Impact Hub Westminster members Common Cause support those below the poverty line to build businesses, by enabling people to donate money, skills or equipment through their crowdfunding platform.
On the launch of their new crowdfunding campaign, we hear from Chief Executive Aroon Dougan, on how Common Cause will be celebrating the impact achieved by their micro entrepreneurs this October.
Last Wednesday night we were all wrapped up in front of the TV watching Nadiya beat off stiff competition in the quintessential Great British Bake Off. In a remarkable twist of fate where reality meets reality TV, I was at the same time reviewing one of our short-listed entries for our Micro-enterprise Awards who had used baking to get her brother to eat.
I’ve left Victoria’s words below in full as they speak louder than any I could write:
Forget #GBBO: Baking was the only way I could get my brother to eat his breakfast.
“After leaving school at the age of 16, I worked full-time to support my family. I started a university course but the stress of both working and studying was too much and I had to give it up.
At this time my mother moved abroad, and my life became about looking after my foster brother. My brother would never eat breakfast, and therefore my focus became baking something he would want to eat.
And this was how Vicino Bakery was born. We like to put the love back into baking by making delicious, guilt-free food. We are on a mission to provide employment opportunities and career development for young people who need it.”
Support Victoria in changing other’s livelihoods.
Last Monday (5th October), we launched a month-long, dedicated crowdfunding campaign to promote and celebrate a number of our most incredible and inspiring micro-entrepreneurs.
Each week we’re featuring a selection of beneficiaries, who have inspired us and will hopefully inspire you too! They have all overcome disadvantage, set up their own business and gained financial independence for themselves and their families as a result. One group, called Co-Pop, are coming together to form a collective and are about to move into a shipping container shop in the community of startups and social enterprises at Pop Brixton.
Rather than spending thousands of pounds on the formality of a black-tie awards dinner, we want you to ‘vote with your wallets’. Tell us who you think deserves recognition with a donation of as little as £1 towards their business. Your vote will short-list candidates for an expert judging panel of enterprise leaders to decide the overall winners.
We’re incredibly proud of what these micro-entrepreneurs have already accomplished, whether it is the Co-Pop about to open in Pop Brixton, or going full circle and mentoring other beneficiaries about setting up their own businesses. Fari (pictured at the top of this article) is part of Co-Pop and a former model and singer who has worked alongside the Propellerheads and David Arnold on the Bond film ‘Die another day’.
Aroon Dougan is Chief Executive of Common Cause. To hear more about the campaign, you can follow them on twitter @forcommoncause.