01 Dec 2017
How big business can learn from social start-ups
Meet the start-ups that join Investec’s social enterprise incubation programme, Beyond Business
It’s not easy building a business from the ground up. In the UK, only about half of new businesses are still trading after three years.
At Investec, we’ve grown from a handful of entrepreneurs 40 years ago, to an international business employing just short of 10,000 people today. It’s been a fantastic journey, and definitely not easy. One of the things that got us where we are is the entrepreneurial spirit that makes us different.
Since 2011, we’ve been privileged to run Beyond Business, a social enterprise incubation programme, in partnership with the Bromley by Bow Centre, a renowned economic regeneration charity from east London. To date, Beyond Business has helped to launch over 72 social businesses, creating more than 350 new jobs. Since we became sole funders of the project in 2011, around 90% of Beyond Business enterprises have gone on to trade beyond their third year, which is so rewarding.
The entrepreneurs who were successful in their pitches to join Beyond Business. From L-R: Niamh White, Pavlina Draganova, Tim Shaw, Nyree-Dawn Adams, Hector Smethurst, Anisah Kee-Scott and Joanna Hamer.
What makes it so special is that these are entrepreneurs who share our values including making an unselfish contribution to society. They dedicate themselves to building businesses that not only make a sustainable profit, but also as importantly have a real and measurable positive social impact in their communities.
Today it’s my pleasure to announce the four extraordinary businesses which we’re going to support and work with in the New Year – Appt Health, Juta Shoes, Making Time and Mum Bub Hub.
These entrepreneurs were shortlisted out of more than 200 applicants from our local, but unfortunately deprived London boroughs of Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets. They perfected their business plans with the help of the Bromley by Bow Centre as well as volunteers from our business.
In September, they then made their successful pitches to a panel including Investec’s own Linda Brown, Ian Wohlman and Arjun Chopra. My colleagues were impressed with the passion and potential of this year’s cohort.
Each of these businesses will receive up to £17k to fund their launch. More than that, they’ll be invited to the three-day Beyond Business College in January, to receive valuable, one-on-one support from our volunteers and partners in areas from legal and finance to sales and digital marketing.
‘As we help clients who are in different stages of growing their businesses, it’s a delight to work with social entrepreneurs and start-ups. It reminds us of where we came from.’
Beyond Business is a partnership that our people at Investec are really engaged in. Thanks to their fundraising efforts this year, we’re well on track to be able to fund an additional enterprise to launch in the 2018 round!
I find Beyond Business particularly relevant because it empowers local people to help themselves. It also helps our own people at Investec to keep that entrepreneurial mindset which, four decades on, remains as important to us.
Find out more below about these passionate entrepreneurs – they are truly inspiring.