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Freelance Business Support for East London Creatives

By Sara Karpanen

Wick Freelancers is a free peer-to-peer business support programme for creative freelancers based in and around Hackney and Tower Hamlets, who want to…

⭐️ Meet locally and support each other

⭐️ Build a supportive network of local freelance and self-employed creatives

⭐️ Create space for strategic thinking, skill-sharing and problem solving

The programme kicks off in early February 2022. Read on to find out more and apply by 24th January 2022.



What you’ll get from the programme

Our peer group approach is a proven model for supporting entrepreneurs and business owners to grow personally and professionally and set up their businesses for future success.

By completing the programme, you will:

⭐️  Make tangible progress on your business goals

⭐️  Build a trusted network of peers and local experts to share skills and collaborate

⭐️  Improve your resilience and adaptability

⭐️ Echo currency to crowdsource skills and advice from 5,000+ people


How it works

Wick Freelancers brings together small, diverse cohorts of freelance and self-employed creatives on a 3-month journey. Together, you’ll tackle common challenges, share skills and insight into each other’s businesses, and build long-lasting relationships for support and collaboration.

The programme includes:

⭐️ 6 fortnightly action-oriented peer group sessions to uncover solutions to live business challenges, hosted by an experienced facilitator 

⭐️ Flexibility to cover the topics that matter to you – from building new revenue streams, learning about the different freelance models, to improving your online presence, to managing client and partner relationships

⭐️ Access to a network of industry peers and additional workshops for specialist support where you need it most

⭐️ A showcase and networking event to connect you with new opportunities and collaborators


Who is it for?

Wick Freelancers is designed for freelance and self-employed creatives who are keen to build their network and are open to sharing challenges and opportunities with others. The programme is open to people living or working in Hackney or Tower Hamlets.

To take part in the programme, you’ll need to be…

⭐️ Registered as self-employed or sole-trader, and operational for at least one year

⭐️ Working in the creative industries

⭐️ Have evidence of traction and a customer base

⭐️ Living or working in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, with preference given to those living or working in Hackney Wick and Fish Island (E9, E3, E15 and E20 postcodes)

We believe in the power of diverse peer groups and are especially interested to receive applications from people from underrepresented groups. 

Questions about being eligible? Contact us! Drop us an email at to have a chat. If you don’t quite meet the criteria but are ambitious to grow and improve, there may be some flexibility.


Here’s what previous participants on our peer-to-peer programmes had to say:

Meet your hosts

Echo has been delivering business support programmes since 2015, and to date we have supported more than 300 entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. Wick Freelancers will be organised and hosted by experienced facilitators from the Echo team.

Echo is a community where people help each other by sharing skills and talents. Through the programme, you’ll be able to tap into our network of 5000+ people offering their skills, plus our holistic programme of workshops and networking events.

This programme is supported by one of the Mayor of London’s first Creative Enterprise Zones.

Apply now

It should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. To apply for a place on the programme, please complete the application via the link below. We’ve extended the deadline to 24th January. There are limited places remaining, so don’t delay in getting your application in!

The first session will commence early-Feb 2022.


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Funded by the Hackney Wick and Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone. A partnership between LB Tower Hamlets, LB Hackney and the London Legacy Development Corporation, funded by the Mayor of London.


Is there a charge?

This programme is fully funded, so there is no charge for you to take part, but we ask for maximum commitment to collective growth.

Do I have to attend the whole 3 months?

Yes, if selected to join the programme, you will need to commit to attending each session (1 session per fortnight over a 3 month period). 

Who else will be on the programme?

We carefully curate the group to maximise opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing and mutual support. We make sure each cohort is diverse, and avoid direct business competitors in the same group.

Will sessions be delivered online or in person?

We plan to host these sessions in person, in a Hackney Wick based venue. If circumstances change, we can easily switch the sessions to online and find that the format can work just as well on Zoom. 

When will sessions take place?

Where possible, we’ll take the preferences of the cohort members into account when selecting a time for the sessions. They will take place at the same time each fortnight.

What if I don’t fit the criteria? Can I still take part?

If you don’t quite fit the criteria but are keen to take part, drop us a line at There may be some flexibility, or we might be able to refer you to another one of our programmes instead.