I am Deryck Sealy, I am one of the co-founders of the social enterprise London Business Partnership, a company that offers a bespoke package of support to entrepreneurs. Naima Omasta-Milsom is my business partner and we established the company in September 2012. This enterprise was founded on our joint passion for supporting entrepreneurs to build fulfilling profitable and resilient businesses with the potential for growth. One of the challenges of
One of the challenges in the current climate social business is how do we support entrepreneurs in a sustainable way, without charging excessive fees? We are updating our business model to reflect these changes which will give us the flexibility to develop tools and services that can be introduced and sold to existing small to medium size enterprises, locally and nationally.
Before now, I was in banking for 23 years, the last three years of which I spent working with small businesses with a £1million turnover as a corporate bank manager in London. My partner Naima previously worked as an Electronic Engineer in and around London on a variety of projects. We combined and transferred our skills to become business advisors, initially supporting disadvantaged young people to launch new businesses through The Prince’s Trust, after this venture we began working closely with another enterprise supporting organisation called Brent Business Venture for 3 years before incorporated LBP.
We have always been interested in innovative projects that look to support entrepreneurs, so we were keen to take part in this Social Entrepreneurs Exchange here in Ourense.
The knowledge and training that we gain from programs like this allow us to add value in terms of the advice and support. European projects are particularly interesting because it gives us exposure to other like-minded organisation and bodies that we do not have a chance to work with in the UK.
More importantly, it exposes us to new ideas as well as the opportunity to cultivate long-term international collaborative partnerships.
Our hosts have been extremely accommodating, the Mayor of Ourense has placed a high value on this project which is one of the first of its kind in this town. This was recognised in the fact that we have had great coverage in local press. I have been impressed by our group’s positive energy and desire to help and contribute ideas to our Spanish counterparts to address some of the key challenges that the town faces now and in the future.
One of the great benefits of the Erasmus+ programme is to take ideas from individual countries, share best practices and innovative solutions to address what could be common European problems.
Spanish culture has shown me how important the work-life balance is. Here a 2-hour lunchtime is not seen as a time to “fill your belly”, but is a time to reflect and spend quality time with family and colleagues in a productive way.