Award-winning company boss launches club to boost business in Barking and Dagenham

An award-winning company boss is launching a business club in a bid to boost networking in Barking and Dagenham.

Michael Wear, 51, director of Dagenham firm Athena Training UK decided to form the First Knock club to improve business across east London.

The free membership club will seek to promote companies of all sizes by using the expertise of firms across the East Thames corridor, from Stratford to Thurrock in Essex.

The dad-of-three, of Stamford Gardens, Dagenham, said: “I’ve lived in Barking and Dagenham all my life. I’m passionate about the borough.

“The Federation of Small Businesses is very well organised in Essex.

“I want to encourage networking in east London and also businesses in Barking and Dagenham.

“If you want any business, you’ve got to knock on a door first of all. That’s the whole idea of the club.”

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Mr Wear launched his company Athena Training UK in 2001.

The 12-staff firm in Sheppey Gardens, Dagenham, provides health and safety training, helps jobseekers secure employment and gives training to people planning to work in residential homes.

In February, Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas presented Mr Wear’s company an Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB) gold standard award.

The First Knock club will meet on the first Wednesday of every month at Mecca Bingo in Cook Road, Dagenham.

Speakers are set to include the QVC shopping channel presenter Dexter Moscow and Albert Peters, of human resources company Pegasus HR.

“We are a network for local business people who work together,” a spokesman said.

“This means we actively help each other with new leads, business opportunities, business support and mentoring.”

For more information, call the club on 020 8596 9768 or log on to