Supporting the Local Economy
Backing Small Business to Benefit All

We know that a thriving economy helps create a strong community, making a positive impact for everyone. That’s why we’ve always been committed to backing local businesses from the community that surrounds us. We’re also pleased to support initiatives that help businesses start up, grow and develop, such as the South London Procurement Network and East London Business Place.

of our spend – 40% of our total – was spent with local businesses in 2018
billion secured by local businesses in contracts and opportunities since 1997
Since Canary Wharf was opened, the local economy has grown by 466% – compared with 123% for London as a whole
SLPN has been very positive for our business, helping us gain new business. As a result of attending SLPN networking sessions, we have established long-standing relationships with buyers in many companies


Led by Canary Wharf Group and supported by the East London Business Alliance, East London Business Place (ELBP) brings the private and public sector together to help grow local businesses. Through initiatives such as its current ‘Building Legacies’ programme, ELBP provides local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) with free capacity-building and supply-chain brokerage support to help them grow, develop and win new contracts.

In 2018, ELBP, through its Building Legacies programme, supported 220 SMMEs, of which 43 were in Tower Hamlets. Since Building Legacies commenced in 2016, ELBP has supported 104 Tower Hamlets-based SMMEs.


Tower Hamlets-based caterers Easy Gourmet have been delivering a comprehensive range of high-impact events and catering since their inception in 1998. In 2016, female-led Easy Gourmet registered with the Building Legacies programme, identifying key growth challenges and addressing them with support in the form of mentoring, workshops, one-to-one specialist support, networking and introductions.

Now Easy Gourmet are experiencing a significant pattern of expansion, with highlights including £170,000 of increased sales, taking on eight new staff, winning the prestigious Square Meal Canapés Cup in 2017 and even catering for the Royals!



For new businesses and small companies, getting access to large organisations and the opportunities they offer can be difficult. So, in 2012, Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar formed the South London Procurement Network (SLPN) to bring together buyers and suppliers.

As well as a free sourcing and matching service, SLPN also offers practical advice and guidance. In 2018, SLPN hosted 14 workshops and seminars, as well as facilitating one-to-one business consultations and meet-the-buyer events.


Our targets are designed to help the entrepreneurship and innovation of flourishing small businesses.
Read more about our 2018 progress against targets in our Measure chapter