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Wick Freelancers Business Support – Apply now!

By Sarah Henderson

Join other creative freelancers to adapt and thrive post-lockdown

Wick Freelancers is a new free peer-to-peer business support programme for creative freelancers based in and around Hackney Wick & Fish Island, who want to…

– Adapt and thrive post-lockdown

– Build a supportive network of like-minded freelance and self-employed creatives

– Create space for strategic thinking and problem solving

This programme is supported by one of the Mayor of London’s first Creative Enterprise Zones. Find out more about the HWFI zone here.

We’ll be hosting our first group of freelancers from September 2021, with a second group kicking off from January 2022.

*DEADLINE EXTENSION!* – We’re giving you a few extra days to get your application in after the August bank holiday. Read on to find out more and apply by Monday 6th September.

How it works

Wick Freelancers will bring 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, to improving your online presence, to managing client relationships

– Access to a network of industry peers and experts for specialist 1:1 support where you need it most

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

Who is it for?

Creative Networks 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. Priority places will be reserved for participants with a disability or long-term health condition.

If you’re not sure if you are eligible for this programme, you can contact us via to discuss. If you don’t quite meet the criteria, but are ambitious to grow and improve, there may be some flexibility.

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 with

– Improve your resilience and adaptability

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

“My experience with the Echo programme has been very useful and empowering. Meeting other creative business leaders and talents to collaborate with, and sharing challenges and ideas is one of the best strategies for personal and business development. The most important factor is also that we have all made new friends!”

– Simone, Photographer and founder of Camera Work London

“The programme was an incredibly valuable experience for our business. The hand-selected and matched peers created a unique cross-section of businesses and business owners who were insightful and able to attack scenarios from different angles to create workable solutions.” 

– Dave, Musician and founder of The Recording Studio London

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.

Apply now

To apply for a place on the programme, please complete the application via the link below by Monday 6th September. It should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.

The first group will commence week beginning 22nd September.



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.


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.

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). 

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.