The GROW Fund podcast launches today

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Our new podcast about local investment and entrepreneurs is available now!

9 Miles East is a podcast about a financial first. It will give people a closer look at the UK’s first community-led investment fund that’s making an impact right here in Barking & Dagenham!

The GROW Fund was developed by residents of the borough (our CSG) with money transferred from the Council to Barking & Dagenham Giving.

The CSG, originally made up of 12 local women, met monthly to learn about investment and share ideas about what they wanted to achieve in the borough. They chose to use some of the £1.45m endowment to support local entrepreneurs who are committed to growing businesses that are good for people and the planet.

Local talent, Elvire Matu hosts the podcast and introduces listeners to the business owners, community decision makers, and investors in Barking & Dagenham. 

The first two episodes of 9 Miles East

The first episode of 9 Miles East looks back at Barking and Dagenham’s history, exploring the rise, fall and rise again, of one of London’s most underfunded boroughs. And asks, what could a brand-new funding model do to change things for the local community?


BD Giving’s Head of Learning and Participation Cameron Bray breaks down how the GROW Fund works and why it’s so important for the people and local businesses in the borough.

In episode 2 of 9 Miles East listeners meet Wunmi Oyewole, a proud member of BD Giving’s Community Steering Group. It was Wunmi and her steering group colleagues who decided which local businesses would receive the £25,000 grant and 6 months of business support from The GROW Fund. In the podcast, Wunmi explains what inspired her to get involved and why it was so important to involve people who knew the borough best in making the decisions.

Future episodes will feature GROW Fund grantees and local business owners, Carol Pluckrose from Boathouse Studios, Georgina Alexiou from Barking & Dagenham Youth Dance, Sarah Robertson from Future M.O.L.D.S Communities, and Kemi Oloyede the Creative Director of the Sew London Project.

There will be an episode released every Wednesday. Listen wherever you get your podcasts! 

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