Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Community Kickstarter Initiative (CKi) from Link4Growth

We live in highly complex communities in our modern society. There are the familiar boroughs and councils, parish councils, the volunteer sector, community groups… business groups, in fact there are many communities and even, communities within communities.

One of the big irony’s of our modern era is that there is so much going on in our communities (and really good projects / initiatives too) but that very few people ever get to hear about them. We hear often about the 3% which constitutes the bad stuff going on, there is a whole system in place to get that information over to us. We have very little though in place to share the great and amazing good things happening in our communities... that's about to change!

This then is the purpose of the Link4Growth CKi programmes. To provide in each town (village or city as well) a communications hub that is open to everyone and on which all of us from that town can become ‘reporters’ or ‘journalists’ and share what is going on. It is free to use and enables us to categorise information into the 9 segments that make up our communities.

The 9 different areas are : Community and Charity, Business & CIC’s, Education, Health, Leisure & Entertainment, Faith groups, Local authorities, Communications (TV, Radio, Newspapers) and Sustainability.

By coming together and sharing what is happening in our communities in a common space open to all we can start to appreciate all the good things that are happening around us, plus, we can recognise those fantastic community centric people who are putting in a huge number of hours and applying themselves to projects that benefit those around them.

This really is our time. Our time to create the community that we want to live in. It is not the council’s responsibility, they have neither the resources (human or financial) to do all the things that need doing in our community. We have the people, it just needs to be much much easier to find out what is going on and be able to lend a hand.

The great news is that there is something for everyone. So diverse is our community that there really is an opportunity for every single one of us to get involved and be part of this. It doesn’t require money, it doesn’t require permission, all it does require is taking action.

If you would like to start a CKi project in your town, or you want to know if something is already happening then please do ‘take action’ … yes… you… it’s your time to take action… if not you? … then who?

By the end of 2018 there will be 8 million of us helping to rebuild communities right across the country… we are starting in earnest right now!! … it’s the beginning of something so huge and it is not linked to politics or money or business… it’s linked to people, doing what is right and working together for us… and for the kind of future we want…

Come and be part of it… email:

please watch the video below...

Monday, 20 July 2015

The PostCapitalism era and how Link4Growth is playing its part

For those of us living today we are on the edge of probably the most exciting time in human history whilst at the same time poised on the brink of the most difficult period. This brings with it a whole level of uncertainty and for many a huge worry about what is going to happen. Others are blissfully unaware of how delicate the current situation has become, so delicate in fact that just one thing could trigger a meltdown in the world financial markets on a scale that we have never seen before.

There have been several posts in the Guardian which have prompted this blog. Talk of an age after capitalism is now beginning to be openly discussed as the cracks in the global economy become ever wider and deeper. The inequality brought about by pure greed at the expense of the majority and the wide implementation of damaging austerity measures are exacerbating the move towards change. It only takes a Grexit (Greek exit from the EU) to start an irreversible chain of events that would make the crash of 2007 seem like a walk in the park... and we're that close.

For us to really understand the inevitability of the changes that are upon us we must look at some of the trends which are gathering pace.
  1. Automation. If you have never seen the video 'Humans need not apply' please take time to watch it.. I have included it below. 45% of the jobs humans do today could be replaced by existing technology, and those jobs will never come back. In the drive to bring down costs and to thereby increase profits or gain competitive advantage producers will always look to automate production not create new jobs. Ironically capitalism in the end will be part of its own demise as costs of products will reduce, gradually tending to zero, whilst also removing the need for human involvement in the production process. The hamster wheel of the capitalistic era coming to an end and truly bringing about freedom for the majority.
  2. Sustainability. Climate change and the willingness to live in greater levels of harmony with our planet are no longer an option. Harvesting renewable and sustainable energy will over time enable us all to enjoy free energy, either by producing it ourselves and then pooling it, or by tapping into others producing more than they need. The chairman of E.ON has already said that the era of central produced energy to distribute for profit is coming to an end. Energy prices will gradually tend to zero, the cost of living reducing significantly. Locally produced food is another huge opportunity. Produced where it is needed, using the land in more innovative ways and by encouraging people to grow at least something no matter how small the available space. New co-ops are emerging where people provide their gardens to grow vegetables in return for some of the produce. By talking and sharing our stories, greater levels of innovation and duplication take place.
  3. The Internet. This has created the environment for the free sharing of information, resources, and the ability for people to connect with others across spatial distances to work on solving real Human issues. One such case is an initiative to produce via 3D printing, plastic prosthetic hands for children with only one hand. A global phenomena enabling children around the world to improve their quality of life for $40 dollars not the usual $'000's. A not for profit endeavour, created to help children, globally, just because we can. This is a great example of the collaborative commons, made possible by the Internet. The internet has the potential to change everything, from regime change to breaking apart the banking sector, the internet is the great leveller.
  4. Banking and Money reform. The last vestige of a bygone era the banking sector and the greed within it, is hanging on by its fingernails as the global debt storm ever approaches.Couple this with more flexible and alternative ideas around money such as Bitcoin the pressures are mounting. The poor are getting poorer the rich richer, as if the bankers and financiers know the game is up and they just want to milk the system as hard as they can before the inevitable happens. The marches in Spain, the Greek tragedy and the whole of southern europe is a cauldron just waiting to erupt. This is inevitable, the day of reckoning is coming, what we have to do is prepare ourselves. Countries will still be there, people will still be there, but the way we interact and work with each other will determine how resilient we are and how we weather the storm.

An article in the Guardian with excerpts from Jeremy Rifkin political advisor and author explains much of what I have said above.

So how might a #PostCapitalism society look like?

One of the points in the article by Rifkin is that the future capability to produce at much lower costs would not be mirrored by an increase in demand. Simultaneously with the transition to a new economic and global economy, will be a human transition. That transition is to an abundance, collaborative and supportive thinking rather than the capitalistic and scarcity model that our society is based on today.

In this long article also in the Guardian Paul Mason quotes...
"Millions of people are beginning to realise they have been sold a dream at odds with what reality can deliver. Their response is anger"
"We need more than just a bunch of utopian dreams and small-scale horizontal projects. We need a project based on reason, evidence and testable designs, that cuts with the grain of history and is sustainable by the planet. And we need to get on with it." 

How will this change be brought about?

What are the practical things that can be done to transform a nation. At present the underlying conditioning is one of blame culture and focus on money. This doesn't mean money is bad, just the constant chase and desire for more than we need has been stimulated in us, we are not born greedy. Humans are the only species on the planet that takes more than it needs. There are people eating themselves to death in the west and those dying with no food in poorer countries. To evolve we need to believe in the concept of enough, that there is abundance and enough for us all. Acceptance that if we focus on making a contribution, valuing ourselves by who we are and seeking to serve, we will receive all that we need and achieve much greater levels of happiness. To chase money constantly serves those in control of the money who have conditioned us to believe in the capitalistic message, we have a choice. Whilst we continually give away our power by blaming others and focus on having more money we are enslaved in an unwinnable contest.

There are many who are already on the journey working on themselves transitioning to abundance and collaboration, many of these have already found Link4Growth, but there are many more who have not. Link4Growth is an inclusive organisation created to serve the people. To rebuild community from the grass roots up, focus on what is really important; people and relationships and to promote abundance and collaboration.

... and it all starts with a conversation. Through conversation ideas spread and new thinking develops, through conversation people get to develop new local relationships, find out what is happening, how they can participate, and most importantly, belong once more. This is where people develop a sense of value based on who they are, not what they own. In an atmosphere and environment of 'giving' we can begin to help each other... not for money, but because we feel good when we help others. Most of us would like to contribute and help because most of us are decent human beings. Just we've been conditioned to only look out for No.1 by a system that was never there to serve us.

Link4Growth hosts events in local coffee shops, local pubs and restaurants, supporting our local businesses. It is at these events that we meet, talk, listen, learn, connect, share and inspire. It is at these events that we can build the support infrastructure to transition to the post capitalistic society.

We do not have much time

Link4Growth is a national initiative. Bringing like minded people together who want to be part of creating the kind of world we want to live in. But the clock is ticking. We must build a support system of people who would give freely to those in need, there will be plenty of them requiring help. We are on the run up to an extremely difficult time, and when the finances crack, all we will have is each other and what we are prepared to do for our fellow man.

Together we can ride out the storm, together we can get through this but it will require a herculanean effort, the kind of effort that only can be achieved if we all work together towards a common goal in an organised way. Link4Growth has created the infrastructure that will enable us to build a team of 8 million people in the UK alone... it's an infrastructure that can be replicated in other countries too...

All we need now is belief. Belief that together we can decide our future. It is not in the lap of the gods, nor in the hands of others. It is in all of our hands, we must be the change we want to see.

Take action email : and be part of it.

Monday, 22 June 2015

How can small businesses be a catalyst for big changes?

Many of us already know that the sole trader, micro and small business community is where we must look for the changes in our fortunes. This is on a personal level, local community level and a national level too.

There are often clamours for more support for the small business, changes in legislation and tax breaks for those taking the risk of setting up a business and often going it alone. Makes sense doesn't it? If we're going to dig ourselves out of the hole we are in, then encouraging the small business with incentives will help them grow, it will drive employment up and make a massive difference.

But... and it is a big but... The government (or local councils for that matter) neither have the resources nor the inclination to favour those who choose to be in business any more than they do now. If you choose to be in business, then there are the rules and good luck is about as much support as you are going to get, look what happened to Business Link! Nope, you are an enterprising bunch you entrepreneurs don't look to the government for help or inspiration... They chose working in the civil service!

... plus... It is a known fact, entrepreneurs in general will look at all other possibilities before taking on staff as a last resort. If you are self employed with a skill (doing something you love) you might just get hired for projects as a supplier though... A glimpse into the future there...

So... What is a good way forward for self help for a small local business?

We are all part of the local community in which we live whether we choose to run a business or not, and if you are in business it's great to be able to meet others also in business. But you know what? 70% of what goes on in the community is nothing really to do with local business and herein lies a huge problem. Business and community are undeniably linked very closely, and yet there is virtually no mechanism for business and community to engage on a regular recurring basis.

One concept to bring business and community together was corporate social responsibility (using CSR here on in). The concept was introduced mainly for large corporations in an effort to encourage them to give back to the community in return for the vast profits they extract from us. With a few exceptions this has largely been adopted in a kind of 'lip service', 'tick in the box' way, with schemes that represent a fraction of what they could do. Almost nuisance projects, allowing them to legitimately record them into their annual reports demonstrating how they are giving back to community. The tangible signs of these projects however, are far and few between.

Asking large corporates and shareholders to 'donate' their profits to community voluntarily was always going to be an uphill battle. Perhaps the concept of helping out with the local community ought to have been directed elsewhere... at a different audience.

And here is one solution. What if we could create a way to bring business and the community together? What if local businesses (sole traders, micro and small businesses) could engage easily with local charities and social organisations and find ways to help out? If local business people started to take a keen interest in local community issues (and contribute) their reputation would grow rapidly, as would the respect of those in the community.

When respect and reputation go before you, so do recommendations and referrals. People refer people they like, but if you are a giver too? Go straight to the top of the referrer board! By raising your profile through community engagement local businesses are effectively delivering CSR not necessarily through monetary donations, but through interaction and time.

Link4Growth is about to launch Link4Business, a place where local businesses can meet together, to get connected, find suppliers, share tips and tricks, knowledge and expertise... But couple this with the community events, we provide a fast track route for businesses to learn about the community needs around them, and play an essential role in rebuilding our communities.

With local small businesses leading the way, helping to rebuild our local communities, taking an increasing share of business from the multiples perhaps corporates will begin to learn the message of CSR. It would appear the only time big business listens is when something affects negatively the bottom line.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Why rebuilding community is essential and how is Link4Growth doing it?

Community has been in steady decline for decades in the UK. Community is at its lowest ebb where the focus on money is at its greatest. Often when people move away from the South East and in particular London to other parts of the country, the north, the west country and elsewhere you hear the remarks, "people are much more friendly here". What they are alluding to are the remnants of what was prevalent across the whole of the UK... 'Community'.

A number of factors have been responsible for eroding community over the years. We did not just wake up suddenly one morning and decide... This community concept is not working any more, let's abandon it. It has happened because of a variety of factors each contributing to the steady decline year on year, slowly, almost imperceptible in its progress... but, like a slow tide coming in, over the long years, culminating in where we are today.

So what exactly has happened? what are these factors that have taken their toll on community? what have been the effects of dwindling community? why is it important to rebuild them? ... and, how are we going to do it?

To understand how community has been eroded we have to look back through the last 100 years. We must also look at the different types of communities that exist and what are the factors that have led to their decline. There are three main categories of communities that we all belong too. We are involved in many more than 3 for sure, but they fit inside these main categories. These are :-

  1. Family
  2. Workplace
  3. Public community

1. Family

100 years ago or so it was not uncommon for people to have huge families. When talking to the more senior generation it is fairly commonplace to hear, I was the youngest of 14 children... or I am the only survivor now of 9 siblings. People had much larger families. These families of course gave rise to huge extended families running to over 100 people in 3 generations.

During this period, people also tended to not move very far. Transport was in its infancy, people didn't have cars, and consequently families grew up in the same city, town or village. This was a huge support network of related people that could be relied on to help if needed. Where 4 children would have been considered a small family back then, today, this is a large family. People are also much more mobile than ever before. Families are now not only spacially distributed across the country, but internationally too.

2. Workplace

For the past 60-70 years and definitely up till the end of the 20th century the default work mode was to 'get a job'... and if you could find a job in a large secure company then so much the better. Talk was of good career opportunities and maybe having 3 or 4 jobs in a lifetime. There were many more manufacturing companies and often people stayed with their chosen career and a company for 30+ years.

Larger companies had 3,000+ people working for them. Located in a city or town, the majority of the people working there lived in the town, this was another huge community of people linked by a common thread... the company where they worked. This was a support network that came after the family. People you would see every day and conequently built up solid relationships over time. People you could rely on in a time of crisis.

3. Public community

This public community is the wider community of local people. This consists of people that you came into touch with through perhaps a joint interest but would otherwise not necessarily know. Typical places where the 3rd community thrived are where people from any background or walk of life could assemble and have conversations. Four spring to mind... The Church, meeting at least once a week and often more. The local community centre, providing a central place for people living close together to gather for local fetes, festivals, shows etc. The pub, this was a place to talk with other local people, share connections, learn about other people in the local community. Lastly, the town centres or markets. This brought people together on Market days in a central location, to buy and sell and catch up with local news and gossip.

What has happened to all of the above?

Whilst reading the above it would probably have dawned on you that the world isn't like it was. Things have changed significantly. Some of these changes started decades ago, others, more recent. But the changes have been relentless. If you couple all of the above with some other significant changes below we can then take a look at the effect all of this has had on our communities... and remember it is these communities that are the glue to our social wellbeing.

Focus on competition, scarcity, money and growth at all costs

This has been a cancer that has been spreading since the 70's. It runs through everything that we now consider 'normal society' and it is probably at its worst in our schools. We have been succumbed into comparing ourselves with others and striving to be better than our neighbours, competing to be seen as a winner, to be successful, and the measurement criteria? ultimately money and what we have, but in our schools, colleges and universities this is translated as qualifications. Of course the better the qualifications are, then the better you are, and the more successful (amount of money you earn) you will become.

Society today is teaching us to divide and conquer, to look out for number 1, and to value ourselves by what we have, not who we are. It is no wonder we are falling apart. We are actively breaking down community and those trying to rebuild it are viewed as a bit 'strange'... often asked... why would you be doing this, rebuilding community?

Let us recap and review

Families are much smaller than ever before and spatially distributed. Often there is little on the ground support from community no. 1 anymore. The number of large companies employing thousands has dwindled to very low numbers compared to the past. Many more people are now running their own businesses working from home, isolated and often quite lonely. Job security (... long term employment with a single organisation) is now almost a thing consigned to the history books. This 2nd community almost entirely wiped out. And the 3rd community, bumping into people at public meeting places? The church... still doing great work in the community but serving an ever decreasing percentage of the population. The community centres? Very few remain and their role is now changed such that it doesn't provide the same function as before. The pubs? It is much cheaper to buy drinks from the supermarket and more people are choosing to drink at home because money is tight. The high streets and markets are all struggling with retail parks, supermarkets and online companies offering lower prices out of town or via the internet.

Many would add that with the Internet there is now no longer a need to go out at all, and that almost all our needs can be served through computers, tablets and smart phones right down to the weekly shopping. Everything that we are doing is designed so that we have no need for community, we are ok on our own, our small families and chasing the next £... But... are we happy? ... honestly?

Why rebuild community? 

If you visit a Hospice and you talk to people who have a short time left on this earth and listen to the words they speak and any regrets they have about their life. Or if you go along to a funeral and you take a look at the close family of the deceased, what do you see and hear? In both cases you will not hear mention of... I wish I had got a better job, wished I'd worked harder, wished we'd had a bigger house or better car... you won't hear any of those. What you will hear is... I wish I had spent more time with my kids, I wish I'd had the chance to tell my sister, brother, mother, father how much I loved them... I wish I had repaired that relationship... I wish I'd done more with my life instead of just working and chasing money...

What is really most important in our lives is people. People and relationships, and yet we have been steered away from this by those that would have us buy more, the latest this or that, and who have created an epidemic of consumerism. We have been sold that our lives will be better the more money we have and the more stuff we have in our lives. This serves only one group of people, those providing the products and services we are lured into buying whether we really need them or not. The rest of us are caught in the trap of chasing the next pay check to buy more of the stuff we 'have to have' to keep up with everyone else... our self worth is now what we wear, the car we drive, the technology in our hand and the size of our house. And to get more of this, we have to compete and take more out of the system for ourselves... sorry someone has to lose...

What we have isn't working for the majority...

The road we are on is not working for most of us. This is not about politics, it's about people and relationships
, it is about observing what is going on around us and choosing to take some action. What action though? ... I am only one person, what difference can I make? ... try sleeping with a mosquito and asking whether someone small can make a difference.

There is a great deal of unfairness in the world today. Whilst a few have ever expanding hordes of reserves there are a great many others struggling to make ends meet and survive. But if we were to work together, to support each other, look for opportunities to help others less fortunate than ourselves, or have a need that we can help out with what a difference that might make. The reason we can't help at the moment is firstly, it is quite difficult to actually make a contribution, the mechanisms in place to volunteer are just too difficult and cumbersome, and secondly, lack of information and knowledge... we just don't talk to each other any more, and there is no common public space where we can meet and talk to find this stuff out and then connect people.

Now that is all changing!!

Link4Growth is a platform created to rebuild the 3rd community space. To provide a space for local people to once again come together and begin having conversations. To bring people together from all walks of life, from whatever background or status so that we can begin to rebuild connections and rebuild community... one person at a time. Everything starts with a conversation. It is a simple concept and it is working already with circa 100 events being hosted each month up and down the country. It's not what you know it is who you know... old, true statements that are more relevant today than ever before.

Link4Growth hosts events at different times of the day so that everyone can at least come to something. There are no costs to attend so that the focus is kept away from money and is accessible to all. We hold these informal drop in events wherever possible at local independent coffee shops or public spaces so that we support local businesses and the local economy ( #L4GBuyLocal ).

Over to you...

So what action can you take? ... You can come along and be part of the conversation if there are events already in your town. If there is nothing in your town currently, you can start one. Just get in touch via or via the website form here. You can also join in the conversation online. We have a nationwide forum that you can join in with... we are also on all the social media platforms... Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter ( @link4growth ) and Google+.

The community rebuilding programme exists, it is happening already, the only question left is... would you like to be part of it? ... if the answer is yes, then take action... contact us and let's get started.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Just how do you tell people about your charity or business?

One of the most common challenges facing small businesses and independent charities these days is how do you get the people in your town or city to know you exist. You know in your heart that if people could find out about you, then the chances are they would use your service or products, and if you are part of a local charity, that people would support it.

The options for getting your message out there are fairly limited, pricey, and, there are no guarantees either... So what are the traditional options?

Advertise in the local newspaper

This can be expensive with small ads costing hundreds of pounds. Circulation of these papers is in general decline although online versions do help. Out of the reach of most smaller businesses and charities.

Local radio

Again longer periods of advertising work out more cost effective and radio can be a good medium. But costs of producing a succinct advert and running the advertisement is out of the reach of most local businesses and charities...

Local community magazines

Often much lower cost than newspapers these can work well for certain business types. They often need good content and stories which are a great way to expose local charities too. They also have good relevancy in that the people being marketed to and local and within easy reach. Worth exploring.

Leaflet drops

These really work well for some kinds of businesses, especially takeaways where people pin them on their noticeboard for future reference. It also works for other services like Gardeners and gift items... but less well for more specialised services

Local directories (online and offline)

Offline directories have become almost extinct as the Internet has rolled every forward... nowadays there are a plethora of much smaller online directories but which ones are used by people? difficult to tell... do you have to be in all of them? ... are they relevant and local?

Cold calling / canvassing

With so much abuse of the telephone by PPI claims, Accident claims and people trying to sell stuff over the phone, it is no wonder that people steer away from this. If you have a Business to Business service it is still a great approach but more and more it needs to be a warm introduction first, however that is originated...

Direct Mail

Much more prevalent in Business to Business situations. Can be effective if the document is unusual or has some unique quality that demands further investigation. Handwritten and / or highly personalised such as postcards often work best.

Email campaigns

Another method of communication which has fallen foul of mass abuse. Email campaigns work best with a highly refined list of people that have registered and interest. Open rates can be as high as 30-40% with good lists. The effectiveness of email compaigns thus relies on the quality of the list. If no such lists exist, then, the first port of call must be to build your tribe...

Website and search results through optimisation

Build it and they will come... err... no they won't. Websites are great except no one will visit unless you  invite them (publicise your website), or you have great search engine optimisation (SEO) so that you are found for key terms that define what you do (Plumber in Watford) or... you have localisation deployed in which case you are more likely to come up for local and specific relevant searches (this is even more relevant with Google since April 2015). This can cost quite a lot of money... and it is a moving feast as the search engines are continually changing their algorithms... what works today, might not work tomorrow... and back we go again... more money, unless you are technical and can take care of things yourselves.

Social Media

Unfortunately Businesses and to a lesser extent charities have seen social media not as an engagement tool to build relationships, support and referrals but as a low cost broadcasting and marketing platform... once again, buy my stuff. This has 'spoilt', not irrevocably, these platforms but there is much to do in terms of education on how to use these platforms in a way that serves us instead of annoying people. Social Media is about developing relationships with people, creating a community online, a tribe of people that want to hear what you say and respect your comments and thoughts.


This is a great way of demonstrating your expertise, but like any other online approach somehow you need to rise above the noise. With billions of updates daily, the only people who will be seeing your content are those that you have built a relationship with.

Business Networking

Beyond the scope of most charities due to cost and to most micro businesses for the very same reason, Business networking does enable people in business to get to know each other, build relationships and advertise what they do. For those in the community that would like to meet up and have conversations with others from the local area, irrespective of whether in business or not, hitherto there has been very little available... until now...

Not easy is it?

Clearly some of the above may work for your business or charity but looking through them you may well feel you've tried them all at some time but that you wanted perhaps a bit more success for the effort involved, or the money invested.

Recognising the challenges of invisible local businesses and charities and the need to raise their profile is one of the fundamental missions of Link4Growth. The important question to ask any business or charity would be, would you be enjoying more success and engagement if everyone within a 5 mile radius knew you existed and who you were?

Of course it is a rhetorical question... However, how could that possibly be achieved? One of the underlying fundamental strategies of Link4Growth is to enable people to more easily find (and buy) from local businesses, and for those in business to be able to engage with the community and share what they do, all for little or no cost. For local charities it is about removing their cloak of invisibility and making people aware of their existence and the good work they are doing.

So how can Link4Growth help? ... Let's start by asking some questions

What if there was a way to represent how we are organised physically in the online world? What if we could create counties, cities, towns and villages and then enable people to participate and include themselves in those places where they live and work? What if they could then contribute to those communities and share what is happening in their life, community around them, and work? What instead of guessing how to find local people and relying on search to come up with the goods we were able to find what is around us through a simple structure that organises what is happening in our community for us in an easy way?

Welcome to the Link4Growth District Websites...

These are community platforms not controlled and managed by individuals but open to anyone that wishes to contribute and share what is going on locally. It is completely organic, so as more people begin to add local information about what is happening in the community the more rich and diverse the content. Think local community magazine or newspaper but where we, the community, can freely publish what is going on. No waiting for an editor to approve things or filter out our contributions. No delays or time constraints to get in the next publication... and to share what you want to say is both quick and easy to do...

Now at last we have a place to easily publicise what is going on in our community. No guessing where to put the information. No wondering how you are going to tell others what you are doing. Now... if you have something to say... you can say it. The best bit about this is that, once you have put the information out there... others in the community can easily help to spread the word and share it on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and elsewhere, so people not yet engaged on the community platform don't miss out.

There is so much good happening in our community that we don't ever hear about...

95% of what goes on in our communities is good. But good news unfortunately rarely make the news. So you might be thinking according to what you do hear about, that where you live or work is pretty bad with lots of awful things going on. Actually this won't be the case. This is our opportunity to learn about the amazing people in our community and what is really happening. Our chance to shout out about good things that are going on, the people making these things happen and be positive about where we live and work. If we all did this right across the country what a huge difference in just 'feeling and energy' would that make?

Below some of the highlights of what we are able to do with the community platform...

Do you have pictures or videos about your business or charity?

Tell your story with text, pictures and / or video, you can share what is happening so that others in the community can learn more about you, your business or charity

Local business directory (by category)

Get found easily by those looking for what you do in a dedicated local business directory. Good news spreads fast!

Post regular updates and keep people informed

You can update when, and as often as you like. Tell the community about special services, offers or announcements... Get your message to a wider audience easily and fast

Attend local community building networking events and benefit from the list below :-

  1. Have conversations and get to know other local people
  2. Make new friends
  3. Get introduced to people you would like to meet
  4. Find suppliers or collaborators
  5. Find customers or new supporters of your charity
  6. Learn new skills, gain tips and tricks from other local people
  7. Help others, share your knowledge, expertise and experience
  8. Be a contributor to your local community
  9. Open to all
  10. Brings together like minded people and accelerates good initiatives and projects


If you operate within a 5 mile radius Link4Growth exists to ensure you can achieve your goals, sustainably from your local community. There are a huge number of people doing great work already in the local community. Link4Growth enables us to share this with others... get the message out there so more people know about it. This can only be a good thing!

Do you operate nationally, or want to? ... Link4Growth's community forum joins us altogether nationally... Spread your message to the four corners of the UK and beyond...

Link4Growth District Websites are here to enable the community to come together online and work together. It's like a big filing cabinet bringing, the people in the community, local businesses, local charities, local events, pictures, videos, news, stories and everything going on locally into one place. Everyone can participate that's the amazing thing and everyone benefits... Fantastic for local businesses and charities, for those looking to support buying from local people... this in turn enables the local economy to flourish which in turn builds community itself. It really is win, win, win, win, win!

Access to the District websites is 24/7, and available on every device from Mobiles to Tablets, Macs to PC's and on iOS and Android...

Ok you might need to learn a few of the basics to start contributing at any of the community networking events or via Link4Skills online workshops... Many will actually already have the skills and access to these districts websites without even knowing it! ... in this case you'll just need showing where to find things.

Ok... So how much does it cost to participate in the above? ... Nothing... Yes... Nothing. It is all free to use and be part of.

Should you wish to contribute to Link4Growth (a not for profit) and support us in providing the infrastructure then you can do this for £3 per month, or £36 for 13 months... And by the way this is not obligatory.

Too good to be true? ... 

99 times out of 100 you'd probably be right... on this occasion you would be completely wrong. Link4Growth does not exist for its own benefit. Link4Growth exists to support and help the people in the community, and if you think that is worth supporting then drop us an email on or... visit the contact us form on the website here...

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Link4Growth... how can you participate?

We hear about a lot of things that are wrong in the world, on a global scale, on a national scale and even locally too. Countries fighting each other, corrupt governments, education, health, jobs, immigration, taxes and all manner of complex issues and on a local scale, issues around housing, local projects, local business, charity, buses, and many other local things which have a direct effect on our daily lives.

We also hear quite a bit (if we're plugged in) about a lot of people doing good things too... The Green Party, Zeitgeist, Occupy and organisations such as 38, GlobalNet, Avaaz all of whom are raising awareness of the inequality we have today, injustices and highlighting things to the masses which are plainly not in the majority's best interest... There are great initiatives that are happening under our noses across the UK too... Some examples Enterprise Rockers, BITC Connectors, 'The Thrive Programme', Transition towns, Time banking, Food-coops, Local Charities and Community Interest Companies (CIC's)... And there are thousands of other local initiatives all seeking to improve things going on all around us.

These groups above are all doing amazing work... And what they all want and need is our support... and more people to join them... but like every other organisation out there whether it be in the commercial or voluntary sector, they need...

  • to get their message out there and spread the good news about what they are doing
  • to have the infrastructure in place to underpin and enable their expansion

How can they reach out and spread the word, how can we expedite these fantastic initiatives and accelerate the rate of change?

Link4Growth has been created to do just this. Link4Growth is a platform that acts like an umbrella enabling all the different facets of community to come together with no hidden or alternative agenda. Link4Growth is recreating the third community space once again. The first two communities are our families and our workplaces, the third is where we can come together as members of the same physical community and have conversations with those around us. Any age, any background, any creed or colour, in business or not, everyone is welcome. Link4Growth provides space to meet, talk, listen, learn, connect, share and inspire.  It's about bringing everyone together in a cohesive way so that we can achieve much more... A structured platform for...

  1. Unity, bringing people together who are doing great things
  2. Sharing ideas, experience and knowledge
  3. Replicating best practice
  4. Collaboration in creating the future we would like to see
  5. Nurturing & Supporting each other
  6. Inspiration, creativity and problem solving
  7. Meeting like minded folk who care and want to help others to be happy & achieve

Link4Growth is truly open, random and supportive; No barriers to participation,  open to all and here to serve the people and through recognising that we are all connected and interdependent with those around us. It is delivering through physical events at different times of the day so that it is inclusive and enables everyone to attend at least something. We use local independent businesses (e.g. Coffee shops, pubs, hotels) as far as possible for meeting up, walking the talk of #L4GBuyLocal. Recognising that the success of our local businesses and buying local is critical for rebuilding our communities and operating in a more harmonious sustainable manner.

Link4Growth offers a 'plug and play' infrastructure that those doing great work in our communities can now tap into at no cost. This is delivered in two ways; first, through a (soon to be nationwide) network of community building events delivered by District Leaders and their teams at the village, town and city level. Second; but equally important is the other 50% which is online that works in unison with the physical; Link4Growth has architected an online infrastructure (utilising existing free social media platforms) that mirrors how we are organised spatially on the ground. This is now bringing new levels of engagement, connectivity and collaboration than has ever possible before.

So how could you or your organisation tap into Link4Growth and why?

1. We want to give back

Most people would love to make a contribution to their community. One of the main issues is that we don't have the infrastructure to enable those that want to contribute to be able to do so, in the way that they want to. Volunteering is actually believe it or not quite difficult to do with limited opportunities or variety, and stacks of bureaucracy getting in the way. Link4Growth enables us to talk, find out what tasks, services or products are required by those in need, so that we can connect the right resources and take action. Every skill we have there is a home for somewhere and Link4Growth enables us all to make a contribution providing a service (or product) that we are happy to give.

2. Remove the cloak of invisibility for your charity

Many charities are started on a shoestring with a tiny budget and possibly on the back of a grant to get things going. Many are started by people who want to do good work in the community but have never run anything like it before and don't know what to do. Link4Growth can help raise the profile of local charities, increase the number of local connections and reduce the reliance on handouts. Link4Growth is a joined up community network (not just for businesses, but everyone in the community) that for the first time allows charities to get out and meet local people and businesses for no real cost... Linked to a national network too means that charities can share expertise, knowledge, 'what works what doesn't', and increase their reach with little to no financial investment.

3. Raise the profile of your local businesses

Just how do you get the good news about your products and services out to local people? Ask any small business and they will tell you it's tough. It used to be quite simple... It did cost money, but advertise in the local paper, drop leaflets or pay for local advertisements on bill boards or other street furniture. But times are changing, nowadays there is networking and all the online social media paraphernalia that we are told we must do. Life just got a whole load more complex!

Help is at hand though. Link4Growth enables you to network locally and raise your profile for very little cost , plus we have workshops and training programmes to get you up to speed both with online technology but with a vast array of other educational programmes as well. Link4Growth also runs a local TV platform where we can share your promotional videos or even help you get one done... We also provide a  local business directory where YOU can post specials offers, promotions, stories, events you might be running, and much much more, all for free.

With as many local businesses as possible joining forces we can create a real movement towards #L4GBuyLocal. By making people aware of local traders, entrepreneurs and businesses and by inviting people to consider buying from local people in the community first, we can start to vote with our feet and get the ball rolling for change.

4. Share great ideas, experiences and replicate best practice, fast

Buried inside our communities are some people with great ideas. As mentioned already there are thousands of great initiatives being started all the time. Many of these ideas could be replicated and duplicated across the country. We are moving towards a much more collaborative and supportive environment so let's get sharing and make things happen.

Some of these ideas might not even happen but by having conversations, fine tuning concepts, and working together many more good things could be started involving thousands more people.

5. Expand great ideas nationally

There are many examples of successful localised projects which are equally relevant right across the country. The historical challenge has been how can people find out about these projects? Link4Growth solves this challenge, by enabling us to easily connect with others around the country in an atmosphere of support and nurturing.

Expanding any idea nationally often requires travel, holding events and a fair amount of investment. Link4Growth acts like a plug 'n' play platform. Share your idea / project on the national Link4Growth community forum and instantly get access to people and their connections all around the UK. Couple this with our workshops and training on how to use technology to share information and experience across spatial distances we can achieve much more faster than ever before.

6. Enable existing organisations to deploy infrastructure at no cost

There are many organisations that have already created a tribe of people that have signed up to an idea, initiative or concept. The challenge is taking the next step. Enabling people to communicate easily in a structured, organised way that is both effective and low cost and which leads to massive action. This requires systems and infrastructure. Link4Growth has developed a lean model that organisations can plug into and use as a catalyst to accelerate their activities.

7. Learning and Education to share our collective knowledge

As a nation we pretty much have all the knowledge we need, the problem is that it is locked inside our heads and is not able to reach those that need it. Not any more. Through providing a platform for rich engagement and conversation we are able to share what we know with others, nationally... More than that though...

We have created a secondary platform called Link4Skills that uses Internet video streaming technology (at no cost) to deliver webinars and workshops. Now, those that want to share their experience, knowledge and expertise can do this easily (with a little training) without the need for travel by either party. We call this 'the people's University'. Empowering us to pool our collective knowledge to help all of us grow!

In summary...

Link4Growth is enabling us to take responsibility and play our part in our communities. We now have the infrastructure and a methodology to rebuild community from the grass roots up. Link4Growth is encouraging the idea that we value each other not by what we have, but by our contribution. Link4Growth focuses us on what is really the most important... People and Relationships...

Link "4" Growth is about (1) personal growth, (2) community growth, (3) business growth and (4) national growth...

Change is already upon us... Now just a question of whether you would like to participate... Would you like to play your part?