To find out how we can help you, visit our website at or email us on or Tel: 020 8305 2666.

Monday, 30 August 2010

New Autumn E-business and IT Course Programme

We have a new timetable of business and IT courses available free to businesses in Lewisham and Greenwich. To view a list of the workshops available and to download a booking form please visit our website at

Our unique programme of business and IT workshops include:

  •     Tendering and Procurement - Awareness workshop
  •     How to Lead Effectively
  •     Marketing your business in the digital age
  •     Creating an Effective Web Site
  •     Intermediate Excel - Using Office 2010
  •     Advanced Word - Using Office 2010

They are funded courses and are in high demand so please contact us on 020 8305 2222 or by email to reserve your place.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Design for Growth

Barbara Wiggins has always had a passion for art and design: encouraged by artistic parents, she has drawn and painted since a child. Her great-grandfather was a leather worker in Ireland in the 1800’s and, following the family tradition, she has specialised in leather and paper products and founded Barbara Wiggins Designs in 1983. She has been based in Lewisham ever since, and now works from Peartree Studios in Breakspears Road (near Lewisham College), where she hand-draws the designs for an exclusive range of handcrafted stationery and leather products. Her new limited edition range has been inspired by the nature and wildlife in Lewisham’s parks and the river bank at Creekside.
Right from the outset Barbara has been supported by SE Enterprise (SEE), whose advisers gave her the advice and support she needed to turn her dream into reality.
As Barbara says, ‘In the early days I didn’t have the business skills to effectively manage the business. SEE advisers gave me grounding in such things as break-even and marketing. They taught me the realities of running a business and were a stabilising influence in the first 10 years of trading and have been supportive ever since’.
Based in Greenwich and at the Lewisham Business Advisory Service in Lewis Grove, SEE has over 20 years experience of working with and supporting local established businesses across south east London.
In recent months Barbara Wiggins Designs has been participating in the Business Growth Programme which SEE is running with funding from Lewisham Council and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The programme provides in-depth support and advice from experienced business professionals; this can range from seeking out new public and private sector contract and market opportunities, practical advice on tendering, right through to one to one coaching and expert advice on sales, promotion, HR, e-commerce, forward and financial planning.
With SEE support and encouragement, Barbara Wiggins Designs has gone from strength to strength to become an established name in the field – today their customers include Liberty, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Tate, as well as many independent retailers across the UK. She also has customers across the East coast of the USA, Dubai and just recently has taken a large order from an Australian distributor.
Barbara commented that ‘Throughout the past 27 years SEE advisers have underpinned the growth of Barbara Wiggins Designs. They speak with authority and experience. It’s good to know that when difficulties do arise I can always rely on their objective support and expertise to find practical solutions’.
You can find full details of Barbara’s product range on her website:

Thursday, 5 August 2010

See how we can help you

FREE expert advice and support is available to residents who are thinking of setting up their own business.
It’s being offered by South East Enterprise (SEE) the business support agency that has been helping Lewisham and Greenwich residents to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into successful businesses for over 20 years. 
The agency based in Burney Street, Greenwich, and Lewis Grove, Lewisham is being funded by Greenwich and Lewisham councils to provide a range of support services for residents wanting to start up their own businesses. 
The support includes a range of workshops and seminars which focus on every aspect of starting and running a new business from planning and funding to marketing and promotion. They’re followed up by one-to-one support from dedicated advisers who provide impartial advice to individual entrepreneurs through each stage of their business’s development. 
SEE Area Director Jeremy Hedger said: “With the current uncertainties in the employment market many local residents are looking at the opportunities to gain financial independence by working for themselves but its not an easy option and there are many pitfalls awaiting the novice entrepreneur. 
Government statistics show that businesses owners who take expert advice, plan objectively and research their market before launch significantly improve their survival rate over the first critical 18 months of trading.”
The programme of support will enable residents to realise their entrepreneurial talents and capabilities, and local people who have been unemployed for more than three months could receive Jobseekers’ Allowance of up to £50 per week from the government to help them through the first few months of trading.
Ramona Metcalfe has been running her own life coaching consultancy for a couple of years with support form SEE. She said: “SEE are committed to helping all kinds of people to be successful in business. Their ‘no-nonsense’ approach and tendency to tell it how it is, provides clients with the clear facts so as to make informed decisions about the risks associated with their business.” 
Steve Nelson, Principal Director of SE London Chamber of Commerce said: “Small businesses are the heart of the local economy and start-ups provide the blood flow’. There are many Chamber members who have benefited from the ongoing support of SEE and I can thoroughly recommend the organisation to anyone contemplating going into business. Not only are they incredibly helpful but they are also honest and will advise if the business idea is unrealistic, which alone can save an individual thousands of pounds and a lot of pain.”
He added:  “Many start-ups flounder because they haven’t set up in the right way; haven’t considered all the angles, SEE can help ensure that your business avoids such pitfalls - and thanks to the councils support, there is no charge for Greenwich and Lewisham residents!’
For more information visit SEE’s website at  or phone 020 8305 2222 email