Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Small businesses take the lead supporting each other through a cash-strapped economy

Small businesses take the lead supporting each other through a cash-strapped economy

Cast your mind back to the early 80’s and a new Saturday morning TV programme grabbed the nation's imagination through a really simple concept:

A child needed something and would offer up a much-loved toy in exchange. With lots of outside broadcasts, fun and chaos.

Yes you’ve guessed it, Multi-coloured Swap Shop.

Now fast forward to 2020. As lockdown was announced, small businesses in Derby faced a very uncertain future with the initial panic caused by the Coronavirus and contracts being cancelled at every turn.

Their business community quickly pulled together to create their own version of the online Swap Shop led by Rachel Hayward of the award-winning, bid writing consultancy service, Ask the Chameleon. The team behind Derby Swap Shop includes internationally recognised sports apparel brand Huub and think3, local creative and design agency.

The idea is pretty simple – just like the original TV Show. An individual, small business or charity from across Derbyshire is looking for something. In return they will provide a swap offering goods or services.

After the initial success and over 200 active users later, the team set up the Notts Swap Shop, which is supported by the Nottingham Library and IP Centre and Nottingham CVS. Launched only a couple of weeks ago, it has 50 members and a growing list of swaps on the website.

Now it’s time for Leicester to launch on 23 September 2020.

The Swap Shop is free to use for small businesses and charities alike:


Perhaps you’re a restaurant needing some IT support, maybe you can offer a meal for 4 as a swap?


Maybe you’re a seamstress who needs a logo creating and can offer some masks/PPE/uniform in return?


Perhaps you’re a VA who needs some printing and can offer some administrative support?

If you need some support on a project, no matter how large or small and you’d like to offer your goods or services in return, get your swap listed - it’s a win-win!

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