Meet Our Incubator Entrepreneur, Elly and Her Group of Children Food Waste Warriors!

In honour of Social Enterprise Day, we are featuring one of our Social Entrepreneurs, Elly, and her group of young food waste warriors!

 

Bubble & Squeak is a children’s ran social enterprise based in West London set up last February by Elly Harrington and Lydia Gandaa. The children collect surplus food from supermarkets, markets and other outlets which they then redistribute to the local community. They sell the food on stands at school on a ‘pay as you feel basis’, whilst simultaneously drawing and selling amazing wonky fruit and veg artwork worldwide -inspired by the yummy healthy food they collect!

“The children truly embrace all aspects of the business such as running the surplus food stalls from creating and selling their artwork, to cooking the surplus food so nothing goes to waste” says  co-founder Elly Harrington.  

What inspired you to start this journey as an entrepreneur?

I had co-set up a successful pop up food business before and fancied a new entrepreneurial adventure where I could create change for good. This idea formulated after a while of thinking and trying different jobs, including grass root community work in East Acton, the area where I set up Bubble & Squeak. I had already done a lot of the leg work before starting the company- such as understanding the community, building stakeholder relationships and finding a business partner to work with who shared the same passions and also worked in primary school education.   

What is the most valuable lesson you have gained from the Hatch Incubator Programme?

I learnt many, but the most significant would have to be to not underestimate the power of positivity to push you forward with your business.  The Incubator provided a great weekly space to tap into this feeling.  Everyone around you on the programme has a natural confidence in what you are doing, regardless of what stage you are at – it’s really shown how valuable it is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who understand the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey.  

What are some of the struggles you’ve faced? And what is your advice to other entrepreneurs to help overcome these problems?

With all the different hats you have to wear when running a business you can feel like you’re on a constant journey of up-skilling yourself. However, learning several different skills is essential to growing your business and is part of the fun of doing your own thing. My advice is to identify what you don’t know, embrace it, and then actively seek out any opportunities to change it. This can vary from going on a business course to You-Tubing a tutorial or even forcing yourself to network more to find people who know what you don’t!      

What is your focus with Bubble & Squeak now?

To really develop the whole story of our brand and how to present it in the best way to grow our entrepreneurial impact! We are great at creating change but we need to also operate as a sustainable business. This is actually a really exciting prospect as we feel that there are not many social enterprises in London as unique as us, and we can’t wait to shout some more about it.

What are your views on social enterprises vs. charities?

I think the recent rise in social enterprise is a reflection on an increasingly challenging financial climate for charities/third sector.  When you combine this with a younger generation who are incredibly dynamic and compassionate it becomes an interesting mix.  Armed with our laptops we can challenge the status quo of the past and look at how to answer some of society’s biggest challenges in an original way that doesn’t resort back to asking for money all the time.  Not to say that social enterprises are worthier than charities – it’s just a reflection on the current climate.  Both could not operate without grant funding so it’s essential that social enterprises are not seen as a replacement of charities.

Why did you want to start a business with an impact?

I felt a drive to try and answer some of the needs of the local East Acton community. I had worked with the community for over 3 years and was a Community Involvement Officer at Old Oak Community Centre.  This insight was very useful as it allowed me to work from within the community instead of coming in as an organisation and assuming what their needs were.  My business partner Lydia Gandaa (who has extensive experience working locally in education) shared this ‘need’ led belief too.  We had always believed in Bubble & Squeak’s USP – child power! We had talked about how remarkable it would be if they could own their own idea.  When they came up with the concept of saving surplus food for the good of the community, we thought it was perfect and ran with it.  This ‘army’ of 400 local children hold an amazing power to create an impact.

Given the growing social enterprise movement, it is never too early to engage children with the new, mission-driven business path. Bubble & Squeak gives children the opportunity to think and act in enterprising ways, and develop skills that are essential for business, such as: problem solving, decision making and risk assessment, whilst encouraging them to question existing norms and help combat social and environmental issues such as food waste.

Help Bubble and Squeak win £10000 by voting for them in the Aviva Community Fund!

Instagram/Twitter/Facebook: @bubblesqueakeat

Website: bubblesqueakeat.com

Bubble and squeak pitching Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9U3gbcUv8w

 

Have an idea for a social business?  Applications for our next Social Launchpad close November 17th. 

Book a call with our programme manager to find out more!

Meet our Pitch Day Winner, Shani!

 

Age is but a number when it comes to talent, creativity and success and it’s never too early to use these skills to run a business! In our Young Entrepreneur Series, we catch up with former Hatch alumni, who thanks to their resilient motivation and strong support systems are setting up enterprises of their own.

Shani participated in our 10th Incubator programme, which concluded with a pitch day. She had the opportunity to present her business to an expert panel of Dragons. She successfully pitched her business ‘Bankra’, an online platform dedicated to inspiring black millennials to connect with their homelands through travel information and storytelling, and won! Shani is now using her expertise to build her business and we can’t wait to see the progress she’ll make!

What inspired you to start this entrepreneurial journey?

On a recent holiday to Jamaica, I visited places outside of the conventional tourist spots such as Accompong – Jamaica’s runaway slave community. I immersed myself in Jamaican history, culture and literature and I felt more connected. After sharing my experience with friends and people in my network and doing market research, I realised that as much as the UK is home for us as 2nd and 3rd generation Black-British Africans and Caribbeans, many of us also want to connect with our homes in Africa and the Caribbean. I’ve always been passionate about how second and third generation Black-Britons living diaspora connect with their roots and Bankra was a perfect way to build upon this.

How did the Hatch & BLP Incubator programme help your business?

It was amazing to be a part of a community of young entrepreneurs like myself who are chasing their dreams. The sessions on vision, goal-setting, pitching, public speaking, funding and sales were particularly valuable.

What have been real ‘light bulb’ moments for you during your business journey?

Winning pitch day despite Bankra just being a business idea. It gave me the validation that this is a good idea. I’m passionate about it, I can do it so I just need to press ahead with it and make it happen!

Have you experienced any specific challenges associated with being a ‘young entrepreneur’?

Going against the status quo, for example, going into the corporate world. Lots of my friends from university are bankers, lawyers and management consultants. Entrepreneurship is a very insecure road in comparison. But it’s important to remember why you started and keep focused on your dreams and your goals. It’s not easy, but you have to keep going and trust yourself.

What’s your focus with Bankra now?

Our focus now is on building the website for our launch in a few months time, sourcing contributors to write for the website, putting together a social media marketing plan and building partnerships with different stakeholders in Africa and the Caribbean.

Where can readers find out more about Bankra?

We are still building our website but when it is ready, bankra.co

And we’re on social media: Instagram and Twitter: @bankratravel

How do you intend to use the £300 prize from pitch day?

Towards website development, business cards and social media management subscriptions!

 

Have a business idea you’d like to test or an existing business you’d like to grow? Book a call today with our Programme Manager to find out which programme is right for you!       

Hatch Pitch Day

Last week marked the celebration of the culmination of our 10th 12-week Incubator programme with Pitch Day. Hatch partnered with Business Launchpad for the first time to honour the creative initiatives happening in South London.

The event was formatted in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style where participants pitched their business to a panel of judges to gain valuable insight an in the hopes of winning the coveted ‘best pitch’ award.

Our expert panel of Dragons included the Head of Ventures for UnLtd, the Fund Manager for Barrow Cadbury Trust, one of Hatch’s most successful female founders, the Director of Enterprise & Development at NCVO and the Head of Venture Development at the Young Foundation, so the quality of judging had never been higher! The Dragons gave valuable guidance and asked questions steered towards our entrepreneurs and their businesses. The day was incredibly valuable for both presenters and onlookers alike.

The well-deserved winner was Shani Page-Muir who pitched Bankra, an online platform dedicated to inspiring black millennials to connect with their homelands through travel information and storytelling. She says ‘at Bankra we believe that our narratives and experiences matter, and it is important that we tell them.’

Find out more about Bankra and how Shani intends to use her Pitch Day prize money here.

Have a business you’re ready to test and present to experts in the entrepreneur world? Book a call with our Programme Manager today!

Watch our Pitch Day Video:

Hatch Pitch Day 15/09

We would like to give a huge thank you to everyone that made our 10th incubator's pitch day such a massive success!Special thanks go to our entrepreneurs, our expert panel of dragons, everyone that came to show their support and our partners Business Launchpad.Here is the video of your event, check it out below!

Posted by Hatch Enterprise on Monday, 18 September 2017

The Hatch DIY Weekender Returns!

Ready to immerse yourself in the beautiful British countryside while learning valuable entrepreneurial skills? The Hatch DIY Weekender is your opportunity to access knowledge, explore your idea and forge connections with a tribe of like-minded entrepreneurs over an exciting 3-day event.

Due to the great success of last year’s pilot Weekender retreat, we are once again allowing campers to ‘Dream, Learn and Play’, by offering 13 fun-filled, diverse workshops that range from business pitching to learning how to create rituals at work.

Whether you want to develop a business idea that you have brewing or simply want to scale your business while building an amazing network, then the DIY Weekender is the programme for you. Our 1-2-1 mentoring sessions and motivational workshops will leave you equipped with a horde of fresh, innovative ideas to enhance your business venture.

Interactive workshops like storytelling take place in the natural setting where campers learn and practise techniques that help fire up innate imagination and reflect on personal growth. While activities led by Anne (The Slow Coach) offer campers an opportunity to develop confidence and step into leadership.

Feeling isolated on your entrepreneurial journey? The Weekender allows you to kick-start your venture with a group of people who are motivated by the same things, who have the same level of ambition, but most importantly, who share your challenges and struggles! This is your chance to find your T.R.I.B.E. of entrepreneurs!

By the end of the journey, you will have gained a number of invaluable and multifaceted resources and expertise to help you and your business achieve holistic growth. Whether you work alone or in a team, each workshop is full of benefits that are designed to aid each individual’s personal development and self-reflection.

‘I was running out of steam; my friends were tired of me talking about my ideas and my business all the time. Just being here at the Weekender and hearing everyone share the same challenges and being able to relate to their stories was really reassuring.’ – Claire

I harvested hemp, attended a masterclass in pitching and enjoyed a dynamic dancing and yoga session…I mean where else can you do all of that as an adult in one weekend without a hefty price tag?’ – Roberto

 

Do you want to enjoy a dynamic practice to both workout and meditate in the same breath? Then this is your chance! De-stress and escape from the hustle and bustle of city life with light-hearted, memorable activities. The backdrop of the countryside is perfect a relaxing dip in the nearby lake and for starry nights around the campfire toasting marshmallows.

For just an additional £20 you can purchase a food pass, where you will receive 5 delicious, freshly cooked meals by a cool social enterprise!

 

 

The Hatch DIY Weekender returns on September 8-10th, in the stunning location of Oxfordshire. Buy tickets here: weekender.hatchenterprise.org

We can’t wait to see you!!