Blackhorse Lane Makers District

by Paul Vooght in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 17th May 2021 we successfully raised £720 with 5 supporters in 38 days

Growing our organisation so we can become powerful enough to hold the candidates for London Mayor to account and create the changes we need.

The East End Trades Guild


The EETG is an alliance of over 300 small independent businesses working together through Community Organising. We bring small businesses and the self-employed together to speak as one, pursuing innovation and positive change for local independents and their neighbourhoods. We put people and their communities before personal profit. It’s what distinguishes us from other business groups and is why our work is vital at this pivotal moment in history.


Blackhorse Lane has vital and fertile ground for social, economic and cultural value to flourish and recover with long term resilience

Our area is a vibrant creative and cultural area of London and has incredible momentum to keep developing this further. With creative businesses of all sectors and quality cultural and community venues and activity woven throughout.

Working together we can provide a platform to support the sustainable and inclusive growth of this important creative district.

Can you imagine the capital without it’s kaleidoscopic small businesses from Chinatown to Brick Lane, Columbia Road to Portobello Road, and the myriad of markets from Walthamstow to Brixton? It would be a hollow place, with only its silent monuments distinguishing it from everywhere else.

We have seen gentrification tear communities apart and large faceless corporations arrogantly sterilise whole vibrant cultural and economic communities simply to make a profit and tick government boxes.



It's sometimes easy to forget that London is an incredibly democratic city and that means people have power, but only when united and organised. 

The Guild is only as strong as the members, it's not a separate entity that exists to serve the individual. It's a collection of like-minded individuals working towards common goals that are set out by those individuals.

On our own we are vulnerable but by building our EETG membership, together we can see through our crucial Commercial Rent Manifesto for a sustainable recovery.

Small and micro businesses account for 61% of all employment. When restrictions are lifted, and with the right support, small and micro businesses can breathe life into London's Streets again. 

Covid has turned a whole lot of things upside down, leaving an opportunity for all of us to speak up and shout about the London we want to see whilst people are listening and the big machine that normally keeps trudging no matter what has lost some momentum. 


This crowdfunder campaign allows new businesses to join for 1/3 off the yearly membership price if they join in teams of 5 and that's what this page is here to achieve. It’s the perfect time to come on board in terms of costs but also in terms of action. 

If we can bring 5 new fresh faces to the EETG from the Blackhorse Lane area through this page we are on an amazing path, especially whilst Sadiq Kahn will be watching and listening. We have a sit down with the man himself this month so now is the time to join and boost our momentum and power. 

Through Covid the EETG community has grown stronger than ever, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of resilience and strong communities in many forms.

Local authorities and the Mayor of London are listening more than they ever have, and in terms of the EETG itself we have recently employed a talented ‘Community Organiser’ to make us more effective that ever. 

This campaign is all about growing our organisation so we can become powerful enough to hold the candidates for London Mayor to account and create the changes we need. We have done it in the past (see some stories on the main EETG crowdfunding page, 'Fair rents for small businesses') and now we want to ramp this up at a time when it could not be more important. 


1617878316_map.jpgThe way this campaign is working is to break East London up into small and manageable groups of businesses that can form a tight and relevant community to speak as one and feed into the larger body made up of all the other groups. 

With an incredibly vibrant small business scene in the 'Blackhorse Lane Makers District' we will make up a meaningful portion of the EETG's wider platform. 

Interestingly these small EETG sub groups will also create the clusters of the ‘RENT CHECK’ App we are developing to make rent prices transparent and give us the group power to keep them under control. Much more information about this to come. 


Each area, in this case Blackhorse Lane, has been allocated an 'Area Leader' to find businesses in there local area that would be excited to join the EETG. 

My name is Paul Vooght, Co-founder of Yonder on Hooker’s Road, Blackhorse Lane. I am a fairly new member of the Guild, joining in 2019, but really becoming engaged in April 2020 as COVID stopped our lives dead. 

I myself was always a very independent thinking business owner, feeling that it was my responsibility to make my business work in the economic environment I chose when starting my business. I believed the reality of London is that you make the best out of what is in front of or even forced upon you.

East End Trades Guild has totally changed this perspective. This collective has reminded me that small independent businesses are what makes London what it is, and that the people behind these businesses are a diverse, passionate and interesting group of people with many of the same questions, concerns and drives as myself. 

It has shown me that we don’t have to be passive when it comes to shaping our economic and cultural surroundings. That small businesses not only make up a huge voice but that the people that make up these businesses are also within the local community itself. Not silent and massive developers and corporations that are distant and abstracted from the area itself and its needs.

Myself and Shamil from Armstrong Audio are leading this page and hope you will be keen to join us. 



Armstrong Audio


For small businesses who join as a group (my job is to find this group, don't worry about that) from the same street or area we are asking for a membership fee of £120 per year, just £10 per month. This is a 1/3rd of the normal membership fee.

All you have to do is be keen to support us and click the relevant 'Select Reward' button on this page.

If we can reach our goal of 5 new businesses from the Blackhorse Lane area the Guild will have the numbers and the funds to get our Manifesto in front of the people that really make the decisions. 

The first example of this being the face-to-face meeting we have with Sadiq Khan this month, and the success of this campaign will certainly be a talking point!


Not only do new members help us to fight the good fight to make the commercial property sector a friendlier place for small businesses, membership to the Guild gives you:

A POWERFUL VOICE - through growing the membership we increase our efficacy and make sure there is always a seat at the table for small businesses guaranteeing that policies for a sustainable recovery are co-produced by both policymakers and the small businesses they are meant for

RENTCHECK this revolutionary new app will be rolled out as soon as we have the paid member of staff to support its development through this crowdfunder

ACCESS TO OUR LEGAL FUND for members most severely affected by the pandemic, this will be important when the moratorium ends in June

KICKSTART JOB PLACEMENTS we are a Government Kickstart Gateway saving you paperwork on applications and supporting with training providers we process your new fully funded job placement, helping young people at risk of long term unemployment back into work

121 BUSINESS PLANNING & SUPPORT help from successful entrepreneurs to plan to pivot for success in difficult times first session free with discounts thereafter

EAST END TRADES GUILD STORE where our members can sell their goods and services really important while we continue to endure lockdowns

BLACK POUND DAY increasing visibility of our black members 

GUILD MARKETS events at Old Spitalfields Market



Our manifesto is the result of three years of research with members and partners and makes six proposals for the next mayor of London to seize this narrow window of opportunity for meaningful change. Below are the six demands we will get in front of the Mayor of London, we know we can be successful because we’re scaling work we've already achieved with two local Mayors who publicly support our Affordable Workspace Manifesto:

1. London Working Rent

2. Workspace Accreditation Scheme

3. Industrial Area Relevance Strategy

4. New Development Affordable Workspace inclusion

5. Small Business ‘Community Land Trust’

6. RENT CHECK- Transparent landlord & rent rates app


The Kickstart Scheme helps employers, by providing funding for them to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.

We realise the name is a touch confusing given that this is a 'Crowfunding Campaign'. Sorry about that. 

East End Trades Guild is a conduit for the Kickstart program for its members. Able to assist with any questions or concerns, applications, and even networking for the businesses.

Want to fundraise for this cause?