Hundreds of local businesses stand to benefit from a new space for local enterprise and entrepreneurship to be built at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Details of the new Enterprise Hub were announced at an event celebrating one of the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s Creative Enterprise Zones, SHAPESLewisham, which is the zone for Deptford and New Cross. The Enterprise Hub, located in the heart of the zone, has been awarded £1m from the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund.

The space, to be created as part of a redevelopment of shops on 302-312 New Cross Road, will provide a focus for local businesses alongside Goldsmiths students and graduates eager to start their own creative business or social enterprise. The total projected cost of the Enterprise Hub investment is £5.5m.

Professor David Oswell, Pro-Warden (Research and Enterprise) at Goldsmiths, said: “The new Enterprise Hub at Goldsmiths will offer access to flexible workspace for up to 100 local businesses and provide help and advice to hundreds more. Additionally, it aims to create 80 new jobs.

“The service will nurture innovative ideas generated in the Lewisham area and help them to grow into successful new businesses and social enterprise projects that benefit the community.

“Local residents have long suggested that the shops on New Cross Road need major refurbishment, so this is about taking the opportunity as we do this to give Lewisham a focal point for creative innovation.”

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, said: “London is overflowing with talent and imagination, and its creativity makes the capital a place where people want to live, work and visit. The influence of our artists is felt in every corner of the city, but artists and creative businesses are under threat from rising rents, development and the uncertainty of Brexit. It is more important than ever that we support the creative sector and send a clear signal that London is open to creativity, talent and innovation.”

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “I am delighted the Mayor of London chose Deptford and New Cross as one of the capital’s first Creative Enterprise Zones. Along with funding from the Good Growth Fund and Strategic Investment Pot to support the new Goldsmiths enterprise hub, it will boost Lewisham’s creative reputation regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Goldsmiths is particular keen to ensure the new Hub supports local entrepreneurs from the black, Asian, and ethnic minority communities. Find out more about our free Start-Up Business Workshops.

Case study: Tara Khorzad

Tara Khorzad 2Tara Khorzad’s Lewisham-based fashion start-up is an example of the sort of local business the new Enterprise Hub will look to support.

Tara grew up in Honor Oak and has lived in the borough most of her life. As a print designer she spotted a gap in the market for colourful, fun festival wear and launched her own collection of festival leggings in 2017.

She was looking to build her business and at a networking event it was suggested she talk to Professor Jonathan Freeman at Goldsmiths about how user design market research could help. After successfully applying for funding through the DEK Growth Programme Tara worked with Professor Freeman’s spin-off firm i2 media research limited.

Tara said: “we started working on focus groups and lots of exciting ways to get information about my customers and the people that like my prints. Working with i2 media was great: they had other ideas than I would have had otherwise as to how to get information… they got me out of my comfort zone.”

As part of the collaboration Tara got a Goldsmiths student intern dedicated to the project. Tara said: “she was really helpful and had great research skills and she essentially designed the whole focus group that I did. It was really helpful to have that research because I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do it otherwise and I wouldn’t have had the know-how. They guided me on how to do that, now I feel confident I could do my own.

“I would definitely recommend that people get in touch with Goldsmiths and see what opportunities there are, they have a really great network of careers advice.”

In 2018 Tara launched a swimwear collection on Asos in collaboration with Jade Clark. Her new collection launches on her website on 20 May 2019.