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Cash deadline for enterprising ideas to make east London life better after Covid emergency

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:28 10 August 2020

High five... for a social enterprise start-up which got funding to get off the ground. Picture: Spento

High five... for a social enterprise start-up which got funding to get off the ground. Picture: Spento

Investec

A deadline has been extended for anyone with social ideas to make life better in east London after the coronavirus emergency to apply for cash to get their start-ups off the ground.

The deadline for Investec new enterprise grants has been extended till October 30. Picture: InvestecThe deadline for Investec new enterprise grants has been extended till October 30. Picture: Investec

The programme at the Bromley-by-Bow Centre run by Investec social enterprise organisation aims to help innovators in the neighbouring boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham with ideas supporting people hit by the effects of the pandemic.

It has already helped 47 new social enterprises since 2011 which have a combined turnover of £4.5m, with eight-out-of-10 still in business today.

“We’re supporting promising entrepreneurs who want to make a sustainable and positive impact in the community,” Investec’s Razia Nizamuddin said. “They’ve gone on to create more than 300 jobs in our communities. We couldn’t be prouder.”

Grants are being offered to “capture enterprising ideas” conceived in response to Covid-19 with traditional business plans that reinvest their profits to improve community life and “change the world for the better”.

InCommon... a social enterprise bringing schoolchildren together with isolated elderly people in retirement homes. Picture: InvestecInCommon... a social enterprise bringing schoolchildren together with isolated elderly people in retirement homes. Picture: Investec

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Successful applicants get up to £20,000 as well as training to help get their business ideas going.

One enterprise called InCommon connects schoolchildren with people isolated in retirement homes, over the phone and online, in response to the lockdown crisis.

But there were doubts at first. Its co-founder Charlotte Whittaker explained: “Self-doubt can be your own biggest barrier when you start out and you have an idea. The Investec programme gave us confidence that our idea was worth pursuing.”

The hunt is on for social ideas helping make east London life better after Covid emergency. Picture: InvestecThe hunt is on for social ideas helping make east London life better after Covid emergency. Picture: Investec

Another social enterprise helped by the programme is Fat Macy’s serving home-cooked food and dining at supper clubs and offices. It trains youngsters living in temporary accommodation, helping them move into their own homes, but has recently taken on a social mission in the wake of coronavirus by deploying its catering to help the NHS with meals for frontline staff.

Investec is now looking for businesses “with a clear social purpose” creating jobs for those facing barriers to work as well as youth training, healthy living and environment improvements.

Business must be going less than 12 months, but can also be at “the idea stage”. The deadline to apply for grants online here is 5pm on October 30 or call Kim Hayman on 07706-687671 (email kim.hayman@bbbc.org.uk).


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