FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The UK’s largest enterprise agency - Nwes, and London’s oldest and largest enterprise agency - London Small Business Centre (LSBC), are merging to assist more start-up and existing small businesses than ever before.
This move will aid the long term future of entrepreneurial support delivered by LSBC and Nwes in London, the East of England and beyond, and will bring the two organisations together (both not-for-profit), enhancing financial stability and ability to assist more start-up and existing small businesses.
Expected to be completed by the end of 2016, the merger will see the two organisations capitalise on a combined total of 74 years of experience in supporting new and growing businesses.
LSBC was formed in 1978 and since that time has supported 13,000 entrepreneurs and helped them with business funding of £15,000,000. It operates both as a non-profit organisation and a charity supporting aspiring entrepreneurs in London. Its award winning services have recently been supplemented by the opening of affordable workspace and small offices in the capital – widening its reach and offering new premises for young businesses in East and South London.
Established in 1982 to boost enterprise and jobs in the Norfolk and Waveney area, the strong vision and leadership of Nwes has seen it widen its reach to offer total business support throughout Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and now in to London. With a network of Business Advisors and an extensive property portfolio, the Nwes group offers one-to-one business advice, a range of business and personal skills training courses and events, access to finance and serviced business premises, for those wishing to start or grow a business.
Nwes CEO, Kevin Horne said “The political landscape of the country has changed immensely over the last few years and it is important that we adjust and realign accordingly. Neither Nwes nor London Small Business Centre are organisations which rest on their laurels and we are excited about our joint vision for the future.
The merger forms part of our careful expansion programme to offer more services, to assist more people, and to continue to encourage enterprise and innovation in both the eastern region and the capital. Our existing and new clients and tenants will benefit from access to a wider range of Business Advisors, properties, products and services and will also be part of a bigger network.”
Laurie Wiseman will continue to serve as CEO of LSBC and will be joining the Group board; his focus will be on seeking new opportunities to expand the business operations in London and maintain both its current partnerships and fostering new collaborations.
“Nwes and LSBC have been around for many years and both organisations really care about inspiring people.” says Laurie Wiseman. “Our long-standing roots are in East London where we have provided the best support, access to finance and training for decades. We operate an open door; we want to help all budding entrepreneurs in London to start a business and thrive. Now, as part of the expanded Nwes Group, LSBC will remain true to its roots and approach, but have even wider impact. This merger brings together our two amazing non-profit support agencies. I am very excited about the opportunities that this collaboration will bring to our staff and, most importantly, the businesses we serve.”
The coming together of the two organisations will see no job losses. There will be an alignment of services offered to the new and growing businesses seeking support in London and the East of England. The similar history and ethos of Nwes and LSBC ensures the merger will be an easy transition; efficiencies will be made that will enable both organisations to focus on providing more effective business support and workspace for their clients. HR, finance, marketing, and administration will all be based in Norwich, whilst the Start Up Loan processing business will move to London, creating additional jobs.
The two boards will be merging in December, with Charles Berkeley (currently non-Executive Chairman at LSBC) taking over as the new group Chairman from Michael Muskett (Nwes). After 30 years’ service on the Nwes Board, Michael will be stepping down and says “Our strategic vision, decisions and actions from our recent past have meant that we are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that will transpire from the merger. Allied with a talented management team and dedicated staff, the future bodes well for the group.”
Kevin Horne, who will remain Group CEO, said, “To Michael Muskett, who has been Chairman throughout my tenure, I pay tribute to his belief in the company, his desire to see it succeed, and his many years of selfless service to Nwes and me personally.”
Charles Berkeley, the incoming Chairman, said, “We are announcing today the merger of two organisations with significant track records of serving entrepreneurs. Our combined team is very excited to be able to enhance the service we provide to our clients, our partners and the opportunities for our staff.”
London Small Business Centre is one of the leading enterprise agencies in the capital providing funding, workspaces, training and face-to-face advice and mentoring to aspiring and thriving entrepreneurs. Its not-for-profit mission is to help anyone along the way in setting up and growing small enterprises across all sectors, including creative enterprises, fashion, retail and food businesses.
To learn more about the London Small Business Centre, please visit www.smallbusinesscentre.org.uk/
Established in 1982, Nwes is the UK’s largest not-for-profit Enterprise Agency. We work in partnership to provide total business support, boost self-employment and encourage entrepreneurial skills throughout the East of England.
Nwes offers one-to-one business advice, a range of business and personal skills training courses, access to finance and serviced business premises, for those wishing to start or grow a business.
To learn more about Nwes, please visit www.nwes.org.uk
020 7456 0439, PA: Jo Gent 020 7456 0432
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