*Applications closed Tuesday 15 November at 1pm*

The second round of applications are now closed.  This pilot project will provide spaces for new businesses to take that next step in their success.   The inhouse business-development programme – Start Up, aims to give entrepreneurs the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure progress and business growth.  

This initiative includes: 

  • Subsidised pods on Podobello, for at least 6 months (approximately a 75% reduction on rental).  A vibrant array of pod units located between Ladbroke Grove and Portobello Road. These are retail units which will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with the aim of being a retail destination.   A single pod is 83 square feet and 100 square feet, costing £120 per month.  
  • Subsidised market stalls on Podobello, for at least 4 months (100% reduction on rental).  A colourful gazebo with market stall, opposite the pods, will be available on Fridays and Sundays.  There could also be additional days for special events or evenings when the pods are also open.  Free rental, a £25 deposit required to secure your place. 
  • Creative Hub of micro units, for at least 6 months. (33% reduction on rental).  These purpose-built, first floor micro units are situated in a key location on Portobello Road. The multi-purpose units are earmarked as a creative space where an office, micro workshop or small meeting space is needed.  The spaces range from 60 to 114 square feet and share a communal kitchen and toilets. These range from £160 to £173 per month (service charge could increase).  
  • Business-development course – Start Up.  This course will offer training and support, once a week, for up to 4 months. The units taught will include: branding and marketing, customer service, finances, writing a business plan, technology and risk assessing.  


These spaces are ideal if you want a market stall to test your new products, on Fridays and Sundays; or, you may be ready for a more regular retail space in a vibrant pod, on Podobello. There are also the Acklam Road suite of micro units, which are suitable for creatives as an office, for small group activities or one-to-one meetings. 

We are aiming in particular to support underrepresented groups in business, as research shows that Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, women and disabled entrepreneurs face additional barriers when starting a new business or operating an existing one. 

This Festival of African and Caribbean Entrepreneurship reflects some of the changes we are implementing in response to the Tutu Foundation’s report, into institutional racism within the organisation.  This particular project is part of our targeted activity under the Charities Exemptions section of the Equality Act 2010* and is an acknowledgement of statistical disadvantages such start-up businesses face.  

*Equalities Act 2010 (c.15), Part II Ch.1 Advancement of equality (149) and Ch.2 Public sector equality duty – positive Action (149). 

    Selection Process 

    An independent selection panel will review all eligible applications and a shortlist of recommended applicants will be made. A scoring matrix will be used to apply an unbiased method of selecting applicants who will be offered a space and training through this initiative.  Due diligence (necessary checks) will then be processed on those applicants offered a space. 

    The selection panel will take into consideration the current businesses on Podobello, and will look favourable on applicants whose business sectors will compliment these. Currently, on Podobello there are: 

    • Caribbean and Sierra Leonean food stalls  
    • Handmade soaps, essential oils, handmade jewellery and hand massages available on 2 stalls. 

    • Attire Clique – A t-shirts and sweatshirts branded label, on a stall. 

    • Sister Size – Lingerie and bra fitting, in a pod. 

    • Adluna – Crystals, candles and bath salts, in a pod. 

    • Plug Calling – Premium clothing and streetwear brand, in a pod.  

    We will keep a waiting list (this will be in order of scores) for those who were unable to be initially offered a space.  They will be contacted if a space becomes available.  They will also be contacted if there are any additional spaces available on the training courses.