businesses through two streams – ‘Start Up’ and ‘Step Up’.

‘Start Up’ participants will receive training, access to co-working spaces and support from an entrepreneurial mentor to inspire and advise on challenges and solutions when launching a new business.


‘Step Up’ will work with small businesses to identify gaps in their skills base, with team members then being upskilled through tailored support such as training and qualifications, along with support from a dedicated business coach.  Step Up has a particular focus on supporting women.

To find out more about the programme and register your interest, visit the London Growth Hub:

Start Up, Step Up London is presented by the London Growth Hub and the European Social Fund.

The London Growth Hub is an initiative of LEAP, London’s local enterprise partnership and is supported by the Mayor of London and HM Government.

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