Business Name: ehk!
Support received: Start Up Loan
From Botswana to Islington, ehk! are a power team of architecture, design and research and writing services. With a start-up loan of £20,000 shared between two directors and free business support, they started their own practice, which provided them with the freedom to get involved with smaller and more quirky projects, such as shop fit-outs, urban art and community projects.
Richard, Elisa and Stephen met while studying Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast in the late 1990s and have remained close friends.. Since graduating, they have worked for different architecture practices for around 10 years, gaining experience in all aspects of the profession.
They decided to set up their own practice, ehk!, to enable them to deliver this vision and have been collaborating with London based stonemason Nancy Peskett on a number of public art projects.
They’ve also worked with Workshop East on a study on shared spaces in London, which fed into research conducted by the Greater London Authority (GLA) on how to best support start-up businesses. Based on this, the GLA has published a map of Incubators and shared working spaces, which is a fantastic resource for new businesses.
Find out how Ehk!’s journey has been so far…
How has the London Small Business Centre supported you?
We came across London Small Business Centre while we were in the process of starting up the company, and they have been absolutely fantastic. While we already knew a lot about Architecture, and even about some aspects of running a practice, starting a business was a huge learning curve for us. It was absolutely vital to have our Business Advisor, Pete, on board to give us impartial, honest advice. Most other people who offer advice have a vested interest – they mostly want to sell you something. Pete just wants to see our business succeed.
LSBC has been with us right from the start. Pete helped us write our business plan and put our financial forecast together. He helped us make decisions about how to best invest our time and money and how to get our business out there. We are passionate about architecture – about our clients and the buildings we design. Having Pete helped us keep an eye on how the business supports itself and making sure it is financially viable has been absolutely essential to our survival.