Creating a Collective Impact
It takes courage, drive and ambition to start your own business and never has that been truer than in 2020. It’s been a tough year all round for business, but for those purpose-driven founders looking to secure funding to launch sustainable companies and products, it’s been particularly difficult.
For years, as a personal investor and as a member of the Virgin Leadership Team, I have always loved trying to find the entrepreneurs who are building businesses that are creating a better world for us all, and working with their founders, to help them grow to scale and increase their positive impact.
Hence why I’m excited about Virgin StartUp and CrowdCube's five-week Collective Impact programme, which will set out to find the next generation of purpose-driven founders and provide them with the necessary tools and support to help them raise funds and awareness, through an equity crowdfunding campaign. Collective Impact is a programme designed and delivered by Virgin StartUp, CrowdCube and external experts, to help founders of impact-led, purpose-driven businesses - with everything from; branding, investor presentations, mock investor meetings, securing lead investments and launching crowdfunding campaigns.
Changing business for good has always been at the heart of what Virgin does and I believe the best way to achieve that is through cross-sector collaboration, which is why working to help support founders tackling key societal challenges is so exciting.
Recently, the British Business Banking report included these stark figures: for every £1 of venture capital (VC) investment in the UK, all-male founder teams get 89p, and mixed-gender teams 10p and all-female founder teams get less than 1p. It is my hope, and belief, that programmes such as Collective Impact can help improve access to funding for all founders and address barriers faced in particular by female founders.
To create the biggest possible impact, the Collective Impact programme will support the founders who are working to address some of the biggest issues of our time:
1. Technology for planetary health: visionary businesses committed to protecting Earth’s finite resources and restoring the environment across a range of sectors including clean energy, environmental health, transportation, logistics and infrastructure.
2. Responsible commerce and consumption: businesses focused on resource efficiency and creating a circular economy, responsible consumption and production, and sustainable agriculture.
3. Creating equal access to societal needs: This includes purpose-driven and innovative businesses in areas such as health and social care, mental and emotional wellbeing, education and lifelong learning, lifestyle and ageing population.
I really believe that entrepreneurs can solve some of the world’s biggest problems, and I’m excited to see how the Collective Impact programme will accelerate and amplify the positive impact that British start-ups are already making.
If you're a founder who is looking to achieve real impact, then I would encourage you to find out more about the Collective Impact programme, and how it can help you scale your positive change, on CrowdCube’s website.