Tree Shepherd is creating a local economy model that helps people from long-term unemployment and other marginalized backgrounds to create local enterprises. Every day we meet ordinary people with tremendous ideas and commitment and we are passionate about helping them achieve their goals.
CEO Colin Crooks is the Social Entrepreneur in Residence for Lambeth and has worked for nearly 25 years in social enterprise. He is nationally recognised for his pioneering approach for enabling community-led regeneration to flourish. Partnerships Manager, Lydia Gardner has ten years’ experience in developing social enterprise businesses and academic programmes for the world-renowned Bromley by Bow Centre. Tree Shepherd was founded in September 2011 and has grown rapidly working in partnership with major local stakeholders in regeneration, adult eduation, social services and business.
Specifically we offer local people a complete, all-round support programme. This starts with an 8 week “Start Your Own Enterprise (SYOE)” course that is delivered through an action learning model in local community centres to people who have never had access to comprehensive business training on their doorstep. Students learn about business skills including marketing, finances, HR, business-planning and selling. They then join a dynamic peer support network - the Forest Enterprise Network. The Forest runs a popular programme of support and events which bring students together and helps them grow in confidence and skills. Members can also join our enterprise mentoring programme, attend our business surgery and we help secure real business opportunities for them.
Business incubation is key to our support offer and we offer targeted group opportunities to help people from low income families to develop their trade and flourish on a local community level. We are experienced in facilitating street trading, retail and public event trading for our community.