Youth Business International Teams Up With Hatch to Deliver–funded Support to Struggling Small Businesses in the UK

[This blog is a little outdated, see here for more up to date information.]

London-based enterprise incubator and entrepreneurship charity Hatch has been appointed as exclusive UK delivery partner for Youth Business International (YBI)’s Rapid Response and Recovery Programme funded by The programme will provide crucial support for underserved micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, whose business models have been greatly impacted by the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. 

A NatWest SE100 Social Impact Finalist, Enterprising Britain Award Laureate, and Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards Finalist, Hatch has pioneered a community-based approach to enterprise incubation and entrepreneurship support. As one of the UK’s leading community enterprise charities in tackling social inequality, the charity is well-equipped to help YBI deliver an urgent package of support to more than 1,500 struggling local businesses across London and the UK. 

The Rapid Response and Recovery Programme aims to help business owners cope with unprecedented disruptions, mitigate the impact, adapt their business models, and recover so that our local businesses survive and keep thriving. Hatch will deliver a range of bespoke training and mentoring sessions, implementing Youth Business International’s holistic approach to entrepreneurship support. The programme will compliment financial support from the Government’s schemes, and help small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) plan a future where doing business and returning to work might look entirely different. Support will include: 

  • Webinars and online training – covering digital transition, marketing, product and service amendment, product development, remote resourcing management and HR
  • Business mentoring and coaching – assisting entrepreneurs to formulate hybrid or new business models, amend financial and resourcing plans and implement effective strategies
  • Legal support and helplines – signposting to relevant legal support 

Small to medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy, representing more than 99% of the country’s business population and accounting for three fifths of employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown measures have devastated small businesses and their owners, especially in the retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors. 

Dirk Bischof, Hatch CEO, explained: “The UK Government has done a huge amount to support SMEs during the COVID-19 crisis – through the furlough scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans programme, and dedicated programmes for British tech start-ups and the charity sector. £300bn have been injected into the economy to safeguard workers who would have otherwise become unemployed. 

Sadly, money isn’t enough,” Mr Bischof continued. “Business owners urgently need support to re-align their business models to prepare for the next phase of the crisis. Thanks to and Youth Business International, we will help 1,500 businesses with digital transition, financial scenario planning, and implementing remote-working policies and practices. Google employees are also planning to volunteer their time and expertise to upskill business owners and help them adapt.” 

Anita Tiessen, CEO of Youth Business International, commented: 

“We are delighted to be working with Hatch as part of’s Rapid Response and Recovery Programme to help small businesses in the UK adapt to and survive the unprecedented shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hatch has an exceptional track-record of helping underserved entrepreneurs and small businesses flourish in the face of adversity, making them the ideal partner to help save our local businesses and communities.”

Rowan Barnett, Head of, EMEA & APAC, said:

“The coronavirus outbreak is taking a devastating toll on lives and communities, and small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as they struggle to stay afloat. With this grant to Youth Business International, alongside a series of Google initiatives and products, we hope to help some of the most vulnerable small businesses find a way through the crisis.” 

The grant is part of the funded $5 million global Rapid Response and Recovery Programme, led by Youth Business International, an international network of enterprise support organisations. The scheme will support over 200,000 small and medium business owners across 32 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, to respond to and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact:


Julia Maillebiau, YBI head of communications +447930 878697

Hatch Enterprise 

Dirk Bischof (CEO, Hatch Enterprise) / 0207 993 0074 / 079 400 44379

Brunswick Group

Scott Durant, Account Director / +447834 502437

Notes to editors 

Hatch Enterprise

Hatch provides community-based entrepreneurship programmes to emerging entrepreneurs, through an eco-system of support that includes the provision of knowledge, mentorship and workspace. Hatch works with diverse founders and impact founders. Many of these founders come from BAME backgrounds (60%+), many are women (75%+) and around 40% are social entrepreneurs. Hatch has worked with over 2,500 businesses to date and the large majority of them are solo founders or run small companies MSMEs – Micro, small or medium-size enterprises with an average of 2 – 5 staff members. Through the programme, Hatch will be working with a wider network of enterprise support organisations, reaching businesses across the country.   

Youth Business International (YBI)

YBI is a global network of expert organisations in over 50 countries supporting underserved young people to turn their ideas into successful businesses, creating jobs and strengthening communities. Our vision is a world where youth entrepreneurship is recognised for driving sustainable economic development and all young people who want to set up a business can fulfil their potential. We connect our members to share expertise and collaborate on solutions to common challenges.  



LinkedIn, Google’s philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a world that works for everyone—and we believe technology and innovation can move the needle in four key areas: education, economic opportunity, inclusion and crisis response.

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