Two dynamic women – Penny Power OBE and Gail Thomas – have joined forces to launch a revolutionary High Street chain of cafe for UKs startup and small businesses.
Penny founded business online networking platform Ecademy in 1998 selling the company that she had co-founded with husband Thomas Power in 2012.
The Business Café is set to launch its first bricks and mortar premise in Peterborough, the hometown of co founder and social entrepreneur Gail Thomas after completing its first investment round which was launched last week on Crowdcube, and has at the time of writing already raised £58,000 towards its £350,000 target.
The business then plans to set out on a nationwide rollout with a network of cafes across the country that require a free membership to enter a private lounge-style environment. The Business Café has already built a significant presence online with a number social media communities forming.
The founders say that their aim for The Business Café is to create a fertile environment for small business owners with the same ‘home away from home’ vibe of Starbucks, but with a more business lounge experience that gets a lot more ‘down to business’.
“Small business owners, particularly in regional centres across Britain, will often meet in the likes of Starbucks or a Costa, but always inevitably feel a little out of place having business meetings. The Business Café picks up where Starbucks leaves off”, says Thomas.
The founders also say that it is the intention that all the coffee and food served at The Business Café will tie-up with a leading independent retail caterer.
Skilled staff on hand
‘Digital Friends’, highly trained staff members who can answer for free, any questions relating to digital skills for improving business performance will be available at all locations
The ‘StrongMind-StrongBusiness’ Mental Strength programme for small business owners will also be a key focus of The Business Café, and embraced as it’s number one modus operandi.
But most importantly, “The Business Café is a place to make and meet friends. According to Power, “the digital world, for all its benefits, can’t complete the circuit board in terms of real-time physical social experiences. You really do need both”.
“This is what The Business Café is all about, having a place where business owners can network, share problems and help each other over a coffee” she says.
Power and Thomas first met each other in 2011 when Gail hired one of the young apprentices for her Virtual PA Company from Penny’s Digital Youth Academy launched in the House of Lords. Penny previously wrote the government’s ‘Manifesto For Digital Business Britain’.
They found working together enriching. Penny is very much into networking, marketing and digital skills while Gail has an aptitude for financial management and operations. “We beautifully harmonise both left and right sides of the brain,” says Power.
You can back Business Cafe on Crowdcube