The programme aims to support SMEs in building their leadership and management/HR capability to help them utilise the skills of their employees more effectively. It also advises SMEs on how to invest in young people through work experience/apprenticeships, investment in training and building links with local schools and colleges. 

People Skills programme will be available at no cost to small businesses (SMEs) and will equip them with a range of bespoke HR support including:

  • 1-2-1 guidance from experienced HR professionals who will work alongside businesses
  • A telephone helpline to discuss employment and skills issues
  • Online information and practical templates to help businesses save time when developing new employment processes
  • Local networking and group training events delivered on related people management and skills development topics

For more information on using this service please click HERE


GetSet is a specialist service tailored for small businesses with the potential and ambition for sustainable growth. If you’re looking for some expert support to help get your business to the next level, the GetSet teams of business, finance, marketing and sales strategists are ready to get to work.

GetSet focuses on helping business overcome the two biggest barriers to growth – generating sufficient profitable customers and accessing finance. Money and marketing must work together in any successful business.

Whether your business is micro or multimillion, if you need a more effective business and market strategy or improved business development tactics, want to understand what source of finance is best for your growth, how much you need or support to become investment-ready – we’re here to help.

With a range of highly successful peer:peer Growth Programmes, masterclasses, 1:1 hands-on support and experienced business mentoring will increase your knowledge and skills, and give you the clarity, focus and confidence to achieve your growth potential. 

Thanks to generous funding from J.P. Morgan, our service is freely available to businesses in Hackney, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest

For more information on using this service click HERE


The Hackney business charter is a unique opportunity for Hackney's business community to invest in the borough and its communities by making a commitment to three key principles which have the potential to change lives:

Community: making a commitment to actively support and invest in the local community
Employment: adhering to the principles of fair work and pay, providing equal opportunities, and investing in local people by employing Hackney residents
Environment: being involved in improving the character of Hackney and running a business in a way that enhances and does not damage the local environment

In return, the Council has created a comprehensive offer of business support designed for both new and established businesses, throughout all sectors, that will ensure that a business can develop and become a long term presence in the borough. 

Read full details of the Hackney Business Charter here 

Sign up to the charter

To register your interest in signing up to the charter please contact: providing your name, business, email address and telephone number.

Once you have been awarded charter status awarded your business will be publicised as a case study and will be added to our website and also to the Invest in Hackney website. We'll also send you Hackney business charter promotional material, invitations to networking opportunities and events and involve you in everything that's happening in the business community in Hackney.

steve adler, MAYOR OF AUSTIN, AND HIS WIFE recieve a warm welcome at HACKNEY TOWN HALL

steve adler, MAYOR OF AUSTIN, AND HIS WIFE recieve a warm welcome at HACKNEY TOWN HALL

Hackney Council has developed a series of Business Friendship Agreements with similar cities and districts around the world.  These agreements are designed to improve the prospects of Hackney's businesses for exporting and building new links that will increase the size of a business' markets.  Our first agreement is with Austin, Texas which has now evolved into the signing of a full Sister City agreement with the City.  In March 2014 we signed a Business Friendship Agreement with Oslo, Norway and similar agreements with Barcelona and New York are in the pipeline.

In 2013 this work led to the award by the Government's Business Innovation and Skills Department (BIS) for Encouraging Businesses to Export. 

In 2013 this work led to the award by the Government's Business Innovation and Skills Department (BIS) for Encouraging Businesses to Export. 

Hackney House first originated in 2012, when Hackney Council temporarily took over a disused piece of land in Shoreditch High Street and created a pop up showcase venue for Hackney's business and digital arts communities during the Olympics.

The concept of promoting Hackney enterprise in meanwhile use spaces lives on and now in its third home - Hackney House, Curtain Road was launched in Autumn 2015. 

Set over three floors the venue provides

  • versatile and flexible event spaces
  • a relaxed and friendly café
  • a first floor bar with roof terrace 
  • a gallery space
  • a number of meeting rooms available to every business based in Hackney and beyond. 

The first floor of Hackney House is home to a digital art gallery used to promote individual and independent creative talent from across Hackney and other East London boroughs.

Hackney House hosts up to 30 Hackney House events throughout the year; allowing us to showcase the exciting diversity and creativity of our local business and creative sectors. 

Click here for more details about Hackney House

The Hackney Community Fund is a unique project in which a voluntary £1 donation is added to the bill for each nights stay in local hotels. 

The Community Fund will be used to support a range of activities to improve opportunities for Hackney residents and to contribute to ongoing improvements in the borough– the fund will be used for the following:

Training and Employment schemes: funding a series of training schemes to help develop a range of skills in the hospitality and other sectors supported by the council’s Ways into Work Programme

Supporting cultural events for visitors and members of the local community that celebrate the innovative and creative character of the borough

To read more about the fund and which hotels are already involve please click this link.

Ways into Work is Hackney Council's in-house recruitment service for businesses in and around the borough. The team are dedicated to providing a straightforward, flexible and responsive employment support package for employers wishing to hire local people with the right skills and experience for the job. 

The Ways into Work team offers a tailored service to meet your needs. This can be as simple as you providing the job requirements, the team sourcing candidates, screening them for suitability and then forwarding them to you for interview selection. Ways Into Work can also be more involved in your recruitment process by organising screening sessions and recruitment open days depending on the number of positions available. Our employment service is a completely free service, regardless of the complexity involved in finding the right person for the job. 

The Council is committed to supporting Hackney residents into sustainable employment and by working with new and existing employers we seek to achieve the best possible outcomes for local communities.
We also work with local employers to deliver apprenticeships across a range of sectors to offer young people opportunities to start a career in the most exciting and creative borough in Europe.

To contact the Ways into Work team or find out more information please phone 0208 356 5700 or e-mail


We recruited most of Aquascutum’s initial headcount for their Hackney Central outlet. Martin Connolly, HR Manager at Aquascutum said: 

“The Ways into Work team was brilliant - we were deeply impressed at the high quality of the candidates they put forward, and indebted for their support throughout the whole process." 

Help to Make your Business Accessible to Disabled Customers

There are over 35,000 disabled people living in Hackney, nearly 15% of the total population. It makes good business sense to ensure that your premises and the goods and services you offer are accessible to disabled people.

Please use the links below that provide a range of useful information:

Making your Premises, Goods and Services Accessible to Disabled People

The guide from the Equality and Human Rights Commission focuses on making your premises physically accessible, while these pages from Invest Northern Ireland also explain how you can change the way you work as a business to accommodate a disabled person’s needs.

Employing Disabled Staff

Employing Disabled People and People with Health Conditions provides all the information you need when employing disabled staff, and providing support with their career.

Communicating with Disabled People

These guides cover all areas of communication with disabled people from appropriate language and images, to channels and formats.