Man with hat

Our Enterprise team helped to launch another small business at Mercato Metropolitano indoor food market.

Published: 26/08/2020

In April 2018, our Economic Development and Enterprise team joined forces with Mercato Metropolitano, Hatch and three Southwark-based organisations to deliver the very first Business Incubator programme.

This programme is focussed on supporting entrepreneurs to develop their businesses with a trading space and financial mentoring within Mercato Metropolitano's markets as well as training and coaching around selling the best food experiences available to customers.  

The Female Food Founders (FFF) helped to turn one enthusiastic foodie's dream into a thriving business. Nancy Nosel of Ze Spätzle Club won a £1,000 start-up grant as well as intense business support to begin trading at Mercato Metropolitano. This was followed up by Founders Without Borders (FWB), which supported two refugee chefs to set up their food businesses.

Almost 18 months on, these businesses have continued to thrive and grow so plans for the third phase began: DreaMM. This phase was due to launch in April 2020 but then lockdown hit, throwing the programme into uncertainty. The food business sector has been one of the hardest hit and the impact was real, especially as Mercato Metropolitano saw traders slowly close up shop for an indefinite time. It was heart-breaking but the Enterprise team didn’t give up, because the DreaMMers were still dreaming and the team had a few tricks up their sleeve.      

Moving online    

The programme was very quickly adapted to run online and, although there were some delays, it was launched in the first week of May, with a personal appeal to applicants from Andrea Rasca, Mercato Metropolitano's Founder and Chief Executive Dreamer. Our Economic Development and Enterprise team worked hard to provide digital support to businesses ensuring their e-applications were of top quality. Winners were guaranteed the following:    

  • tailored mentorship and support from Mercato Metropolitano's team and our enterprise partner Hatch
  • an opportunity to spend three months in the Mercato Metropolitano incubation shack at the Southwark Market
  • an opportunity to become a full-time teammate at Mercato Metropolitano, and 
  • financial support package to kick-start their idea    

There were 39 applicants in total of which half were selected to pitch in the second round, where one business topped the group.

We are delighted to announce that the first DreaMM 2020 winner is Daniel from the spectacular @holycalzone.  And that's not all, the team are currently working with seven more businesses who were all runners up in second place. They are all currently going through tasting and preparation sessions for the possibility to join more MMarkets later this year.

For more information

Mercato Metropolitano is open for business, visit to find out what's on and the opening times.

Watch Daniel in action on his first day, just three months after applying

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