Background to HBM
The M11 Corridor Business Potential
The M11 Corridor beginning in East London and running through West Essex and East Hertfordshire to Cambridgeshire, has been identified as a key location for economic and population growth. The huge potential that this heralds is being shaped by the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium
Located in the centre of the region, Harlow has benefited from multi-million pound regeneration that is transforming many parts of the town. Currently, the two areas that comprise Harlow Enterprise Zone are being developed to focus on SME manufacturing and the Med Tech, Life Science and ICT sectors.
A surrounding geography with exceptional travel links to London and elsewhere in the UK and an international airport make the M11 Corridor a great place to run a business. In May of 2012 BBC research found Harlow to have experienced the strongest growth in the UK for the preceeding two years.
The changing face of business support
There’s a wealth of information available to help budding entrepreneurs and owners of emerging businesses to get their venture off the ground or established ones to grow. Banks, accountants, solicitors and a vast array of other business-related organisations offer anything from detailed formal information to general advice and helpful tips via websites, blogs and social media.
The UK’s biggest business support organisation Business Link closed its advisory service in November 2011 leaving an enhanced website which is now part of www.gov.uk.
However, the sheer volume of the information can sometimes feel overwhelming. And it’s mainly one-directional with little or no opportunity to interact.
Business advisers provide that vital role between the sources of knowledge and the people who need it. Working one-to-one with business owners and managers to apply that information and know-how to best effect and develop the skills and understanding that lead to truly sustainable and profitable businesses.
Local knowledge and business expertise
Recognising that there was a growing opportunity and need for business support and declining provision, Harlow-based businessmen – Ian Hudson and Chris Greenhill – established Harlow Business Mentors (HBM) in autumn 2007. We were subsequently joined by Charles Payne.
We share a commitment to supporting the improving economic health of Harlow and the surrounding area. Importantly, we are all professional business consultants/advisers with a strong understanding of business in general, complemented by our individual specialisms.
The goal was to provide some pro bono support to start ups and emerging businesses and to collaborate with other agencies to provide more coherent business support in the area
Passionate about Harlow, we are working with other agencies to help local business capitalise on the M11 Corridor expansion.
Through our free 1:1 sessions, we have been able to help local people with a wide variety of business ideas and our collaborative approach was illustrated by our role in the West Essex Enterprise Group and also by our consistent participation in events such as Harlow Council’s series of drop-in business support sessions which ran until 2015.