CFE Spring Newsletter 2020


Hello and Happy New Year to all members of the CFE community!

 

The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that this edition of our newsletter is somewhat later than normal – for good reason – 2020 is our 10th anniversary, of the formation of the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, from which the Centre for Entrepreneurs was formed. That makes 2020 a significant and auspicious year in our organisation’s history and I wanted to kick-off our anniversary year with this newsletter.

We will be planning a series of events and celebrations over the year, please stay connected to hear more about them as our plans develop. In the meantime, I’ve reflected over the holiday season on some of the standout achievements of the last ten years – selecting the first cohort of NEF guinea pigs, the Class of 2012; a 10 Downing Street reception in 2013, opening the London Stock Exchange in 2015, CFE’s first research report in 2014, the first NEF Demo Day in 2016, launching the Incubator and Accelerator Network in 2018 and most recently, getting UK government and National Lottery funding to pilot refugee entrepreneur training programmes in 2019. That’s a very heavily-edited list of highlights, we will be sharing many more, along with stories and anecdotes from our history in the coming months.

Back to the here and now – we’ve had a busy past few months, launching our refugee pilot project, holding the 2nd global REN conference, seeing the NEF Fast Track Class of 2020 get up to speed, published our annual small business formation index and most recently, prepared to publish our first refugee entrepreneurship study (in conjunction with FAIRE Foundation). Members of the NEF Fast Track alumni community have been as active as ever – featuring on Dragons Den, launching and growing businesses and winning recognition and plaudits. Full details are in the main copy of the newsletter, so please read on.

That’s all from me – I hope you enjoy reading this edition, and I look forward to sharing more updates and news about our anniversary celebrations over the coming months. From me and the rest of the CFE team, very best wishes for a successful and optimistic 2020.

Warmest wishes,


Structure:

 

Research, networks and programmes

STARTUP INDEX: 2019 UK business formations

Prison Entrepreneurship

UPCOMING REPORT: Refugee entrepreneurship programme survey

Update: UK refugee pilot programme

The Incubator and Accelerator Network

Refugee Entrepreneurship Network

NEF Class of 2021 applications are open

Partner Company Spotlight

Sideways6

NEF Fast Track Alumni Update

Portify completes £7 million Series A fundraising round

London Stock Exchange Elite Programme success

Clare Rampen pioneers bathroom plastic alternatives

Josh Turner stands up for homeless people with Stand4 Socks on Dragons Den

Becky Okell, Co-founder of Paynter Jacket Company

Melissa Yacoub, NEF class of 2020, is Forbes under 30 in Turkey

HaikuJAM’s $3.4M fundraise

Upcoming Speaker Series Events

CFE team news


 

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Research, networks and programmes

 

It’s been an extremely busy period for our research, networks and programmes team – formally launching the UK pilot programme, holding the 2nd global refugee entrepreneurship conference, publishing our annual business formations report and featuring in an ITV documentary.


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STARTUP INDEX: 2019 UK business formations

 

 

More than five new tech startups launched every hour in 2019, contributing to a record 681,704 new business formations over the year – a 2.8% increase from 2018. This is only one of the key findings from our sixth annual analysis of UK business formations. The 2019 index includes an analysis of industry classification codes that describe the nature of each business and has provided new insights into the nature of business formations across the UK, including.

  

📊 681,704 new business formations

🔼 Up 2.8% on 2018

🥇 London in top spot, up 2.4% to 221,373

💻 Five new tech start-ups an hour, totalling over 45,000

🍔 The Deliveroo effect: 14,363 new takeaway food shops and mobile food stands compared to 9,405 licensed restaurants

🦙 10 llama and alpaca businesses

🚗 429 driving schools

 

The report received widespread media coverage, including The Sunday Times and was featured on BBC Breakfast, on 13th January.

Explore our analysis of another record-breaking year of business formations on our website.

 

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Prison Entrepreneurship

 

‘Welcome to HMP Belmarsh with Ross Kemp’ documentary on ITV

 

Over the summer, the CFE advised on the development of a prison entrepreneurship programme at HMP Belmarsh for an ITV documentary with Ross Kemp. This two-part documentary aired on 9th and 16th January and offers unprecedented insights into life in HMP Belmarsh and the tremendous interest in entrepreneurship among inmates. Don’t miss out on this outstanding documentary and watch the documentary on ITV.

If you haven’t yet, read our report on Prison Entrepreneurship (May 2016).

 

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UPCOMING REPORT: Refugee entrepreneurship programme survey

 

 Refugee entrepreneurship programme survey

 

CFE’s inaugural annual refugee entrepreneurship programme survey is now complete and will be published next week. The report, produced in partnership with FAIRE Foundation, captures the state of refugee entrepreneurship by examining the structure, funding, programme content, challenges and impact of 52 refugee entrepreneurship programmes run by 39 organisations worldwide.

Keep an eye out on our social media and our research output website for the report.

 

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Programmes                     

                    

Update: UK refugee pilot programme

The CFE refugee entrepreneurship pilot programme, jointly funded by the Home Office and The National Lottery Community Fund, is progressing well. We held a programme kick-off event with our delivery partners –  ACH, East Belfast Enterprise, MENTA and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce – in October 2019. The delivery partners are now recruiting and supporting refugee entrepreneurs in their local communities. 

To learn more about the pilot visit our website.

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Networks                      

                                                                                                       

The Incubator and Accelerator Network

 

The Incubator and Accelerator Network is growing. We are pleased to have recently welcomed London Business School, University of Derby Enterprise Network and the University of Buckingham to the Network. 

Our third annual conference runs from 11th – 12th March in London. Sessions include: ‘Taking action on diversity’, ‘Building a common evaluative framework’ and ‘Ecosystem development’. Tickets are available for members and non-members. Register here.

 

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Refugee Entrepreneurship Network

 

Global Refugee Entrepreneurship Summit
Attendees at the Global Refugee Entrepreneurship Summit

 

From 31st October to 1st November, the Centre for Entrepreneurs, supported by NatWest, hosted the 2nd annual Global Refugee Entrepreneurship Summit. The summit convened 140 attendees for two action-packed days of knowledge exchange, networking and collaboration.

We have recently launched three different types of membership to the Refugee Entrepreneurship Network to ensure a relevant offer to organisations running refugee entrepreneurship programmes and those who support this work.

🥳 Congratulations to IAN member, Andrew Leon Hanna, co-founder of DreamxAmerica, who has been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 US & Canada list


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NEF Class of 2021 applications are open

 

Applications are now open for the 10th NEF Fast Track cohort – the Class of 2021.
NEF Fast Track’s mission remains constant – to find and develop the entrepreneurial leaders of the future. We are looking for ambitious and talented entrepreneurs who have the drive and ambition to launch and grow scalable ventures. Our application process, run by our trusted partner’s Instant Impact, is challenging but fun and designed to identify exceptional entrepreneurial talent.

If your 2020 New Year’s resolution was to set up a business, or you know of anyone who has entrepreneurial ambitions, the application process starts online: https://instant-impact.com/centre-for-entrepreneurs-apply/

 

 

Share the news – please do share the word about applications amongst your own communities and followers. 

https://centreforentrepreneurs.org/nef-fast-track/apply/


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Partner company spotlight 

 

Sideways6

Founder and NEF alumni Will Read simultaneously plants the seeds for business innovation and helps NEFers flourish. 

We recently spoke to Will Read, (Class of 2014) – the entrepreneur behind the remarkable venture Sideways6, an integrated idea & innovation management software company which he founded in 2015. Will successfully founded and scaled Sideways6 and now plays it forward, helping support and develop future entrepreneurs to grow to business leaders through hiring other NEF Fast Track candidates. He has now hired five NEFers since 2017, most recently Alex McKeeman (Class of 2020), epitomising the strength of the NEF alumni community. 

 

Will Read, CEO of Sideways6 & NEF Fast Track Alumnus (Class of 2014)

 

We asked him about his experience employing NEF participants. Will said:

Everyone we’ve hired through NEF has added something to the company. NEFers tend to be motivated, insightful and they tend to think differently to people who have been working at Sideways 6 for a while. We’ve made a point of hiring intelligent, hungry generalists and then giving them wide-ranging experience before encouraging them to specialise in one area. They’re very capable people who will go on to start amazing businesses. It is a unique experience to leverage their talent early on in their careers whilst helping them write the first part of the entrepreneurial journey. I would absolutely hire from NEF Fast Track again.” 

Sideways6 growth story continues apace – they are currently engaging in a Series A investment round and seeking additional investors

 

NEF Fast Track alumni Armin Kammerlander (Class of 2017), Buki Suke (Class of 2018) and Donald Bain (Class of 2018) celebrating recent successes at Sideways6.
NEF Fast Track alumni Donald Bain (Class of 2018), Buki Suke (Class of 2018) & Armin Kammerlander (Class of 2017), celebrating recent successes at Sideways6.

 


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NEF Fast Track Alumni Update

 

Our alumni are changing the world in innovative ways – solving big problems with anything from socks to haikus via sustainable plastic alternatives. It’s been a busy past few months in the NEF Fast Track alumni community, with lots of updates and developments. We’ve curated a selection of the most notable recent achievements and news below:

Portify completes £7 million Series A fundraising round 

Portify is the London fintech startup founded by Christopher Butcher (Class of 2015), that offers an app and various financial products to help gig economy and other modern, flexible or “self-employed” workers better manage their finances.

 

Chris Butcher (2nd from right) and the Portify team

 

Portify has recently successfully completed a £7 million Series A fundraising round, which comes a year after the company raised £1.3 million in seed investment. The round was led by Redalpine (an early investor in N26, Taxfix, Finiata, amongst others), with participation from existing investors Kindred and Entrepreneur First (EF). Chris said:

NEF was the force that kept me grounded to my entrepreneurial ambitions as I navigated the world of work in my early-twenties, a time when it is too easy to lose sight of the promises you made to yourself. NEF was a critical component in the circumstances that enabled me to start and grow Portify.”

Portify is set to continue to grow this year and we wish them every success with their ambitions.

 

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London Stock Exchange Elite Programme success

Yang Liu and Kike Oniwinde (both Class of 2018) have both been selected for places on London Stock Exchange Group’s Elite Programme, a business support programme for fast-growing businesses. Yang is the founder of Just Wears, and Kike founder of BYP Network.

from left: Yang Liu & Kike Oniwinde (alumni Class of 2018)

 

In addition to Yang and Kike’s successes, Shana Gujral (Class of 2019) and Marco Rovagnati (Class of 2018) were awarded grants of £1000 each by LSEG to help grow their ventures – Bourbon Streat and PoaPoa. We are extremely grateful for LSEG’s support to NEF Fast Track and pleased to see these NEFer ventures involved receiving deserved recognition. 

 

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Clare Rampen pioneers bathroom plastic alternatives

Well done to Claire Rampen (Class of 2017) and successful ex-Berylcc employee, whose mission-led ethical business ReathBox, is tackling the single-use packaging challenge by creating a reusable packaging platform for personal care and cosmetic brands. ReathBox received support from Atomico’s Angel Programme and Zero Waste Scotland, and are currently piloting the solution with selected brands. Claire and ReathBox were featured recently in Sifted Magazine.

 

Claire Rampen
Claire Rampen (Class of 2017)

 

When we caught up with Claire she said:

The business is a product of my NEF journey and I still regularly seek advice and input from people on my cohort and the wider community. The NEF programme gave me the confidence to tackle a problem as big as protecting the environment by reducing packaging waste, as well as the support of the network of other NEFers who have been on similar journeys.”

 

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Josh Turner stands up for homeless people with Stand4 Socks on Dragons Den
#SockOn

It was fantastic to see Josh Turner (Class of 2014), the serial entrepreneur behind Stand4 Socks, appearing on Dragons’ Den this Christmas. Josh’s mission-led, Manchester-based business gives a pair of antibacterial socks to a homeless person for every pair they sell. He founded Stand4Socks whilst on the NEF Fast Track programme after an off the cuff comment “what if socks could change the world” when joking around with friends, led to a fantastic business proposition. He has successfully bootstrapped the business, growing to a solid six-figure annual turnover, with plans to break nine figures in 2020. 

 

Josh went on Dragon’s Den to gain market exposure and has successfully achieved this, saying “It was a dream lived to be on the show, as I have watched it from a young age. Appearing on the programme, as we hoped, vastly increased our marketplace.” He continues to grow Stand4 Socks whilst also launching his new business Stridies, an “athleisure” sister brand that promises to bring you the most comfortable socks on the planet without compromising on style or ethics. Stand4 Socks has been featured in the Big Issue, Guardian and Telegraph last year, helping more and more homeless people along the way. They are now on track to donate over 41,000 pairs of socks to those sleeping rough this year. 

 

 

Josh is a proud NEF alumni, having launched his business straight from [his] NEF Fast Track pitch day in 2015. He says:

NEF was the first time in my life I was actively encouraged to be an entrepreneur. It gave me the confidence to believe that this is a real career path, and the ambition to stick with it when it gets hard. NEF provided me with a great platform whilst also surrounding me with a cohort of 30 other like-minded young people, something I would not have been able to find anywhere else. I still feel that the cohort is one of the strongest things I got from NEF, and still benefit from today.”

With this, he offers a 20% off your first order of socks to the CFE community using the code “NEF20”. 

Keep going Josh. The Centre for Entrepreneurs and NEF Fast Track stand proudly for socks! #SockOn 

 

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Becky Okell, Co-founder of Paynter Jacket Company 

Fighting the clothes industry’s waste arms race (to pardon the pun), one jacket at a time!

Becky Okell (Class of 2018) and her partner Huw Thomas, have made an incredibly fast start with their new venture – Paynter Jacket Co. Founded in 2019, Paynter Jackets sold-out their first product in just 14 minutes, and their second in only 3 minutes. Becky and Hugh make jackets, and jackets only, using the best materials they can find from around the world. They are a fantastic example of a direct to consumer, mission-led business which aims to create sustainable, long-lasting products with as little waste as possible in the production process. Their next design, a field jacket, launches at the end of January (25th at 9am).

 

Huw Thomas and Becky Okell, co-founders of Paynter Jacke Co.

 

If you’re interested in seeing every step in the creative and production process then check out what Becky and Huw are up to on their website or Instagram

 

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Melissa Yacoub, NEF class of 2020, is Forbes under 30 in Turkey

Earlier this month Melissa Yacoub (Class of 2020), founder of Discover Consultancy, recognised as future business talent by Forbes, making it into their 30 Under 30 in Turkey list in November 2019. Melissa said:

I joined NEF in 2019, working as an Innovation Consultant for Pollen8, a company co-founded by NEF Fast Track alumni Sam Knight (Class of 2016) and Tom Humphreys. I chose NEF Fast Track because I’m passionate about entrepreneurship, innovation and purposeful growth, working from within a partner company to add my entrepreneurial drive and experience to help the business scale. So far, the experience has been great, the learning programme interesting, with expertise from ambitious business professionals and a great network of entrepreneurially-minded individuals, all focused on building businesses.”

 

Melissa Yacoub (Class of 2020)

 

Melissa speaks six languages and is a big traveller. She started her career with a freelance French teaching job she landed by hanging post-it-notes on Starbucks announcement boards and has grown her coaching and consultancy skills from there. In 2018 her DiscoverBlockchain platform, founded in 2018, provided essential training for Blockchain users and now she has since founded Discover Consultancy in London where Melissa gives consultancy and mentorship services to individuals and small to medium-sized enterprises. From helping startups identify partners to review internal organizational structure, she has proactively improved processes through consultative guidance. Her efforts have been recognized by Forbes whereby she made it to the 30 Under 30 in Turkey list in November 2019.

 

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HaikuJAM’s $3.4M fundraise

Dhru Karwa (Class of 2014) co-founder of HaikuJAM helps make people happy one Haiku at a time and raises $3.4 million in the process.

Huge congratulations to the legendary Dhru, whose business HaikuJAM raised $3.4 million in a recent seed investment round. Founded in 2015 and based in Mumbai, HaikuJAM allows people to connect socially as they write Haiku poetry together, line by line by line. A Haiku is a three-line syllable based poem structure that originates in Japan and Dhru’s creativity-inspiring, stress releasing free app-based business has gained a cult following and generated significant press attention. Proceeds from the funding round will be used to further expand and scale HaikuJAM’s artificial intelligence-powered consumer research tool INSPO – and ramp up its strategic hires, particularly in its data science and AI teams. 

 

from left: HaikuJAM co-founders Neer Sharma, Dhrupad Karwa, Andy Leung

 

We caught up with Dhru, to offer congratulations on his fundraising success – he said:

Without NEF’s early incubation, it would have been significantly harder to get HaikuJAM off the ground. Being on the programme was a formative experience and one which I’ll deeply cherish as an entrepreneur.”

With a stressed-out world begging for innovative and effective solutions, we wish HaikuJam every success as they rewrite society’s anxiety levels, line by line and connect, educate and spread joy in the process. Keep writing history Dhru! 


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Upcoming Speaker Series Events

On Tuesday 21st January we assembled a fantastic panel of female entrepreneurs, who discussed “Why We Need More Female Founders”. Anna Cameron (CEO and founder of Babysitters Of, and NEF Fast Track alumna – Class of 2015), Lu Li (Founder & CEO of Blooming Founders and author of “Dear Female Founder”) and Layla Sargent (Co-founder of Congress women’s network and serial entrepreneur) shared their experiences, insight and advice with our audience. Follow us on twitter to see reactions our guests had using hashtag #NEFSpeakerSeries.

We’ve been working hard to secure a fantastic speaker for our next event: In Conversation with George Bevis. We’re delighted to welcome George Bevis, founder of Tide Bank, to share his story at our next speaker event on 3rd March.

George is a serial entrepreneur, most notably founding and leading Tide Bank from idea to 80,000 customers, before stepping away from day-day-to management and looking for his next opportunity. George will be sharing the highs and lows of his entrepreneurial journey to date, bringing his characteristic humility and humour to inspire and motivate our audience, especially to not be put off by business failures. Sign-up for tickets here


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CFE team news:

Welcoming our new Development Director – Una Walker

Una joined us in November as CFE’s new Development Director and comes with 17 years fund-raising experience in the voluntary sector. Una’s remit is to diversify CFE’s income streams with particular emphasis on growing our trusts and foundations portfolio. 

Una Walker
Una Walker, CFE’s new Developments Director

 

Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates on our tenth-anniversary celebrations. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our journey so far, particularly our donors – we couldn’t have done it without you. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and successful 2020. 

 

Best Wishes, The CFE Team

 

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