Reflecting back upon the first meeting with the Office Coordinator at the K&C Foundation, the primary objective was to raise awareness amongst small businesses in the borough. I am proud to say that I have visited and raised awareness amongst a total of 120 businesses during my time at the K&C Foundation. A total of 70 businesses provided appropriate contact details and were added to the business follow-up sheet, but not all of them were added to the database. During that same time, approximately twenty follow-up phone calls were made. I noticed that the businesses I contacted responded positively and were willing to discuss different ways in which they could get involved.
In search of small businesses that are keen to help the community, I visited several areas within the borough including Kings Road, Sloane Street, Fulham Road, and Knightsbridge. On my daily visits to these areas, I discovered that certain businesses were unlikely to respond positively to our cause as they had head offices based outside of the borough. As a result, I learnt to approach businesses selectively so that time would not be spent unnecessarily.
What I have gained:
Through my coordination with the team on different issues, I have learnt the importance of communication and clarity when approaching the task at hand. This skill will be useful during my third year when I work on the DMT (Design, Make and Test) project. Engaging with businesses directly has dramatically improved my confidence in presenting. Furthermore, I have gained knowledge about the extreme contrasts in wealth and opportunity that exist within the borough.
What the Foundation has gained:
Over the period of four weeks, a total of 120 small businesses are aware of the work carried out by the K&C Foundation. This opens the door for leads to be pursued through the contact details brought back and entered into the database.
My recommendations for the Foundation:
- Target keen university students during the summer by approaching the careers’ service at Imperial College London.
- Allow someone from the team (a volunteer perhaps) at K&C to visit small businesses in Golborne Road and Portobello Road and discuss possible ways to get involved. Several of them didn’t have email and therefore were not added into either the database or the business follow-up sheet.
- Work with the same printing shop during the year in order to build a relationship and negotiate prices.
I am really grateful for this opportunity to have worked with an “umbrella” charity over the last month, leaving me with many positive experiences.