Lambeth Council is committed to ensuring that new business can get support to start up and that businesses of all sizes can access support to grow.

Lambeth has strong entrepreneurial and creative traditions, our much cherished and vibrant town centres and our smaller businesses make up 80 per cent of the jobs in Lambeth. Lambeth Working for Business has been set up to support small, medium and micro sized businesses to become sustainable employ more local people, while also recognising the need to work closely with large businesses in order to ensure maximum benefit from regeneration.

To find out more please contact

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Business advice

Advice for new businesses

If you’re thinking about starting your own business but are in need of some practical advice and support, there are lots of resources online, as well as courses to help you.

Lambeth Working for Business has put together a guide with information for new businesses.

Related guide:

Advice for new entrepreneurs

There are a wide range of programmes and initiatives to support young people who are interested in developing their business ideas and becoming self-employed.

Related guide:

2. Business mentoring

Social enterprise advice and mentoring

Tree Shepherd is Lambeth Council’s Social Entrepreneur in residence. Lambeth Working for Business in partnership with Tree Shepherd are keen to increase the level of enterprise in Lambeth and especially want to support people who have never run a business before but have an idea for improving their community.

Support includes:

  • Mentoring: taking that first step, launching and trading can feel daunting
  • Practical advice on what it takes to set up and stay in business
  • Networking

For more information on free support packages, please visit the Tree Shepherd website.

Alternatively, Makerhood provides low cost advice to creative/craft businesses on getting your business online, online selling, marketing and encourages peer to peer support and networking. To find out more please Join our Makers’ Club.

Back2Business programme

Back2Business is a Lambeth Working programme delivered by Tree Shepherd and Brand Amplifier to support entrepreneurship as a sustainable solution to unemployment for two distinct Lambeth resident groups by providing free access to a dedicated business development programme designed to provide the skills, confidence and knowledge required to tale a start-up business to the next stage, thereby creating employment for themselves and other Lambeth residents from similar social groups.

Back2Business’ key priority groups are:

*..The Rising 50’s: residents in their late 40’s and beyond experiencing long-term unemployment, redundancy or financial instability *..Lone parents or sole earners with dependant age children who require financial stability and flexibility to provide for their families and are the only source of income for their households.

To find out more, please visit or

3. Business training

Learn to start a business

There are lots of courses for budding entrepreneurs in Lambeth; whether you want to find out if running a business is for you or if you’re about to launch and need help with finance, administration or marketing.

To find out more, read the Business Skills Course Guide.

If you dream to work for yourself

If your dream is to work for yourself then Lambeth’s social entrepreneur in residence, Tree Shepherd, can help you achieve it.

Tree Shepherd offers:

  • ‘Start your own enterprise’ course, which is a six-week, one day per week course. Lambeth residents on benefits can enrol for this popular course for free.
  • ‘Business masterclass’, which is a two hour, drop in. These are free to attend but you need to register to save a place.

To find out more please visit Tree Shepherd.

4. Business loans

Funding Circle business loan programme

In August 2015, Lambeth Council and Funding Circle launched the Local Business Lending Partnership, a pioneering new scheme to stimulate local economic growth and employment through improved access to business finance.

As part of the scheme, the Council will lend money directly to businesses based in Lambeth using Funding Circle, the UK’s leading online marketplace where investors, big and small, can directly lend to small businesses.

This pilot scheme is an alternative way of supporting small businesses in the borough and will complement traditional banks offer. Funding Circle enables businesses to access finance independent of their banks, whilst at the same time investors can earn attractive returns. Businesses typically receive the funds they need within a couple of weeks, compared to up to three months for a traditional bank loan. To date, more than £750 million of loans have been lent to over 9,000 small businesses across the UK.


To be eligible, businesses must have a minimum turnover of £50,000 and have been trading for at least two years.

Once businesses pass Funding Circle’s credit assessment processes, their loan is posted on the marketplace. From here, investors choose which businesses to lend to. Investors can bid small amounts, from as little as £20, on lots of different businesses to spread their risk.

To find out more

Related guide: Funding Circle Business Loan Guide

5. Information for providers

Lambeth Working is putting together a map of business support and training providers available in Lambeth to support the borough’s business needs and enable the council to achieve its aim to create an environment where businesses can grow.

If you are a training provider, please contact to find out more.