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Turning dreams into reality

Pollards Hill’s Enterprise Week (10-14 September) turned dreams into reality for eight lucky Merton residents.

The week-long programme offered 13 workshops ranging from Health and Safety, Finance and GDPR to Branding and Social Media for Business. It also offered a Dragon’s Den-style event where eight businesses were given 15 minutes each to impress the panel of judges featuring representatives from programme partners, Moat, London Youth Support Trust (LYST) and United Living. The calibre was so high, that each business received a £1k grant.

Here are just some of the winners we caught up with:

Enterprise Week at Pollards Hill

Fariah Nanhoo, Ra Ra marketing agency: “I set up my own marketing agency in March, the money will help me to create a brand and promote myself which will also help to reflect the work that I do.”

Enterprise Week at Pollards HIll

Evelyn Okwabi, Kux Koutoure fashion range inspired by Nigerian prints: “The money will go towards an industrial sewing machine and enable me to employ an apprentice which will free up my time to work on new designs.”

Enterprise Week at Pollards Hill

Vanessa Ansong, photographer and videographer: “I am starting a brand-new business, so the money will help to build a brand and promote myself.”

Enterprise Week at Pollards Hill

Tola, Tayo and Tope Alakija, Talakija fashion range inspired by Nigerian prints: “The money will go towards a new laptop and help to promote our work.”

Enterprise Week at Pollards Hill

Isha Thomas, baker: “I love all forms of baking. The money will help me to buy more ingredients and help promote my work.”

Enterprise Week at Pollards Hill

Sharanah Thomas, beauty and spa: “I love everything about beauty, from the ‘me’ time to the way it makes us feel. I will invest the money in more products.”


Pollards Hill Enterprise Week was a partnership project between LYST, Merton Council, Moat and United Living. The official launch which took place on Monday 10 September was attended by Marian Burke, Director Strategic Asset Investment, Moat; Cllr Henry; Anne-Britt Karunaratne, Executive Director, Moat; Naomi Martin, Director, Commonside Community Development Trust and Board Member, Merton Chamber of Commerce; Jackie Noon, Social Value Manager, United Living; Pat Shelley, CEO, LYST; and Cllr Whelton.