The Connected Places Award: Investec

Longlisted for a Business in the Community Responsible Business Award

Action and Impact 
The London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney are in the top 1-5% deprived local authority areas in England and suffer from high rates of unemployment.

The Bromley by Bow Centre is situated in Tower Hamlets, and it is being supported by Investec’s Beyond Business programme, a social enterprise incubation programme. Each year, budding entrepreneurs committed to creating sustainable, profit-making businesses that also generate positive social or environmental outcomes in either of the three boroughs. Investec, a specialist bank and asset manager, invested £215,914 (in 2016-2017), giving the businesses months of business planning support, including access to seed funding to help them get off the ground.

“Entrepreneurship is in our DNA, and we are empowering local people to help themselves,” says David van der Walt, Investec Bank’s CEO.

Since the very start of the Beyond Business programme, more than 70 social enterprises have been established, generating a turnover in excess of £5 million and creating over 350 jobs. 

The scheme also has a great track record of helping enterprises to succeed; more than 80% of them continue to trade beyond their third year, compared to the national average of less than 50%.