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Digilab Tooting to provide local businesses with digital support

Digilab Tooting to provide local businesses with digital support

| by Editor | Posted in News, Education, Business & Finance

Tooting-based businesses and organisations who need website or app development, graphic design and video production have a new pool of fantastic talent at their disposal – Digilab Tooting. But this is not your typical web design agency as there’s a brilliant story behind it...

Incubated by Business Launchpad, the youth-focused social enterprise based in the Trident Centre, Digilab Tooting opened its doors last summer. Since then, a small team of young entrepreneurs, led by Obed Yeboah and Samson Opayemi have been working closely with local schools and youth organisations, teaching youngsters (many of whom have had a difficult start in life) core technical skills such as website coding, Photoshop and video editing, all of which will enhance their career prospects in later life.

Obed Yeboah in full flow teaching a coding class

Digilab now has a highly talented team of young students primed and ready to provide the SW17 business community with a whole range of compelling and affordable digital solutions, without having to leave the local area. Projects are already well underway with several local businesses, including Pearl Chemist who have commissioned a number of health awareness videos.

Digilab also collaborate with educational establishments like the Francis Barber Pupil Referral Unit in Tooting, who work with secondary-aged students with special educational needs. Digilab have taken 15 of these students through a specially designed coding course and the partnership has been so successful that Francis Barber are going to replicate this programme in their Wandsworth Town unit. Many of the students are now part of the Digilab Tooting team.

Digilab is a place where local youngsters have the opportunity to grow their personal skills just as much as their professional skills. Obed explains the philosophy behind this:

“We started with a plan to teach a range of core digital subjects but quickly realised that many of the youngsters were lacking confidence. Therefore, we helped them to build this self-belief by teaching them to communicate better and also become leaders by becoming teachers themselves to the newer kids – we now have a 10-year old girl as part of the team who has been taught coding by the older children!

Samson Opayemi educating the Digilab students about Illustrator

“We want to create a culture and environment where the kids can be themselves. Many of the students are vulnerable young people – we want them to share their problems, teach them how to deal with these issues and then teach each other these interpersonal as well as professional skills.

“As we start to work with local businesses, we are involving the kids in every aspect of the relationship with our clients – the initial meeting, the brief, the quote, the strategy and the deliverables, making sure they produce the best quality of work. As we move forward, we want the kids to own that process for themselves with Digilab simply overseeing things in the background and being as invisible as possible – this way, their confidence increases.

“We want to teach the students how society works and how to contribute towards it. Contributing to a small business growing by providing them with a service will enable them to one day walk past that business and tell their friends that, for instance, they helped build their website. This will give them a feeling of achievement that they’ve never had in their lives and something tangible to show – and this will inspire them.

“What’s very important to us is that every young person that spends time on a project will get paid. Often young people feel that because they are young and they lack experience, they will get taken advantage of. We want to show these kids that we value their skills and that when they’ve finished their education, they don’t need to go outside to look for a job – they can learn here, then earn here and we will be their biggest cheerleaders throughout that journey.”

Digilab Tooting is now funded through the revenue it generates from classes delivered to local schools and community groups and from income from local businesses who utilise their skills. Digilab has big plans to grow both within Tooting and further afield – exciting times are ahead.

So, whether you’re looking for a new website or app development, video production, graphic design, animation or a whole brand / rebrand strategy, Digilab Tooting is here to help.

For more info on Digilab Tooting and to see examples of some of their work, visit their website. Get in touch by emailing or call them on 020 8516 7759. You can also follow Digilab Tooting on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Tooting Daily PRSS is excited to be working in partnership with Digilab Tooting on a number of local projects. We look forward to sharing their news in the months to come!

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