Innovation and enterprise blog

The British Library Business & IP Centre can help you start, run and grow your business

Introduction

This blog is written by members of the Business & IP Centre team and some of our expert partners and discusses business, innovation and enterprise. Read more

25 January 2022

Small Business Resolutions for 2022

A new year is a time of reflection, it's a perfect opportunity to make important changes and set goals you'd like to accomplish in the year ahead. For small businesses, 2021 remained unpredictable under COVID-19 conditions and in order to adapt, pivots were essential - a tricky environment to set goals and resolutions in. We spoke to businesses we have supported, through Innovating for Growth, our National Network and Start-Ups in London Libraries programme, to find out what their top three resolutions are for this year. If you're struggling to set resolutions of your own, we hope they inspire you!

Paul, Triple Double

Photo of Paul Jenkins, founder of Triple Double

Triple Double is a creative studio, founded by Paul Jenkins, that unleashes how youth engage in sport and education, using the power of design and creativity to transform their lives. Innovating for Growth alumni Paul doesn't usually set resolutions focusing instead on goals, this year he's decided to use themes to guide him rather than setting fixed aims:

  • Responsibility. We can't control what happens, but we can choose how we react. This year I'm going to take more responsibility and empower those around me to do the same, so we can collectively highlight and fix the problems, not just put a band-aid over them.
  • Future Thinking. 'What is the future of... X?' These are the questions I want to be asking this year, and beyond, within the spaces of youth, sport and education that Triple Double works in. Using design and creativity to be in pursuit of the answers rather than just trying to predict them.
  • Team. I want to continue to identify people around me that truly understand why I'm doing what I'm doing, and invest in these relationships – reducing or cutting ties with those that don't. It's impossible to speak and please everyone, so it's about spending time with those that matter most. Goes back to responsibility above ultimately.

Jennifer, Stitch & Story

Photo of Jennifer Lam 1/2 of the founders of Stitch & Story

Founded by Jennifer Lam and Jen Hoang, Stitch & Story gives novice crafters a stress-free experience in learning to knit or crochet, their all-in-one kits contain everything you need to get started and learn the basic techniques. Read on to find out their top three resolutions for 2022:

  • Focusing more on the systems and processes for the business. As our business grows, we’re needing to find leaner and more automated ways of working so that our team has all the right information needed to make decisions. I often find systems and processes quite dull compared to the front facing parts of the business, so this year I’ll be making extra efforts! 
  • Delegating more to my team so that I can get away from the day-to-day and focus more on planning for the business.  
  • Make sure I plan in adequate leave/holiday in advance - otherwise I’ll end up with the bad habit of not taking any time off. 

Tina, HumaniTea

Tina of HumaniTeas holding two cans of her products in the outdoors

Tina was inspired by Taiwanese bubble tea concept and British tea drinking culture to develop a delicious, well-balanced, vegan tea latte beverage - HumaniTea. As well as taking part in the start-up arm of the Innovating for Growth programme, she was also mentored by a successful entrepreneur from the scale-ups programme. Then, in 2021, HumaniTea began being stocked in the British Library canteen! Let's see what Tina's plans are for the coming year:

  • Make HumaniTea accessible to even more people by launching our Vegan Tea Lattes into a nationwide retailer
  • Explore new product development ideas to expand our range of HumaniTea Oat Milk Tea Latte flavours, like turmeric and rooibos
  • Increase our sales to support more wellbeing and sustainability initiatives through growing our list of stockists in the UK and abroad

Fiona & Jennifer, Amaze Associates

Photo of Jennifer and Fiona, founders of Amaze Associates

Amaze Associates, founded by Fiona Wedderburn-Graham and Jennifer McLean, is a transformational coaching company that empowers individuals and  businesses to achieve their goals and to navigate work and life challenges. Their top three resolutions are:

  • Review the business plan and celebrate our achievements: as often we don't lift our heads above the parapet long enough or take time to consider what we have actually achieved.
  • Take social media by the horns: By planning/scheduling reels and stories in advance and introduce lives as part of our marketing strategy. 
  • To be limitless: As a business we have set an aspirational income target, this acts as a real motivating factor for us and has informed our goal setting for this year.

Katherine, ArtPerÚK

Photo of Katherine, founder of ArtPerUK in traditional Peruvian clothing for London's New Year's Day parade in 2020

ArtPerÚK, founded by Katherine Tinoco, is a business created to share Peruvian culture with the wider community in London and the UK, through the art and enjoyment of dance. ArtPerÚK burst onto the UK dance scene in mid-2019, offering Peruvian folkloric dance classes representative of the three regions of Peru: Coast, Andes and Jungle. Katherine let us know what her top three business resolutions for the new year are:

  • Run events and performances outside London to increase Peruvian folklore visibility
  • Create new and energetic choreographies with traditional costumes to increase our variety and diversity
  • Run a Dance Performance with more than 30 dancers in one Theatre in London.

Hellen, Small Stuff

Hellen at her shop front

Hellen Stirling is the founder of Small Stuff, an eco-conscious children’s store in South Yorkshire. Hellen used BIPC South Yorkshire’s free market research reports and recently their IP support to become a trade marked brand. Her three goals for 2022 are:

  • Continue to grow and expand Small Stuff, both online and in real life by taking on more specialised staff to share the load.
  • Collaborate with the local community, support and engage with other local businesses, shoppers and residents to get Crookes high street on the map!
  • Travel and promote the business nationally, but going back to Small Stuff’s roots and utilising pop-up spaces and empty units around the country to promote the brand and our sustainability ethos.

Paul, Solarglide

Paul in his workshop

Paul Pringle, Founder and Managing Director of Solarglide, who are based in the North East, produce blinds, curtains and window shades for ships. They received help from BIPC North East to help take their business to the next level in terms of sustainability. This year, Paul is looking forward to progressing three things:

  • We’re looking at the transport we use, when we travel to shows or to see customers in other parts of the world. What we can do to either offset that, which is not really the way we want to go, we want to try and get as low a carbon footprint as we can, so we’re just looking at every aspect. The support we’re getting to take that forward is great. It just means we’re getting guidance on how to go about it. I was unsure where to turn, now I feel a lot more confident. Our goal is to get the lowest possible carbon footprint that we can get as a business. Yes we’re a manufacturer, but we’ve got lots of other ideas and ways in which we can reduce our power consumption, the processes to make us more environmentally friendly and also the products and see what else we can do to make them more sustainable.
  • One of the big developments happening at Solarglide is we’re going very motorisation with everything we do. For the last 10 – 15 years it’s been all manually operated products we offer. We are now heading into the era of motorisation, i.e. blinds and curtains. We’re investing heavily in research and the development of our products.
  • The other area is we’ve moved in to the yacht industry, which is still under the umbrella of maritime and we’ve developed a whole range of products for the yacht and super yacht market. It’s an exciting time for us. We’re also looking at land-based projects, without diverting too much away from the maritime market, i.e. motorhome, caravan, as our products fit that type of environment very well as well. We’ll stay true to our maritime roots and won’t diverge too much.

 

 

09 December 2021

Celebrating Start-ups in London Libraries

The Start-ups in London Libraries programme has now come to an end, as much as we are sad to say it’s over, we couldn’t be more proud of all of the wonderful businesses we’ve seen flourish along the way. Join us as we take a look back and see just how far the project has come.

This pilot programme first launched on 2 May 2019, with a keynote speech from the Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal and a panel discussion chaired by Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, founder of Stemettes. The aim was to deliver grass roots business support in high streets across ten London boroughs. Over the course of the programme running, we have seen a number of brilliant start-ups find success with help from the bespoke business support, workshops and one-to-one sessions available through Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL). In less than three years, we have supported 2,369 people to get their business off the ground!

Keynote speech from the Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal

The programme has been funded by the ERDF and has helped to ensure that people from all walks of life can access the right information and support locally. It has also proven the value of being situated in local libraries, as they act as community hubs where people come to get information. SiLL has been able to address some barriers people face in starting a business and has reached underserved communities; with over 71% of our clients identifying as women, 56% from BAME community and 11% identifying as having a disability.

We couldn’t have delivered the project without the wonderful help of our Specialist and Reference Librarians within the BIPC and the SME Champions in the SiLL boroughs. They have the knowledge and access to useful databases and tools such as COBRA, saving aspiring entrepreneurs from wasting their time and money when starting their journey. Our latest report demonstrated that those who receive start-up support from the BIPC are 4 times more likely to succeed in sustaining their business.

SME Champions with Rajesh Agrawal at SiLL launch event

We were able to pivot the programme to support businesses across all of London since we went into lockdown by delivering our services online so more people than ever were able to access the free support, just when they most needed it. We have seen a variety of different businesses come through Start-ups in London Libraries; from construction and publishing, to social work and hospitality.

Now it’s time to take a closer look at some of our superb start-ups and hear about their experience on the SiLL programme. 

ArtPerÚK

ArtPerÚK dancers

Delivering and promoting the well-being of individuals through dance classes, ArtPerÚK was created to share Peruvian culture with the wider community in London and the UK through the art and enjoyment of dance. Founder Katherine Tinoco received support from our Croydon Champion, Sophie White.

“I've joined more than ten SiLL online webinars and workshops, where I was able to learn more about how to reboot my business in this time of crisis. The Marketing workshop has really helped me to improve my social media presence on Instagram and Facebook, the Finance workshop helped me understand how to manage tax returns effectively. I was also able to enrol in several one-to-one meetings with a Business Expert, Sophie White, who was amazing! She helped me align my ideas for the business and connect me with people to receive support on finance, legal and also helped me to promote my events.⁣”

Parent Power Limited

Bianca Sapara-Grant, Founder of Parent Power Ltd

Bianca Sapara-Grant, founder of Parent Power Limited works on teaching parents skills to help them take care of their children's mental health and wellbeing. Bianca was supported by our Greenwich Champions, Jawahir Sheikh and Martin Garlick.

“The SiLL project helped me tremendously. They helped me with identifying and crystalizing my vision and goals. I was able to attend a number of their workshops including marketing, social media and sales. I also found that their networking events were a great opportunity to share knowledge and experiences.

The most helpful part of the SiLL project was receiving one-to-one support. I had several one-to-one meetings, to discuss my specific needs and requirements. I remember one of the team members from the SiLL project supported me by using specific software to upload podcasts and YouTube videos.”

Yum Seng

Yumseng family

Yum Seng is a successful Dim Sum and Cocktail meal kit business founded by husband and wife, Chuong and Stephanie Van Dang, during lockdown. They have always had a passion for great Dim Sum restaurants and decided to start their own. Chuong and Stephanie received support from our Lambeth Champion, Rachel Samuels.

“SiLL was instrumental in giving us the confidence to flesh out an idea, develop it into a viable business plan and then launch as a commercial business. We’ve learnt a lot from their workshops and were inspired by other entrepreneurs that we had met along the way. Our local SiLL Champion Rachel Samuels was incredible. She took time to help me with my previous venture, by identifying and introducing me to other council departments that could help. She also helped me successfully apply for grant funding. She gave me the confidence in myself and my idea, which was a massive morale boost.⁣

Starting your own business can be very lonely, and SiLL is offering you a community of support. You never know, you may even meet your future business partner there!”

Amaze Associates

Fiona Wedderburn-Graham and Jennifer McLean, Co-directors of Amaze Associates

Fiona Wedderburn-Graham and Jennifer McLean, are the co-directors of Amaze Associates; a transformational coaching company that empowers individuals and businesses to achieve their goals and to navigate work and life challenges. Fiona and Jennifer were supported by our Lewisham Champion, Mark Berbeck.

“The workshops SiLL provided were great, particularly the ‘get ready for business’, marketing and finance workshops. SiLL also provided excellent networking opportunities. ⁣

However the most helpful were the one-to-ones with our SME Champion (Mark Berbeck). Our one-to-ones helped us to consolidate the learning and gave us more business insight. Our champion connected us with other businesses, funding sources and helped us to think about how to scale the business.⁣”

The Goodfriends

Daphne Gutfroind, Founded of The Goodfriends

Daphne Gutfroind founded her business The Goodfriends, which is a recruiting and coaching company. Daphne aims to bring career development and childcare solutions to the families of Haringey. She received help from our Haringey Champion, Nicola Moore.

“I was signposted to the programme by my DWP coach and felt so privileged to access such a valuable course, that I attended all the workshops. It has helped me with my marketing, if I had to point where I use my SiLL learnings the most. It has also greatly helped me with developing any funding strategy thanks to the finance and crowdfunding workshops. More generally, the programme has helped me to stay focused on my own development as the best way to keep my business moving and innovating.

I received direct support from Nicola on numerous occasions. It was helpful to navigate the programme and stay in the know of what is happening and when. It also helped me gain confidence in online networking. Nicola also offered to connect me and my business partner to key individuals of the council for our project (pot on the fire!). Finally it helped me simply feel confident that I am not alone, a professional is reachable for support.”

The Brave Project

Donelle Grant, Founder of the Brave Project

Donelle Grant, founded The Brave Project community interest company, a non-profit suicide prevention and wellbeing service; for BAME boys and young men. The mission is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education. Donelle was supported by ⁣our Champion for Newham, Rashed Belal.

“Rashed has provided me with access to a number of business workshops and support for Marketing, to finance, and many more. I am so grateful for the SiLL programme and my SME Champion Mentor Rashed Beal, who has been a great business Mentor, consistently empowering me to  push forward with my business.”

Nu(pw)R Ltd

Roohi and Nida Mohiyuddin founders of Nu(pw)R Ltd

Roohi and Nida Mohiyuddin founded Nu(pw)R Ltd, a service-based business that helps professional women become confident and empowered leaders without overwhelm through mindset and success mentoring. Roohi and Nida were supported by our Southwark Champion, Dean Williams.

“We were given the most amazing mentor who is the SME champion for Southwark. He encouraged us to be better every step of the way. When we hit a wall he showed us how to work out a way to climb it with confidence. Our questions were answered, our worries were addressed and we kept growing and being better.

We understood that failure was a tool for growth and that our journey was about progression and not perfection.

In addition, the SiLL program allowed us access to numerous amazing resources. We had access to events, training and met other mentors to learn about marketing, copyright, patenting and the resources to start up a business.”

The Breakhouse Café

Chloe Bailey-Williams, Founder of The Breakhouse Café

Chloe Bailey-Williams, founded The Breakhouse Café. With her passion for coffee and amazing food, Chloe has created a space that the local community loves. She aims for the business to be sustainable and ethical wherever possible, and to be inclusive of a variety of tastes, reflecting the diversity of her customers. Chloe was supported by our Tower Hamlets Champion, Abraham O'Dude.

“It’s been good to catch-up with Abraham in our one-to-ones and through emails, some other programmes that I have tried just don’t keep in touch. It’s quite challenging setting up a business in a pandemic so I appreciate that Abraham would visit me at the Café to go over different strategies. He would also inform and support me in taking up opportunities like the mentoring, which I successfully applied for. It really helps to speak with him about my business and I continue to benefit from his experience and advice. His ideas on how to use the space (like setting up a film club) and some Café tips I can’t mention (it’s a trade secret) have been great, we are currently planning our first film night!”

Delmora

Judy Chicangana-Matthews, Founder of Delmora, making a T-Shirt

Delmora helps turn a 'good look' into a 'great look' with their beautiful jewellery and accessories. Founder Judy Chicangana-Matthews, received support from our Bexley  Champion, Ioanna Lymperaki.

“SiLL is a terrific project because it's available to anyone. Even if you don't have your own business and you have an idea. That is how I started the programme; Delmora was just an idea when I decided to attend the masterclasses. Although I have a business background, I didn't know where to find information or how to address the British market. That was the most significant help. Learning about Cobra and how the library supports businesses with industry guides and multiple resources such as Mintel and Euromonitor reports, helped me to create my marketing strategy to start Delmora.”

Authentic Worth

Esther Jacob, Founder of Authentic Worth

Esther Jacob is founder of Authentic Worth, a book publishing company that is dedicated to help aspiring authors to write and publish a book.⁣ Esther was supported by our Waltham Forest Champion, Jacqueline Brown.

The SiLL project helped me in setting up my business through their workshops I attended in 2019. On the first day, I was able to connect and network with other aspiring entrepreneurs that had different ideas about what they wanted to achieve in their businesses. I was able to share ideas with them and vice versa which helped stimulate trust and the tenacity to grow my business gradually.

The most helpful part of SiLL were the one-to-one meetings with one of the SiLL Champions. It was very useful and I was able to get more clarity about starting my business, including creating further awareness through the use of social media, being able to connect and collaborate with other aspiring authors and business owners in my field and ultimately, focusing on my target audience which helped to create a catered/tailored service to those that publish their book with the Authentic Worth brand. 

Further support for you

Attendees at BIPC workshop

The end of the Start-ups in London Libraries programme certainly does not mean the end of business support for you! We have plenty of online resources to help guide you on your business journey as well as our Innovating for Growth programme which is here to help you to continue building your business whether that means adjusting to ‘the new normal’ or scaling up. Our advisers and external consultants will help you to be more resilient and adaptable in the face of a changing future. 

SiLL_logo_lockups_RGB_large

Shop local this festive season

According to Mintel research (which you can access for free in many BIPCs around the UK), 25% of consumers say they are shopping more with local businesses due to Covid-19*. This isn’t just via the traditional bricks and mortar stores, but online as well, with 44% of consumers shopping more online during the pandemic, as detailed in their COVID-19 Retail and E-commerce: A Year On in the UK report. So, we’re bringing you a selection of small businesses who have used the BIPC services around the UK, to give you some inspiration for gifts, not only for Christmas, but year round.

Treats for everyone

Margaret alongside a variety of Cubby Salve products

One business who received support from BIPC Glasgow, Cubby Salve, founded by Margaret (or Mimi to her cubbies), makes gentle, small-batch, skincare. Each Salve & Body Bar is made with natural ingredients and is blended and hand poured by Margaret in Cubby’s Salve Kitchen.

Cost: Gift sets from £28.99

Where to buy? Cubby Salve

For those with green fingers

Marcela holding a sacpot

Sacpots are tough yet lightweight ethical plant pots designed to be shaped by you. Sacpots are rot-proof, water resistant, and can be placed inside or outside, available in hundreds of colour mixes. The elastic neck lowers water consumption and the insulating fabric accommodates root growth with full stretch indicating it’s time to pot on. Dispatched with a liner in a post box friendly envelope, your washable Sacpots will store flat after use. Handmade by Marcela Livingston in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Marcela received IP guidance to protect her idea and help with general market research with BIPC Leeds through the free access to its databases.

Cost: £17

Where to buy? Sacpot

Pott(er)y about ceramics

A dark blue bowl, created by Elena

Elena creates handmade functional and decorative ceramics at Sunken Studio and in her own studio in Leeds. Products include handmade mugs and bowls can be purchased via Instagram. Elena likes to play with surface patterns and geometries and decorate her creations with bright colours and uses natural elements she finds in her garden such as leaves to imprint and enrich surfaces. She is inspired by her surroundings and loves finding details and harmony in the shapes and colours of everyday life. Elena also finds inspiration from the places of her childhood, waves and rocks by the Sardinian sea. Elena used BIPC Leeds' ERDF funded Start-up Leeds programme to take her business to the next level, which included attending weekly workshops. 

Cost: Various (bowl, pictured, £30)

Where to buy? Instagram

For the bookworms

Carolynn Bain, founder of Afrori Books, with her hands together in front of a blue background

Afrori Books has the biggest selection of books by Black authors in the United Kingdom. Covering every genre that you are looking for with thousands of books in store and online. They have a simple mission: Support Black authors, create diverse bookshelves and be a voice for justice. Founder, Carolynn, had a one-to-one with BIPC Sussex to finding funding opportunities and to access their free databases, including COBRA.

Cost: Various

Where to buy? Afrori Books

For the chocoholics

Selection of Lucocoa chocolate bars

Lucocoa Chocolate, is London's first bean to bar chocolate making company based in North London. You won’t find any refined sugar or artificial sweeteners in these bars, instead Lucocoa opts for the healthier alternatives of coconut sugar and lucuma while also sourcing the best flavoured cocoa beans from around the world. Amarachi, founder of Lucocoa, used Innovating for Growth experts' advice to help scale her business as demand for her product grew rapidly.

Cost: Food and Drink hamper £60

Where to buy: Lucocoa

Get mistletoe ready

Terence Chung and colleagues holding FRUU lip balms

Our Circular Economy Start-Up Day panellist, FRUU, is a pioneering cosmetics company that specialises in turning fruit by-products into sustainable cosmetics. Started from the spare room of founders Terence Chung and Kelly Yee in 2017, FRUU developed as an initiative to add value to the waste produced in the agricultural waste stream, reduce the use of resource intensive materials, whilst making sustainability an accessible lifestyle. All products are designed, manufactured and produced from their workshop in London and FRUU is currently stocked in 1000+ stores in the UK, EU, Australia and South Korea. Terence also took part in Innovating for Growth to access professional expertise and advice on critical business areas, strategy planning, marketing and intellectual property. 

Cost: Gift boxes start at £2

Where to buy: FRUU

Zero-waste cordial

Natasha with her selection of cordials

Another from our Start-Up Day Circular Economy panel, Natasha from Urban Cordial started her business by foraging for ingredients in her allotment to turn them into cordials. Over a third of global food does not reach our plates, often because of the appearance of the item, even though it is perfectly safe to eat. Natasha, being aware of this issue, contacted local farms to source their surplus food produce and to date, Urban Cordial has helped to save over 100 tonnes of fruit from landfill. Urban Cordial’s production process is also zero waste with all fruit pulp going to the local farms to become animal feed.

Cost: Get the full range for £48

Where to buy: Urban Cordial

For those cosy nights in

Hot chocolate made with Kokoa tabs shown by the hot chocolate glass

A collection of single origin hot chocolates made with tablets and flakes of real chocolate; starting with White and then in varying cocoa percentages from Venezuela 58%, Organic Peru 70%, Academy of Chocolate Gold winning Haiti 75% up to a 100% pure cocoa! Everything, but the White, is registered with the Vegan Society so you can make it with your favourite milk.

Cost: Prices vary; use BLGIFT at checkout to get free shipping on all orders over £10.00 until the end of December!

Where to buy? Kokoa Collection

Handpicked luxury for the home and garden

Sophie Conran with some flowers in a dining room setting

At Sophie Conran they know that giving a personal gift to a loved one is the ultimate treat. Their collection has something unique to suit every special person in your life. From Sophie’s licensed ranges, exclusive collections and hand picked products, they have curated an inspirational shop for the whole home and garden.

Cost: Various

Where to buy: Sophie Conran

I’m dreaming of an Italian Christmas…

A bottle of Negroni by Primo Aperitivo next to a crystal glass filled with the cocktail

Primo Aperitivo encapsulates the very best of Italy making the Italian Aperitivo easy to enjoy in a sharing format. In addition to the most famous Italian Aperitivo, the Negroni cocktails, Primo Aperitivo is the first brand to release the Americano and Sbagliato cocktails, carbonated upon bottling, which create the first ever range of classic Italian Aperitivo cocktails in a ready to serve format. Primo is committed to serve the best and most authentic cocktails sustainably: each cocktail is produced and bottled using 100% renewable energy and every ingredient is produced at the distillery to reduce carbon footprint and wastage.

Cost: £27.90

Where to buy: Primo Aperitivo

Precious stones for a precious person

Tomasz Donocik Crocodile cufflinks

Innovating for Growth business, Tomasz Donocik, designs and manufactures bespoke and high jewellery sold worldwide in stores such as Saks Avenue (New York), Isetan Men (Japan) and Tsum (Moscow). If you are looking for something extra special, they also offer a bespoke tailor made service where clients can turn their dreams into modern day heirlooms.

Cost: Prices start at £250

Where to buy: Tomasz Donocik

For the creatives

Jen from Stitch and Story holding a ball of yarn and knitting needles

Stitch & Story is a craft kits company based in London, revamping knitting and crochet as simple, modern and aspirational skills. They empower people to start their own creative projects and tell their own stories using chunky yarns, easy-to-follow instructions and online video tutorials. Stitch & Story believe in the power to create, personalise and achieve something meaningful by bringing out the artisan in everyone. Co-founder, Jennifer Lam, took part in our Innovating for Growth programme and with the help of IP experts; she has launched her business in international markets.

Cost: Various gift offers

Where to buy: Stitch & Story

Fashionable butchers for a Christmas lunch

Flock & Herd's Turkey at Christmas dinner surrounded by other plates of Christmas food

A small but growing butchery located in Peckham and Beckenham, Flock & Herd aim to provide the very best possible quality and range of produce, combined with their service and experience. This Christmas they have carefully selected the best festive treats from Appledore Free Range Turkey to a perfectly dry aged Ayshire Rib of Beef, whether it’s a small lunch for two or a family feast there are plenty of tasty and delicious delights for you to enjoy.

Cost: Various + £30 deposit payable on the phone

Where to buy: Flock & Herd

For those with a sweet tooth

Snowman piñata from Sweet Paper Creations, with Christmas decorations

If you're tired of board games and looking for a fun family activity to do on Christmas day, Sweet Paper Creations have just what you need! The business supported by the Start-ups in London Libraries project in Waltham Forest make and sell piñatas, made from recycled materials, for any occasion, you can even commission your own bespoke character! The profits from their shop help to deliver their “Make It and Break It” workshops, which provide a creative outlet for those suffering from mental health issues, stress, bereavement.

Cost: Various (Snowman, pictured, £30)

Where to buy: Sweet Paper Creations

Get glamourous

Model wearing a necklace from Delmora

Visit Delmora's online shop for the perfect gift to add a touch of Christmas sparkle to any outfit. Delmora took part in the Start-ups in London Libraries project in the borough of Bexley, they offer a variety of beautiful jewellery items and accessories to help you turn a 'good look' into a 'great look'. 

Cost: Various

Where to buy: Delmora

Make a splash

Moon Cycle Bath Bomb from Haus of CBD

Haus of 420 have just what you need to unwind after the big day of festivities! Handcrafted using pure and organic CBD, essential oils and detoxifying natural spa mineral salts. It offers you consistency, relief, balance and calm resulting in the best nights sleep you’ve probably had in a while. Each bath bomb contains 50mg of CBD and 100% peace. Haus of 420 received local support in Lewisham from the Start-ups in London Libraries project.

Cost: £9

Where to buy: Haus of 420

Spread the Christmas cheer

Gingerbread greeting card from MerryCherie, next to a cookie cutter

MerryCherie offer a beautiful range of positive wellbeing cards for you to share with your friends and family over the festive season. They are proud to be as environmentally friendly as possible, the cards are wrapped in recycled brown paper and safely and securely packaged in hardbacked/padded envelopes for postage. The Start-ups in London Libraries local support in Lewisham helped Sheree-Marie to start her business MerryCherie.

Cost: (Gingerbread card, pictured, £2.95)

Where to buy: MerryCherie

Handmade with care

Norio knots Woven Necklace Kit from Crafty North Londoner

Crafty North Londoner is a group of London based artisans producing non-mass produced handmade products, with sustainable and ethical practices at the forefront of their activities. The business supported by Start-ups in London Libraries in Haringey offer beautifully created products so you can make sure the gift you give is the most unique one under the tree.

Cost: Various (Mini Necklace Kit, pictured, £24+)

Where to buy: NorioKnots