Hub for Entrepreneurs Opens at West 12  Shopping Centre

Petit Miracles offers affordable space plus support to 15 start-up businesses

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Petit Miracles, within the West 12 Shopping Centre, has opened a pop-up hub offering local entrepreneurs affordable retail space, with the added help in the shape of meeting rooms, wifi, marketing support and advice from experts.

Elisicia Moore, who runs the furniture-restoring charity Petit Miracle Interiors, launched the hub in West12 on December 6 - Small Business Saturday.

" It’s the only model of its kind," she says. " No one else combines business incubation with access to the retail market like this."

15 spaces have been earmarked for start-up businesses from Hammersmith & Fulham and nearby, with weekly rents as low as £100.

Elisicia says one of the highest hurdles facing start-up businesses is finding a shop window.
" It doesn’t matter how good your product is if you don’t have space to sell it," she says.
" By giving new businesses access to a retail market, they can test their products and get feedback right away. The hardest thing that new enterprises face is getting a shop, never mind getting a place in a shopping centre."

The 40-year-old from Vancouver moved to London for a few months in 2005, and stayed and
launched Petit Miracle to make use of empty properties to train people who have experienced homelessness how to create new furniture from reclaimed chairs and tables, diverting items from landfill and giving people fresh skills.

There have already been positive inquiries from start-ups about taking up retail space in West12, but Elisicia is adamant that new businesses must also commit to being part of a supportive entrepreneurial movement.

" It’s not a hand-out. I expect everyone to help each other, and support each other in every way possible. Artisans, emerging designers and techies will all feel at home in our collaborative space,” said Elisicia, who also plans special events, demonstrations, workshops and a cafe and community space.

" This is a great example of the benefits social enterprises bring to Hammersmith and Fulham," says Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.

" Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of H&F’s economy, so we are certainly very happy to see the local community come together to support local business in this way."

The enterprise has been given fast-track funding by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, and has the support of Land Securities and the West12 Shopping Centre.

For more details, visit Peter Miracles.

December 7, 2014