Supporting local enterprise - Hatch

69765 LF MSP Hatch 2023 New Website 3

In March 2022, we launched Hatch: We invited small businesses for their chance to win free retail space for six weeks later in the year. We knew Milton Keynes was home to a high number of small businesses and start ups, but even despite that, we were blown away by the number, variety and calibre of the applications we received. Following a pitch with our shortlisted applicants, we selected two businesses to receive this chance of a lifetime. Both businesses opened in summer 2022 and both went on to stay!

Hatch created a number of links between us and our small business community that has provided new opportunities for us to work together:

  • Eleven of the original Hatch applicants took part in a small business market in the Boulevard at the end of September.
  • We first became aware of Walnuts Sixth Form through the Hatch programme, as they applied for a chance to win for their sixth form social enterprise.
  • Plans are also well underway with another applicant, Safari Strike (and through them, with #MKMovers), on plans for a sports event during the Easter holiday 2023... Keep your eyes on our events page for details!
  • Hatch 2023 saw a great selection of local businesses apply, and we have gone on to work with one of our finalists Friars Farm to produce Food & Craft markets in centre, with the potential to build upon this further.
  • For the second year we are running our Hatch Small Business Market, where we invite the finalists from both years to come and showcase their business and sell their products on the mall as part of our Small Business Market.
  • If you, or someone you know has a business and might be interested in finding out more about Hatch, we highly recommend following us on social media, signing up to receive emails from us, so you see details as soon as the 2024 competition is announced.