Centre for Entrepreneurs terminates donor agreement with LetterOne

Friday 11th March, 2022

The Centre for Entrepreneurs has decided to end its donor agreement with LetterOne, effective Friday 11th March 2022. CFE Trustees considered that whilst LetterOne had taken all reasonable steps to separate from its co-founders – Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven – the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis, resulted in the potential for unacceptable risk to the reputation of CFE, and its continuing ability to fulfill its charitable purpose and support its beneficiaries.

We did not reach this decision lightly – LetterOne has been a highly supportive partner of CFE in recent years. Their support has enabled us to further our mission and grow our impact, and the loss of their future support does present some long-term challenges that our Trustees and team are working with urgency to address. We also undertook extensive consultations with a range of our donors, supporters and beneficiaries before making this decision. 

Despite the reduction in our future funding outlook, our financial position in the short term is strong. That means we continue our work on programmes and activities, without interruption, these include;

  • Recruiting for the next NEF+ cohort, the twelfth, starting in April 2022;
  • Running our successful Incubator and Accelerator Network (IAN), including the next annual conference, in Birmingham in September;
  • Continuing to grow the Refugee Entrepreneurs Network (REN) – we will host a global summit in Venice in October;
  • Commencing our latest research project – mapping the UK’s entrepreneurship support organisations ecosystem.

In addition to the above, we plan to increase our support for refugee entrepreneurs, particularly those directly affected by the situation in Ukraine, through a series of initiatives:

  • Working with REN members to support refugees from the Ukraine conflict;
  • Using the next global REN summit to provide grants to promising new businesses founded by refugees;
  • Continuing to increase accessibility to the NEF+ programme, particularly for refugees, by increasing the number of fee-assisted places.

We reiterate that our decision to part with LetterOne has been a difficult one, but under the current circumstances our Trustees believe is the right one, which enables CFE to continue to fulfill its charitable purpose to best effect.

Enquiries to:
Neeta Patel CBE – neeta@centreforentrepreneurs.org 


About Centre for Entrepreneurs
The Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) is a leading charitable entrepreneurship foundation in the UK. CFE was formed from a merger, in 2017, of a think tank by the same name and The New Entrepreneurs Foundation (NEF), a start-up skills development programme for young, first-time founders. 

The NEF+ programme is well established in the UK and delivers a unique skills programme comprising a work placement, a formal interactive learning programme, coaching, mentoring and access to networks. Since it launched in 2011, 350 candidates have completed the programme, 200 new businesses have been created by its alumni who have raised £220m in funding and have created 5000+ new jobs. The collective valuation of these businesses is £630million.

CFE’s research and policy think tank undertakes research and campaigns to promote the role of entrepreneurs in creating economic growth and social well-being. It also runs a community of incubator and accelerator managers in the UK and a global network of organisations working to support refugee entrepreneurs. 

Company no: 07469562

Registered charity no: 1140102

Registered address: Centre for Entrepreneurs, Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX