Innovation and enterprise blog

21 July 2021

Waltham Forest Winners

This week we are celebrating the launch of the new Business & IP Centre local in Waltham Forest. Over the last two years, the Libraries in Waltham Forest have played a major role in our Start-ups in London Libraries programme. Our Champions Sarah and Jacqueline have been working hard to support a number of aspiring entrepreneurs in Waltham Forest to get their businesses off the ground.

Here are just some of those flourishing businesses...


Sweet Paper Creations

Sweet Paper Creations - Ice Cream Pinata

Sweet Paper Creations, founded by Patty and Ali Gurman, is a not-for-profit business that is here to support those with poor mental health through crafting and creation. Sweet Paper Creations make and sell piñatas, made from recycled materials, for any occasion via their online shop, where customers can also commission their own bespoke character. The profits from the shop help them to deliver their 'Make It and Break It' workshops, where they provide a creative outlet for those suffering from mental health issues, stress, bereavement, or those helping support someone going through such issues.

“From the time I met Sarah at the Walthamstow Library, I felt reassured and confident to be able to develop my ideas into reality. She listened to my ideas, helped me to organise my priorities and to develop an action plan which includes looking at ways to fund-raise in order to deliver our pilot workshops. Attending the library events and workshops also provided me with the opportunity to learn about legal requirements and to identify new opportunities to continue my business development. As a new business with limited experience, we believe that Sarah’s support and encouragement has helped us to be where we are now.”


Price Management Consultancy

Marjorie Price

Price Management Consultancy Ltd. was founded by Marjorie Price, who is a specialist in training those in a management of leadership position with the essential skills to manage their workforce more efficiently and effectively. She provides mentoring services and coaching, supporting managers and leaders to harness their ideas, and turn them into action.⁣

"The SiLL programme has been an invaluable resource that has supported me with setting up and running my business. The 1-2-1 support with Sarah has been brilliant, from signposting me to relevant services outside of the programme, to practical help with developing my website and much more.  Sarah is friendly, supportive, encouraging and a good listener. The overall training provision has been well thought out; there is a course to help you at every stage of your business journey."


Firm Feet

Charlie Boyd

Charlie Boyd’s business, Firm Feet, focuses on various sessions to achieve movement and connection with your own body. Soon after setting up her business, she met with one of our local business Champions in her borough as part of our Start-ups in London Libraries programme. Charlie designed a session drawing on her qualifications and experiences that she knew worked for her, to try and help others.

“My local SiLL Champion, Sarah, has been brilliant and someone I respect and feel as an equal which is a wonderful person to have as support. She is always extremely helpful and supportive and great at listening and understanding the direction of my business. She always goes above and beyond supplying me with important documentation and hints and tips.”


Haven Coffee

Haven Coffee

Haven Coffee is a socially-conscious coffee company, founded by Usman Khalid. Each cup of Haven Coffee bought supports refugee communities across the UK, providing barista training for refugees building new lives for themselves in the UK. The Haven team also organise events to promote refugee artists and creatives. Usman has recently introduced a virtual coffee scheme allowing customers to purchase a coffee in advance. And many of their events, including their art exhibition, have moved online.

“Networking and meeting new people is always something I’ve loved. Through the SiLL platform, I got to know more like minded people and small businesses operating in Walthamstow and had a chance to speak with them.⁣”


Bushwood Bees

Salma Attan

Salma Attan decided it was time to turn her hobby into her livelihood and started her beekeeping business Bushwood Bees. She maintains hives on the roof of the East London Mosque, making honey and other bee-based products from her local source. On top of this, Salma offers paid beekeeping courses to beginners and provides guidance to experienced beekeepers.

“In the early stages of asking myself “Is this really such a good idea?”, I took part in the Start-ups in London Libraries workshops which made me realise that, actually, it was.  The plan was sound, I had the beekeeping skills to execute the practical aspects of my idea and with the SiLL workshops I could focus on the practicalities of starting up a business.

The one area I seemed to have zero skills was technology! This is where Sarah (the Waltham Forest Business Champion) was a great help. She was happy to meet and give me plenty of ideas on how to get started. Sarah also let me know about where to get further free help to improve my use of social media in terms of business promotion – this is something I’m still learning but less anxious about. Sarah also gave me really good ideas for improving my business plan. It was helpful to have someone with fresh eyes looking at my ideas. She was willing to help put a pitch together, gave really practical advice and was able to give me fresh perspective on parts of my plan that I would not have had otherwise.”


Authentic Worth

Esther Jacob

Authentic Worth, founded by Esther Jacob, is a book publishing company that is dedicated to help aspiring authors to write and publish a book. The purpose of starting up Authentic Worth Publishing was due to a family bereavement in 2018. Esther wanted to continue the legacy and continuation of her books to make an impact, helping others to build their storytelling at a confident level. 

“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.”



For more on Start-ups in London Libraries and how to register for our upcoming workshop, visit

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