McMillan Khoza is a Strategic Operations and Finance leader, currently working as an Interim Finance Manager at the South Kilburn Trust working alongside the Chief Executive to deliver strategic and operational projects. These projects are linked to economic growth outcomes for the Greater London Authority and The London Borough of Brent.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Can you tell us a bit about yourself, the South Kilburn Trust, and the Granville?
I am the Interim Finance Manager at the South Kilburn Trust, I work alongside the Chief Executive to deliver strategic and operational projects. These projects are linked to social and economic development within London.
I am originally from South Africa and was brought to the UK by my passion for people and business, making a positive impact. I have been completing my MBA (Masters of Business Administration) Degree at Nottingham Business School, before falling in love with the beautiful city of London and moving here in 2019 to join the Trust from Nottingham in the east midlands.
The South Kilburn Trust was founded in 2011 to help address challenges around high levels of deprivation within London’s South Kilburn area which falls under the London borough of Brent. The Trust work focuses on addressing higher than average levels of unemployment, poverty, and health concerns, lower income levels within the area through social and economic development initiatives. Our aim is to help local people by running a successful community, co-working and event space that gives back to the community through affordable space and access to free or low cost activities, events and support.
The Granville, has a rich history dating back 1877 when it was built and in 1957, the building was sold to what is now Brent Council. In August 2017, South Kilburn Trust took over the building’s management and in partnership with Brent Council and Greater London Authority carried out extensive refurbishments of the building. In May 2018, its doors were reopened to the community with the vision for The Granville being to remain a facility dedicated to serving the people of South Kilburn. The building houses a number of offers to the community and South Kilburn Trust continues to listen to the community to find more ways to expand this offer. The Granville supports both local people and local business seeking to make a positive impact on the local economy as well as community though business and enterprise support.
Do you have any success stories that you can share?
Yes, we have had many success stories and it would be difficult to mention just one without being unfair to countless others but I would say our greatest success story has been the spirit of our people and the community which we serve. Through the Granville facility we have built a buzzing close nit business community which seeks to address and promote critical issues in society such as gender equality and female entrepreneurship. Most of our business owners within the enterprise hub are female entrepreneurs with some who are multi-award winning entrepreneurs. Additionally, we pride ourselves in striving to impact people through getting local people involved in starting their own businesses offering free business advice though our specialist advisors opening this opportunity up to all local people and aspiring entrepreneurs around Brent and London.
We have also had success with our youth programme and our Arts and Crafts programme for younger age groups. Our success lies in seeing our local community and our local people grow and succeed combing business and community to make an impact, making others success our success.
How has COVID-19 impacted your operations?
COVID-19 has presented new challenges for both The Granville and the South Kilburn Trust’s operations. Lockdown closures meant that we had to halt certain segments of our operations. The biggest challenge has been around our ability to host community events and welcome the wider community within the Granville space. We striving to lead by following government guidelines and collaborate with local organisations to facilitate continued support to local communities. Our focus remains on the people we serve. On the business side our enterprise hub has reopened since 1 July 2020 as we ensure that The Granville remains open and committed to supporting local people and leading in stimulating local businesses and the local economy focusing on people first.
You’re currently working on a survey of coworking spaces, can you talk about what data you hope to collect and how it will help serve the community?
This research piece is aimed at building a shared knowledge base that is primarily focused on increasing industry capacity around strategic and operational resilience as we navigate a COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 world. Recognising the emerging challenges brought on by COVID-19 specifically on the coworking enterprise hub operating model. As a leader I am not only seeking to learn from others but contribute by taking the lead in driving positive strategic and operational changes that will add value to organisations across London and globally. Sharing local expertise to reshape the wider community and industry.
Thanks again for your time! Do you have any last messages you’d like to share and how can our readers get in touch with you?
In today’s times of uncertainty we are committed now more than ever to supporting local people and local businesses through affordable workspace, business support and initiatives geared towards community development. For more information please visit:
The Granville: thegranville.org
My personal LinkedIn Page: McMillan K.S Khoza