Between October 2014 and January 2015, Impact Hub Westminster supported 52 London based businesses with a combined annual turnover of over £2m, on the Impact Investment Readiness programme.

This programme aimed to accelerate investment into social and environmental businesses based in London by helping entrepreneurs to:

  • Learn which type of investment was right for them, and how to get it,
  • Discover the best ways to write investable business plans
  • Articulate their mission as an attractive impact investment

 

Our results so far

Our target is for at least 5 of our participants to raise investment by August 2015 (and for at least 10 new jobs to be generated). Of course, the bigger the investment raise, the longer the deals can take to complete. Raising investment at any level takes time, and we advise entrepreneurs start looking at least 6 months before they need it.

We are quietly confident that we will hit our targets, and until the end of the summer 2015, we’ll be collecting data and the evidence to prove we have made it.

 

From our participants

The programme increased my understanding of the investment landscape and helped me clearly identify what kinds of funding were right for me.” Niki Kopcke, Mazi Mas – Raised £16k

“This was an excellent and well managed programme which gave me invaluable knowledge and tools to obtain onward investment.” James Perkins, Money Saving Movement – Raised £4.6k

These 2-day workshops have been very valuable in understanding the opportunities and pitfalls of impact investment. Great speakers and inspirational participants. Wonderful.” Nick Gardner, co-founder at Project Dirt – Still Raising

 

Why did we do this?

We did this because we know that raising capital for your social startup is hard.  We know that sometimes investors speak a different language to entrepreneurs. And we know that social entrepreneurs sometimes struggle to measure their impact, and to demonstrate that impact to investors.

We’re creating a world where social entrepreneurs know what kind of investment is best for them, they know where to find it, and how to get it. It’s a world where impact entrepreneurs and impact investors speak the same language.  

That’s why we brought in some of the best speakers, social entrepreneurs and business leaders from the UK and further afield. The CEO of the Social Investment Business and the co-founder of Numbers4Good shared their expert knowledge; we were joined by investment specialists from ClearlySo and UnLtd; and we had best selling business authors and award winning social entrepreneurs tell their stories of investment success.

During every programme we had our funding specialist, our pitch doctor, our business management guru and the team from The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP) teaching us how to measure our social impact. It’s no wonder we had such great feedback.

But if the entrepreneurs we supported go on to raise investment, it’s not just because of our programme. It’s because of their own determination. Their own hard work and commitment. And their own continued self belief in what they are doing, and why it’s so important.

 

Richard Brownsdon

Programme Design, Impact Hub Westminster

 

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