Firm Futures

Firm Futures supports aspiring entrepreneurs in Islington through workshops, mentorship and grants to launch their businesses.

Business Start-Up – Firm Futures

Firm Futures/ Business Start-Up is an initiative that helps people in Islington and the surrounding area, who are not in permanent, full-time employment, set up their own businesses.

Through a series of monthly workshops, Firm Futures builds the confidence and skills needed to set up a business and provides a free package of support including a grant, mentoring and subsidised workspace.

Firm Futures is delivered through a unique partnership between three Islington organisations that are working together to support local people in becoming self-employed: law firm Slaughter and May, St Luke’s Community Centre and enterprise experts B Consultancy. In 2023, Firm Futures celebrated a decade of empowering Islington entrepreneurs. Our partners, Slaughter and May, put together this video showing the achievements of this special scheme and how it has inspired many Londoners to set-up small businesses.

Registration for Firm Futures is now closed for 2024.

There are two stages:

Level 1 comprises monthly workshops open to an unlimited number of participants, including those who may not know if self-employment is for them.  The aim is to develop confidence, business skills and self-employment know-how.

You must attend 75% (6 workshops) or more of the Level 1 workshops to be eligible to apply for Level 2 of the initiative.

Firm Futures Timeline. Level 1 – 2024 Cohort

Date & time (10am-12:30noon) Workshop topic(s) Location
27th March 2024 Introduction to self-employment and business etiquette St Luke’s
24th April 2024 Market research & marketing St Luke’s
8th May 2024 Business Structure & initial steps for business start-up St Luke’s
22nd May 2024 Marketing part two – creating a digital presence St Luke’s
19th June 2024 Financial considerations for a business start-upPricing, cash flow, and start-up costs St Luke’s
14th August 2024 Legal considerations: the basics Slaughter and May
11th September Funding and finance (plus drop-in) St Luke’s
9th October 2024 Pitching and your personal brand Slaughter and May
Level 1 Assessment – everyone is invited to submit an application for Level 2 by 31st October 2024 N/A
23rd October 2024 Drop-in session for filling in applications for Level 2 St Luke’s
W/C 4th November Application judging N/A
W/C 25th November Confirm L2 participants and mentors N/A

Level 2 provides subsidised workspace at St Luke’s, mentors and more in-depth workshops to guide the participants through the process of creating a detailed business plan and launching their business. Ten individuals receive a grant of up to £2,000 to cover start-up costs.

There would be an assessment at the end of Level 1. Your commitment and active participation in Level 1 of the project cycle can then take you onto level 2 of the initiative. You must attend 75% (6 workshops) or more of the Level 1 workshops to be eligible to apply for Level 2 of the initiative.

The project was first launched in 2013 and has seen single parents, young entrepreneurs and those not able to find full-time employment secure a place. Of the 63 businesses that received support, 67% are still trading or are close to trading.

The businesses that have taken off as a result of support from Firm Futures include a branding business, a bakery, baby massage, yoga teaching, personalised embroidered gifts, mobile beauty business, a freelance photographer and a florist stall.

To Apply: Applicants must live in Islington, or in one of the following postcodes: EC2, EC3, EC4, E1W, E1, E2, N4, N5, N6, N7, N16, N19, NW1, WC1, and WC2.

For more information about registering your interest for the next cohort, please email or contact us on 020 7549 8181.


How It Works

Lady on Phone

Contact Us

Email to register your interest in the programme.

People in a Business workshop

Next steps

The Business Engagement Team will contact you in the New Year with a registration form to complete.

Man gaining success

Workshop information

Workshops will commence in March 2024.  Further details will be sent to you.

Membership Area -
Are You Eligible?

If you live within our area of benefit, you can become a lifelong member of St Luke’s for just £5 and be part of our vibrant community hub.

Membership gives you access to a wide variety of events, classes, workshops and support services aimed at making life more enjoyable and easier for our local community, providing services they might not otherwise have access to.

We’d love you to join us!
st lukes membership area islington

Member Events

Please contact us on 020 7549 8181 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

for more information on the services & activities available at St Luke’s Community Centre, Central Street, South Islington, London.

How to Find Us in Islington London

Public Transport

Train Station

Old Street 10 mins walk (0.5 miles)
Barbican 10 mins walk (0.5 miles)
Angel 14 mins walk (0.7 miles)

Bus Routes

Central Street
43, 205, 214, 394, N205
Old Street
55, 243, N55