Hatch’s Incubator for London-based change makers has officially kicked off!
And with this, we’re excited to announce a new series that will follow their experiences over the next 4 months.
15 trailblazing entrepreneurs have embarked on a 4-month journey with Hatch. Their objective: growing their business sustainably while making an impact. They will not be alone in this adventure, as they will benefit from the tailored support of facilitators, consultants, mentors and a strong community of peers. Each entrepreneur in the cohort is committed to addressing a pressing challenge of our time, such as: youth unemployment in deprived communities, plastic waste, women empowerment, young people and mental health, eco-friendly tourism and diversity in the workplace, to name a few.
Having worked with over 300 entrepreneurs since 2014, we realised that social entrepreneurs face additional hurdles compared to traditional businesses, and need dedicated support, especially in the early and crucial years of their journey. Finding the right legal structure, sourcing financing, establishing a strong brand, measuring impact, balancing profit and purpose, all present a unique set of challenges.
While not without its challenges, combining a social or environmental purpose with a revenue-generating business is not an impossible mission…and we’re here to support the incredible change-makers who are achieving it!
Taking the first steps into entrepreneurship can be daunting, even if a problem has been clearly identified and it is understood what is needed to solve it. Meet Yvonne and Ingrid, two of the amazing entrepreneurs on this Incubator, who have been working within the charity sector as social workers supporting children and families of prisoners for nearly ten years. They decided to set up a social enterprise to offer their training and consulting services independently. They knew their service was helpful and wanted to expand and innovate their offer without the constraints that come with being a charitable organisation. They have strong motivation for their mission, having witnessed the devastating effects that losing a parent to prison has on children. Although, social workers by background, they lack the necessary business knowledge, especially marketing, legal and financial expertise, and are confident Hatch will provide them with the right direction to launch their social enterprise.
Even once a social enterprise is set up, the route to growth is not always straightforward. One of the most established social enterprises in the group is Rising Stars Support, based in Tooting and run by Omari. The business was created in 2014 out of the desire to support young people from disadvantaged communities – mainly from South London boroughs- into training, education and employment. Omari and his team thought martial arts to be a good platform to actively engage with young people from hard to reach segments of the society, while providing coaching and support for self-development. And this thought proved right! Since starting in 2014, Rising Stars Support has engaged with over 1200 young people from BAME and low income backgrounds through mixed martial art classes and supported more than 80 of them into education or employment. They have joined Hatch as they aim to expand to all London boroughs, with the plan to become a national social enterprise in the future, and are aware that they need additional funding to grow their team, and strategic business support in order to scale their operations.
Our aim at Hatch is to help create and grow sustainable businesses that can make an impact and thrive. Our programmes include practical workshops, business consulting, mentoring, a final pitch day and networking events, all meant to carry entrepreneurs through idea to start-up to growth stage. We are honoured to support this group of great innovators that have spotted a societal problem and are bringing about new ideas and solutions to tackle it.
Watch this space to follow their journey as they progress through the Incubator!
Interested in joining one of our social enterprise courses? Apply today!