July 2, 2022

SME Business News

Small Business News UK

12 sustainable start-ups join Virgin Start-Up’s Collective Impact Programme

Virgin StartUp has announced the 12 British sustainable start-up businesses it has selected to join its Collective Impact Programme which starts this week.

Run in partnership with Crowdcube and, with support from Tribe First, Capital Pilot, Finerva, Marlborough House Partners and more, the Collective Impact Programme is a six-week course for UK start-up businesses that want to create positive change in the world and are ready to accelerate their growth through equity crowdfunding.

Successful applicants were chosen based on their high growth potential and their aim to address some of the biggest issues of our time, such as responsible commerce and consumption; technology for planetary health; and creating equal access to societal needs.

Selected from more than 100 applicants, the final 12 founders will spend the next six weeks receiving one-to-one mentoring with experts, investors and other founders, as well as attending a series of workshops to provide step-by-step guidance and support to help them on their crowdfunding journey. All the founders on the course are looking to raise between £150,000 and £1.5 million via equity crowdfunding.

The finalists include three start-ups that are already receiving support through Virgin StartUp, including the UK’s first recyclable synthetic hair extensions business, Tiwani Heritage; Valiant Lingerie, which makes post-surgery swimwear and lingerie; and MiiCare, which provides personalised health and care services to the elderly.

Carol Lathbridge, founder of Tiwani Heritage, comments: “I initially applied to Virgin StartUp for an approved start-up loan but also gained a support system and a strong community of entrepreneurs, experts and mentors. The Collective Impact accelerator was the natural progression to help equip us to grow and scale our business. The programme is fully comprehensive with credible and inspiring contributors and facilitators. I feel incredibly honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to gain the tools to hopefully launch a successful campaign.”

Eleanor Howie, Founder and CEO of Valiant Lingerie, explains: “I applied for Collective Impact because I was excited about a programme designed with impact and purpose at its heart. We live in a world that is facing significant social and environmental challenges and I feel so strongly that businesses need to increasingly be a force for good. Starting a business in 2020 has been challenging and I believe that the support of the Collective Impact programme is a real game changer for purpose driven businesses. I am really looking forward to working with the incredible experts involved in the programme to really refine our understanding of the investment landscape and, ultimately, scale our positive impact.”

Andy Fishburn, Managing Director at Virgin StartUp, adds: “It has been an absolute pleasure to look through this year’s applications and see so many innovative products and services created by passionate founders who are laser focused on how their business will have a positive impact in the world. We’re now looking forward to working closely with these founders over the coming weeks and seeing the results of their crowdfunding campaigns.”

The full list of businesses on this summer’s Virgin StartUp Collective Impact Programme are:
30 Minute Chat
Angel Watch Company
Aquoprotein
Gusto Snacks
MiiCare
OHMG Brands
Storiboard
Satatland Circular Fashion
Shop Greenr
Stocked Food
Tiwani Heritage
Valiant Lingerie

Previous success stories from Virgin StartUp’s Collective Impact programme include OxWash, a sustainable laundry company, which is re-engineering the laundry process to reverse the sector’s adverse impact on the planet. The company completed the programme in 2021 and raised £500,000 in 15 hours on Crowdcube – twice its initial target. The company has gone on to secure more than £5 million in private investment, including support from Holly Branson. In total, seventy businesses have completed the programme so far, raising more than £17 million in funding.

For more information about Virgin StartUp, visit www.virginstartup.org