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 2017-8 cohort of Beyond Business social entrepreneurs
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.

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. 

Find out more below about these passionate entrepreneurs – they are truly inspiring.

Appt. Health

Hector Smethurst

Appt. Health helps NHS patients to better manage their long-term conditions, combining SMS and behavioural economics.


Hector Smethurst of Appt. Health at Investec

Making Time

Niamh White and Tim A Shaw

Making Time works to transform the day-to-day lives of older people in care through greater access to the arts. 


Niamh White and Tim Shaw of Making Time Arts

Mum Bub Hub

Anisah Kee-Scott and Nyree-Dawn Adams

Mum Bub Hub aims to empower women in east London with information, tools and support to help them feel more confident about their parenting journeys. It offers community workshops as well as postnatal care products to help new mothers rest, heal and recover.


Anisah Kee-Scott and Nyree-Dawn Adams of Mum Bub Hub at Investec

Juta Shoes

Sabeha Miah and Joanna Hamer

Juta Shoes offers flexible and empowering training and employment opportunities to marginalised women by creating handcrafted sustainable leather espadrilles. They also run workshops, where users can learn to design and make their own shoes.


Sabeha Miah and Joanna Hamer of Juta Shoes

In numbers - Beyond Business social enterprises


collective turnover


jobs created


success rate