Ladies Learn Market Trading at Old Spitalfields Market

Spitalfields, London, UK – On Sunday 11th and 18th September 2011, Old Spitalfields Market is playing host to a group of young women from the youth unemployment social venture ‘You Make It’. The group, which is the venture’s pilot project, is called Ladies Who L-EARN and they have been given hands-on experience in setting up and managing their own market stalls - specialising in the sales of designer-maker products sourced through Cockpit Arts. 

The products on offer will include: illustrated cards by Naomi Ryder; Spotme buttons by Katie Baton; Yoyo Ceramic speech bubbles and notebooks from Helen Johannessen; hand-made silk oyster/ credit card holders by Justin Oh; ethical notebooks by Tamasyn Gambell; porcelain birds, bunnies, necklaces and mini vases by Shan Annabelle Valla and screen prints by one of the Ladies Who L-EARN – Halyma Khanam.

You Make It was established in response to growing numbers of youth unemployment and seeks to find new ways of engaging young people in learning and earning opportunities - so that they stand a better chance of achieving financial independence.

The Ladies Who L-EARN programme involves 18 young women, mostly of Bangladeshi and African backgrounds, taking part in weekly workshops that are held at the Shoreditch-based Rich Mix venue. These workshops grow the participants’ confidence, professional networks and their know-how of setting up creative businesses – brokering opportunities for the women to put into practice everything they have learned by setting up and running market stalls in Old Spitalfields Market. 

Andrew Sparrow, a director with Old Spitalfields Market commented: “We are really pleased to be able to support this important initiative from You Make It. The work that they are doing is really making a difference to peoples’ lives and what better way to learn about running a business than market trading? We have as many as 30,000 visitors to our indoor market hall every Sunday, so the girls will have plenty of opportunities to sell the designer-maker crafts.”

The programme has been running for 13 weeks, and has unusually low drop-out rates. While it has been started with very little cash funding, it has been made possible because of the huge number of people and places who have provided in-kind support - whether that includes giving time as a mentor, delivering a workshop, housing workshops, or in the case of Old Spitalfields Market, free trading space for the programme's business project at the end.

Founder and director of You Make It, Asma Shah, said: "I am delighted by the generosity that partners such as Old Spitalfields Market have shown in supporting the Ladies Who L-EARN initiative. It's so important that the programme has been able to include not just workshop learning, but also real experience of what it is to run something and earn from it."

One 24-year-old participant on the programme from the East End, added: “This course has been an extremely inspirational and useful tool in helping me to understand everything that goes into starting your own business. At the same time I have been able to able to expand my social and professional network.”

Open between 9am and 5pm on Sundays (10am till 4pm Monday-Friday), Old Spitalfields Market is a short walk from Liverpool Street Station and Aldgate East Tube – please visit for further information.


Further Press Information

Please contact Tim Ward of Parker Ward Limited. 
T: 44 (0)1743 851 015 
M: 44 (0)7966 022 532 (out of hours)

Old Spitalfields Market
Operated by Wellington Market Company Plc, Old Spitalfields Market, located in the heart of Spitalfields is a premier London attraction and one of the finest surviving Victorian Market Halls in the Capital.

Built in 1876, Old Spitalfields Market offers an impressive array of art, fashion, gifts, antiques and food outlets via its market stalls, shops and restaurants. Old Spitalfields Market is a Ballymore property.



Documents & Links