Gosbert Chagula
5 min readJan 3, 2021


2021: Resources for Startups & SMEs 🌱

At the start of the year, I’d put together a list of resources that I felt would be useful to startups and SME’s. Looking back, it now seems that everything pre-March 2020 belongs to a different time.

So in light of the changes that 2020 has brought. I’ve updated the list, this time with an eye on the future and more specifically, 2021 and beyond. I’ve split the list into sections

  • Find your tribe
  • Investment / Funding
  • Test an Idea
  • Other types of business support
  • Other resources

1. Looking for your Tribe? 🧑🏾‍🤝‍🧑🏾

🦓 Zebra’s Unite Community — The Zebras Movement is calling for a more ethical and inclusive movement to counter existing startup and venture capital culture. Their latest newsletter — Zebras Unite London | Dispatch 09 (MailChimp.mp)

💯100 Online Startup Communities — We’ll be living our lives online for the foreseeable future. Therefore, if you’ve never joined or perhaps played a more passive role in online communities, nows your chance to connect with others. As the saying goes ‘if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go further, go together’.

Link: https://www.ometrics.com/blog/slack-groups-for-entrepreneurs/

Slofile — Database of European (English speaking) slack groups. Several active groups in Europe with a variety of different specialisations. Includes Android developers, design, general startup support and much more.

Link: https://slofile.com/slack?category=Tech&lang=English&region=Europe

☝️The Lean Startup Feed on Quora — The purpose of the lean startup methodology is to get the right product with the right business model into the hands of customers through the building, measuring, and learning…fast.

You can also post specific questions about growing your startup. There are tons of helpful and smart people who will point you in the right direction.

Link: https://www.quora.com/topic/Lean-Startups?q=Lean-Startups

2. Looking for Investment /Funding? 💷

🌍The Mayor of London’s Green New Deal Fund — Delivers support to London-based small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that are helping to make London a low-carbon circular city. The funded opportunities will be made available to London-based, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Link: https://advancelondon.org/our-services/green-new-deal/

💰Open Sourced Impact Investor List by Ragnarson

A list of open-sourced Impact Investors from across Europe. This list includes investment criteria, investment stage, area focus and ticket sizes.

Link: Open-sourced impact investor list — Google Sheets

🦓 Zebras United Grant List — An amazing resource from Zebra’s Unite. They’ve collated several grants available to businesses. Includes organisations such as Comic Relief, Big Lottery Fund and Innovate UK.

*Please note some of the dates have passed. However, for those thinking ahead, it gives you an idea of where to channel your efforts in 2021.

Link: https://airtable.com/shrueNhpHkxWu8p89/tblV6Kg1BKO9ODWG2

💼Need for Seed: Seed Legals x Spice

For all founders looking for seed investment in Q1 2021, Spice Startups, & our SeedLegals will be hosting ‘Need for Seed’ event where they’ll be running a speed dating event with 15 angel investors on 28th January who are all actively looking to add to their portfolio.

Apply for a spot below ⬇️


🌱Community Growth Ventures (CGV) — Fantastic list of resources compiled from Community Growth Ventures. They invest in underrepresented founders and have a range of resources relating to Pitch Decks, vetting Investors, and access to alternative funding options.

Link: https://airtable.com/shrbMtDt4dfVkITGy/tblvgAjKHNZmvoL3s/viwCwAAr5AM0cO77W?blocks=hide

☎️🖤Common Call Fund — Common Call is committed to redressing the lack of resources, skills and tools that inequality of resource allocation metes upon the Black community in the UK. Through the provision of funding and wrap-around support, we will empower Black people building organisations that have been negatively affected by the COVID crisis to engage actively and beneficially in the communities in which they live.

Link: https://www.commoncall.fund/

3. Looking to test an idea? 🧪

🎬Startup Discovery School — I couldn’t not, right? Startup Discovery School supports founders test, grow and scale startups. We help founders focus and take action. Alumni includes — Lendwheel, A Complexion Company and Waya Money.

🔟 proven ways to validate your idea (by Michael Michelis) @_michelis_

‘You’ve got a great startup idea, created some kind of prototype, be that a video, a Slideshare or even a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), but you need market feedback to validate your product or define what features are worth building. You’ve even identified the information you need from your potential customers and written down all the questions you need them to answer.’

Link: https://medium.com/tools-for-entrepreneurs/10-proven-ways-to-validate-your-startup-idea-82e430ca4527

🆙Foundervine — They’ve recently announced a multi-year partnership with Lloyds Banking Group to directly support the growth of Black businesses across the UK.



4. Looking for other kinds of business support? 🏋️‍♂️

🏗️Be the Business is a not-for-profit movement helping every firm in the country to improve their performance. They’ve recently launched their ‘Rebuild’ programme targeted at SME’s

Rebuild brings together:

• A blend of peer and expert-led business advice and insights on recovery tactics — practical steps everyone can take

• leaders from businesses of all shapes and sizes in collaborative ways rebuild through action-driven content, mentoring, problem-solving groups

Rebuild will adapt to the changing needs of UK businesses through the crisis with new content, advice and guidance.

Link: https://www.bethebusiness.com/rebuild-your-business/

🆕Newable — helps businesses thrive through funding, professional support and premises. Unleashing potential, building resilience & championing growth (https://newable.co.uk/).

Newable also have an extensive events list here -https://events.newable.co.uk/

5. Other Interesting Resources

Salesforce ‘Leading Through Change’ — Salesforce has created an extensive hub featuring workshops, advice on remote working and business pivots. https://www.salesforce.com/uk/blog/category/leading-through-change.html

VC Platform Guide🎓

platform are the services that a VC offers outside of investment capital and partner time on boards or providing intros. Examples of VC platform services include: recruiting, marketing, design support, inside sales reps, consulting, accounting services and so forth

60 pages filled with insights and strategies contributed by platform leads from VC funds such as Atomico, AngelList, Seedcamp, Entrepreneur First & many others https://lnkd.in/d2VhWzm

If you enjoyed this post, follow me on Twitter for more insight about Startup Discovery School, and Life, via @Gosbert 🚀



Gosbert Chagula

Co-Founder @ Startup Discovery School 🧭 | Business for Non-Business Types | Football Shirt Connoisseur