Time to say goodbye

posted 19 Jul 2017, 11:23 by

After a long history of serving the small business community in Islington and other London boroughs our organisation will be closing down this summer (2017).

It has been a real privilege working with so many people who placed so much trust in our judgment and professional abilities. They increased our knowledge and experience and made our job much more interesting and fun.

We are also grateful to our partner organisations for supporting our work and giving us such a positive feedback. Above all, we are indebted to Trust for London who allowed us to put our clients first, channelling resources on service provision to meet their needs.

Enterprise Awards Winners Announced!

posted 3 May 2016, 09:38 by

The names of the winners of ACBBA’s Enterprise Awards scheme were announced on 27 April at an event hosted by Nick Howe, NatWest Regional Enterprise Manager.

Terry Thomas, winner of the first prize, impressed the panel with the referral network she had established as well as the giving back element in her proposal. Terry was presented with a certificate and cheque for £1,000 by Brid Burke, Development Coordinator at Fit Money, who commented on the high level of talent and enthusiasm present in the group of clients who had submitted a business plan to the competition.

In awarding the second prize to Amanda Cannon, the panel highlighted the level of preparation she had undertaken, which included test trading and detailed action planning. Amanda received a certificate and cheque for £500 from Stephen Daws, Project Coordinator at Make it Work.

Creative Islington's Kate Kelly (left) congratulates Amanda Cannon (centre) and Terry Thomas (right), the two award winning clients of ACBBA, who run creative businesses.

ACBBA established the Enterprise Awards Programme to reward entrepreneurial effort and talent amongst clients of the My Business Partner (MBP) programme, an initiative funded by Trust for London designed to provide quality business mentoring and training support to new entrepreneurs.

Would like to discuss your plans with us? Send email to

Making Self Employment Work For You

posted 15 Feb 2016, 04:37 by

Our next programme of free workshops starts on Tuesday 26 April with a session covering all the key aspects you will need to take care of to give your business the best possible chance of succeeding.

Perhaps you are not yet able to draw a living wage from your own business and would like to discuss ways of increasing sales income. Making your business work for you will be the focus of this session, concentrating on the steps you might need to take to achieve your goals. Using plain language we will discuss how to identify and pursue opportunities, what can make your business stand out and how best to price your products or services. We will also look at the different tax allowances and incentives that might help you pay less tax and attract investment

Come and join us on Tuesday 26 April at 11 am!
To book send email to

My Business Partner programme

posted 6 May 2015, 08:24 by

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new programme of workshops, mentoring and business grants.

Through the programme we’d like to work closely with you to make sure you can talk regularly with a business professional to discuss the issues that matter to your business. But more than talking with you, our advisers will be undertaking practical work to find answers and solutions and progress your plans.  


Participation in workshops and mentoring sessions will entitled you to put forward your business proposal for an award consisting of a first prize of £1,000 and a second prize of £500.


The first series of workshops starts on 18th June and will be followed by two other sessions, as outlined below. Sessions will start at 6pm to make it possible for people with busy schedules to participate.


WORKSHOP 1 – FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT; Thu 18 June, 6-9pm - The session’s designed to promote a better understanding of the financial aspects of running a business. Using plain language we will discuss what can make your business more profitable, including controlling costs, gaining efficiency and better pricing. We will also look at the different tax allowances and incentives that might help you pay less tax and attract investment.


WORKSHOP 2 – MARKETING; Thu 25 June, 6-9pm - An opportunity to look more critically at what you offer and how you could make your services or products more appealing. The session will also focus on gaining an insight into customers’ backgrounds and preferences and on how to use this information to create messages that grab their attention. We’ll discuss what marketing activities might make more sense for you and also what mistakes to avoid.

WORKSHOP 3 – FUNDRAISING; Thu 2 July, 6-9pm - In this session we will discuss different funding sources and what will lenders, investors or grant giving bodies be looking for when presented with a business proposal. Within this we will also discuss whether your plan is presenting a business case or story that is credible and makes sense commercially; how strong is your service offer; in which way your services match customers’ needs; what actions are you proposing to secure the first sales. We will also look at whether your forecast is truly reflecting what you have written in the narrative part of your business plan.

To book send email to

Participants will receive business information, including booklets, handouts and computer based planning tools to take home.

This 3-workshop programme will be repeated in October 2015, February 2016 and June 2016

Self employment - Viable alternative to paid employment?

posted 5 Feb 2015, 05:17 by

In November 2014 the Trust for London organised a learning seminar to discuss the topic of self-employment and business start-ups. The seminar included a presentation by Armando Pardo, from the Association of Community Based Business Advice, on his experience of working with and supporting self-employed people and the viability of self-employment as a realistic alternative to paid employment. This was followed by a discussion, focusing on the following three questions:

What is the best way of supporting people to have realistic ambitions about self-employment?
Is there too much focus on the start up stage and not enough on support to grow their business?
Should the measure of a successful outcome be based on the number who are able to earn a living wage rather than the number of start ups?

Download the report of Armando's presentation and following discussion clicking the file below 

Women Mean Business Workshop - 18 Sep

posted 27 Aug 2014, 10:29 by

Women Mean Business workshop

             Thursday 18 Sep 2014

10am – 12.30pm

200A Pentonville Rd, Kings Cross, N1 9JP

 You are cordially invited to an informal, friendly session to discuss issues around starting a small business, including finding your first clients and growing your business from home and on a limited budget.  

There will be presentations from women who've made a start in business, giving you a unique opportunity to ask questions and learn from their experiences.

The session is part of a project to facilitate integration into British society, so women from Latin America, Africa, Asia and other non-European countries and who do not yet have British nationality are particularly welcome.

Through the project you will receive:

                FREE English (ESOL) training

                Business mentoring and business training

                Opportunities to meet with other women interested in business

We look forward to seeing you on the 18th

More information:   Mob. 07580 717 268    Email:

Artists and Taxation - 11 Mar 2014

posted 25 Mar 2014, 04:05 by

I was thrilled when back in December of last year Creative Islington asked me to deliver a workshop on tax and money matters for their members. However, my excitement was soon followed by anxiety. I pictured myself facing a group of highly talented and experienced people - musicians, choreographers, designers, visual artists, photographers and producers to name but a few - and thought “I’m not going to be able to inject life into such a dry topic and I going to lose my audience”.

Fortunately soon after the presentation on 11 March was under way I realised my worries were misplaced. It soon became apparent that despite having years of experience, levels of income for many people in the audience were still relatively low and in this scenario increasing sales and paying no more than the right amount of tax were clear priorities. People were hungry for more knowledge on these issues.

Feedback given to Creative Islington suggests the session went down well:
      “I found the information excellently presented and very relevant” 
      “The material was presented at exactly the right speed, without it being dry and managing to cover everything that was necessary”
      “He’s a very warm, friendly person and this came across and helped make the workshop easy to follow and understand”

For my part, it was a real pleasure to have met so many artists and creative people and hope I can see some of them in the near future.

My Business Partner, a project soon to be launched and supported by Trust for London, will enable ACBBA to offer quality time and a range of resources to new and existing entrepreneurs, like those who attended the 11 March workshops as well as people operating in other business sectors. For more information write to 

Self Employment Workshop for the Creative sector

posted 22 Jan 2014, 07:49 by   [ updated 22 Jan 2014, 07:53 ]

Date                Tuesday 11 March 2014, 10am-1pm

Venue             200A Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP

  •       Are you working on a freelance basis or thinking about becoming self-employed?
  •       Submitted your tax return but not sure whether you are paying the right amount of tax?
  •       Would you like to know how other people in the arts and creative sector are doing? 

If you answer yes to any of the above questions, then come along to the Workshop on 11 March. Following a highly successful session in May of last year, Armando Pardo, Executive Director of the Association of Community Based Business Advice, will once again run this practical, interactive 3 hour workshop on starting and developing your practice in the arts and creative sector, organised in partnership with Creative Islington.

The session will be relevant to creative professionals from different disciplines and at different stages of development, from those wanting to work solely for their artistic practice to those wanting to develop their creative work alongside a regular job.  

Some of the issues that will be discussed include: 

                        Is self-employment the best option for me?

                        What’s involved in running a practice as a self-employed person?

                        Will I always be liable for income tax?

                        Are there any allowances available to me? 

Factsheets will be distributed and you will also have an opportunity to arrange a one-to-one, confidential consultation with a business adviser.

Book online now:

Self employment programme at Circle 33 Housing Association

posted 28 Oct 2013, 06:05 by

“The trainer went above and beyond normal expectation, conducting a one to one session, carrying out research on my behalf, giving helpful suggestions, sending emails with useful templates. Would highly recommend this course and trainer”

“The programme has been incredibly useful with lots of excellent tips and help. It’s helped me put my business plan together, understand the financials and given me the confidence to go forward”

These were some of the comments – all highly positive – provided by the people who participated in the short programme of business training and mentoring support that came to an end last Thursday, 24th October. Delivered by ACBBA and organised in partnership with Circle 33 Housing Association, the programme was designed to help residents of the housing association interested in starting a business gain a sound understanding of self-employment and acquire the tools to review and fine tune their business ideas. At least three new enterprises covering childcare, language services and fashion retail, are well on course to get started over the next six months. At ACBBA we are determined to see these emerging entrepreneurs continue to receive the practical support they might need to launch and establish their businesses.

For more information about the business programme contact Armando

Workshops Programme Jun - Nov 2013

posted 13 May 2013, 02:19 by   [ updated 7 Jun 2013, 04:40 ]

(1) The Preparing for Self-employment workshop is a practical, interactive session on how to make the most out of being self-employed. Some of the topics that will be discussed include:


·  Self-employment: what’s involved and how do I make it successful for me?

·  Competitors: are they good or bad for my business?

·  How is the economic situation affecting my business?

·  Money matters: Am I making or losing money?


Dates:             20 June also on 26 Sep and 24 Oct

             To register visit

 (2) Finance for the Self-employed - Using plain language we will discuss profit, managing cash and funding the business:

·         Not sure whether your business is profitable?

·         Need to prepare a cashflow but find the prospect a bit daunting?

·         Worried about paying too much tax? 

Dates:             18 July – also on 21 November

             To register visit


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