Thrive Affordable Workspace Empowering Local Entrepreneurs and Fosters Community Growth: Report December 2023

As you may know Thrive has moved and as such we thought that it was an excellent time to take stock of all the amazing things that we have achieved- and then share it with you!

One of the things that we share with our clients is the need to take time and reflect, not only as an exercise to support growth but also, and importantly, as a way of looking at and appreciating all the countless things that you have accomplished. When days and weeks fly by it can be easy to forget the small things that have gotten you to where you are- and we are firm believers in celebrating the little wins- little wins make big gains!

So, without further ado, have a read, we hope that you are as proud of us as we are.

 What THRIVE offers in a nutshell:

  • Access to Wider Networks: Thrive members can tap into Tree Shepherd’s extensive network of other small independent businesses and startups. This allows for potential collaborations, referrals, and cross-promotion opportunities, increasing visibility and reach within the entrepreneurial community.
  • Business Connections: Tree Shepherd’s links with other businesses can provide Thrive members with potential suppliers, vendors, or service providers for their operations. These connections can save time and effort in sourcing reliable and trusted partners.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Through Tree Shepherd’s network, Thrive members can access valuable insights, resources, and advice from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts. This knowledge sharing can help members enhance their business strategies, improve operations, and overcome challenges.
  • Mentorship and Support: Thrive members can benefit from mentorship programs or guidance provided by Tree Shepherd. Mentors can offer guidance, assistance, and expertise based on their entrepreneurial experiences, helping members navigate entrepreneurship successfully.
  • Access to Funding and Opportunities: Tree Shepherd may have connections with investors, grants, or funding opportunities that can support the growth and development of Thrive members’ businesses. This access to financial resources can be crucial for startups and small businesses looking to scale their operations.

How do we do it?

Thrive Affordable Workspace & Enterprise Support

Thrive, as an affordable workspace and community hub in Surreys Quays Shopping centre supports start-ups and entrepreneurs within the Canada Water regeneration area by giving them access not only to a space to develop and build their enterprise we also provides business support, and access to monthly markets.

This initiative has allowed start-up local businesses to thrive providing a platform to connect with the community and grow their customer base. With an impressive track record in 2023, Thrive commitment towards supporting underrepresented groups especially women, black-led business and SE16 residents is highlighting a pathway to success for a diverse range of entrepreneurs.

Creating Opportunities for Local Start-ups.

Since its relocation in May 2023, Thrive has had notable success in attracting members, hosting monthly markets, and providing support to local businesses.

We’ve seen steady growth in our membership since the relocation and currently, there are 43 Thrive members, with 8 renting workspaces, 6 being SE16 residents. Over the year we had 17 new members join and we have a growing enquiry list (currently at 31 and counting!)interested in the various services offered by Thrive.

This growth in membership is a testament to the value and appeal that Thrive provides to its members- we really are a lifeline for budding local businesses.

Thrive’s Monthly Markets

Thrive Markets’ collaboration with Surrey Quays shopping centre has provided valuable opportunities for diverse businesses and local entrepreneurs, resulting in increased exposure and community engagement. Here are The Markets’ key achievements and benefits

  • Thrive Markets run monthly inside Surrey Quays shopping centre since December 2021. This opportunity has allowed Thrive to showcase and support start-up small local independent enterprises.
  • Strong Market Presence: In 2023, Thrive Markets successfully organised 12 markets, including the first one in February and two in December. This consistent presence has enabled Thrive to engage with the local community on a regular basis.
  • Members Satisfaction: Thrive Markets has filled 129 of the 148 available spaces in 2023. This high demand indicates the satisfaction and popularity of the markets amongst our clients.

Showcasing Women – Owned & Black Led Businesses

Promoting diversity and inclusivity is one of the key principles across all we do at Tree Shepherd. We believe that what we are achieving through our wide ranging packages of support demonstrates that with the right tools and encouragement goals can not merely be reached-but smashed, no matter where your starting point is.

  •  Out of the 32 traders, 31 (97%) are women
  • 26 (81%) are black-led businesses.
  • 8 are SE16 residents.

 These numbers reflect our commitment to supporting underrepresented groups and fostering an inclusive business environment. Supporting women and Black-led businesses brings countless benefits to both the local community and the broader economy. By giving these underrepresented groups the opportunity to thrive and succeed, we can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society.

Thrives affordable workspace model, combined with its focus on collaboration, inclusivity, and fostering economic growth, contributes to a successful and impactful transformation for small independent businesses within the Canada Water regeneration area.

Success Stories:

Strongman’s Tipple Ltd:

Tomas Lenko and Lukas Etus, owners of Strongman’s Tipple Ltd, exemplify the success that can be achieved through Thrive. Their business has grown significantly since joining Thrive, and they now supply well-known establishments such as Harrods and Hennessy UK. Winning multiple awards and collaborating with famous chefs has further solidified their position in the hospitality sector. Strongman’s Tipple is planning to expand operations and target larger restaurant and bar groups in the future.

Repercia Therapeutic Counselling Services: 

Millie Martin-Lembert, owner of Reperica Therapeutic Counselling Services, has been a member of Thrive since 2019. With her extensive experience in mental health therapy, Millie provides affordable counselling services to SE16 residents. Her commitment to supporting the local community aligns with Thrive’s values and has made a positive impact on the lives of many.One of the challenges faced by Thrive is limited space, particular for the creative industry. The previous location was able to accommodate a variety of businesses including fashion and dressmaking, providing areas for makers with cutting tables and sewing spaces. The creative industry plays a vital role in local economies and the cultural fabric of a community and steps will be taken to explore solutions to address space limitation for makers.

All Bits Unique:

Lucy Deakin, owner of All Bits Unique, started her business in 2021 and joined Thrive in December 2022. Since then, her online business has experienced remarkable growth, with over 6000 sales. Lucy aims to further expand her business by selling on wider platforms and eventually obtaining a larger space and employing more staff. Her participation in Thrive’s workshops and markets has contributed to her continued success. Lucy presented a how to sell your items online (Esty) workshop, for our women in enterprise program. She is also doing her first ever market with us this 16th December where she will be selling face to face for the first time.

What the future holds:

Thrive has exciting plans for the upcoming year, aiming to build upon its current successes. Some of these plans include:

  • Continue organising monthly markets in Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.
  • Enterprise Workshops: In addition to the markets, Thrive plans to offer workshops aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses. Topics such as market stall management, effective networking, and leveraging social media for entrepreneurial success will empower members with the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in their respective industries.

Thrive’s relocation to Surrey Quays Shopping Centre has brought about remarkable success, evident through membership growth, success stories of individual businesses, and the increase in the monthly markets. While challenges such as limited space for makers persist, Thrive remains committed to addressing this issue and continuing its positive trajectory. With plans for additional enterprise workshops and community engagement, Thrive is positioned to provide even greater support to its members and contribute to the thriving local business ecosystem