Enfield Events Help Marta’s Business Achieve the Impossible
Over the last year Business in the Community (BITC) and Enfield Council have been working in partnership to support small businesses in Enfield as they navigate the challenges presented by the cost-of-living crisis. Business owners like Marta Ferreira, Managing Director of Cubit Design and Building Limited, have been able to attend a series of upskilling events and webinars, which provide opportunities for local businesses to meet larger organisations at sector-themed events.
“It has been a real pleasure to have participated in the programme, I just wish I had known about it sooner and had joined from the beginning. Nevertheless, it has been a great experience and successful too”.Marta Ferreira – Managing Director, Cubit Design and Building ltd.
Supporting small business to grow
These events help attendees understand what larger organisations are looking for in their supply chains, with a particular focus on how acting as a responsible business can lead to positive outcomes. The event series aims to help small business owners to build the confidence they need to act, develop their businesses and make sure they are ready to apply. The series’ main objective is for small businesses to learn how to win new work and grow, all while investing back in their business and ultimately, the local community.
Marta first heard about the support available through local communication channels and registered to join upcoming events to discover how she could grow her business, Cubit. Cubit is a high-end renovation company with expertise in loft conversions, house extensions, remodelling and commercial projects and specialises in heating services for residential and commercial premises. Before joining the programme, the business had started tendering for work, but Marta described this as a painful journey. The events programme seemed like a unique opportunity to learn new skills and network to support her business’s growth ambitions.
Marta learns how to share the unique value of her business
BITC’s local in-person events were designed to give attendees a new perspective on marketing their business, focusing on profiling the good they do beyond core products and services. Attendees learnt why this is important to larger organisations. Marta felt more inspired and confident to approach bigger contractors to seek new opportunities by joining a meet-the-buyer style event focussing on the public sector. She realised that being a female-led business would interest larger partners as they diversify their supply chain.
Understanding what larger organisations are looking for from suppliers can really help shape tender applications and make them stand out from the crowd. This point was made throughout the series and really shone through for Marta. She has realised the importance of environmental governance and how larger organisations were keen to support the retrofitting of existing homes to meet the net zero targets. This encouraged Marta to become more vocal about her ambitions to deliver heating through renewables.
“We are allowing the environmental needs to influence our business development and are happy to be part of the renewable solutions for heating such as heat pumps and solar thermal”.
An open dialogue between buyers and suppliers
The event series also gave procurement teams from larger organisations the opportunity to get feedback directly from local suppliers, like Marta so they could improve their own processes and understand the challenges small businesses face. One key challenge highlighted through the series was that tendering opportunities may not be reaching a diverse target audience, a gap BITC hoped to bridge by connecting buyers with new suppliers at events.
This was precisely the kind of opportunity Marta had been hoping for when she signed up for BITC’s construction sector supplier event. Marta had been seeking to grow her business and win work through local government opportunities but hadn’t succeeded.
Making her way to the event she was a little disheartened, but despite having just flown back to the country, she headed straight to the venue, showing the kind of personal resilience and determination often necessary to succeed as a small business owner. Marta had a unique opportunity at the event to connect and discuss opportunities with Enfield Council and the Country Side Partnership. Marta has explained it was just what she needed to stay motivated.
Marta wins her first local government tender
Since joining that first event, Cubit has won its first tender with a council to install two commercial boilers and refurbish a plant room. The event also led to a one-to-one meeting with an event speaker from Country Side Partnerships, resulting in Cubit being asked to quote for a large contract. Marta was delighted with the direct outcomes and shared her gratitude with the BITC team.
“The networking opportunities have been very fruitful, and I am very grateful. We are now busy preparing to fulfil the tender we won, and we have been able to secure the necessary funding for the project.”
She continued, “It’s interesting, in the last month, I have had two trusted friends tell me to give up on tendering with local government. They assured me I would not be able to break in and get work! I am yet to break it to them and tell them I have achieved the impossible.”
Marta’s story confirms the principles of a place-based approach to be correct. Supporting small businesses to be healthy and giving them opportunities to grow, in turn, leads to healthier and more fruitful communities. Marta explained that she hopes her next achievement will be to win more work and offer apprenticeships and work opportunities to the local community of Enfield.
- If you are a small business owner in Enfield, you can sign up for our next event.
If your organisation would like to partner with BITC to support small businesses through a place-based programme contact us.
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taking a place based approach