Investec Beyond Business: Alumni Response to COVID-19

Investec Beyond Business is an award-winning support programme for emerging social enterprises in east London. Successful applicants receive up to £20,000 in funding as well as training and support to help get great business ideas off the ground. Since Investec became the sole funder of the programme in 2011, we’ve helped set up 50 new social enterprises in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham, 80% of which are still in business. 300 jobs have been created in east London and a combined turnover of £5m has been generated.

If you have a great business idea that will deliver positive impact in east London, contact us to find out more: 

A number of our Investec Beyond Business network have responded to the current situation by adapting their business models in order to continue to trade and affect social impact.  To follow are some examples of how our social enterprise network are adapting and continuing with their businesses and social outcomes during this challenging time.

Fat Macy’s (founded 2016)

Fat Macy’s is a social enterprise serving delicious home cooked food and dining experiences at supper clubs, events and offices across London. We also train and support young Londoners living in temporary accommodation and help them move into their own homes

In the wake of Coronavirus restrictions, we’ve taken on an even more ambitious social mission: helping communities support and care for each other in the age of isolation.

We’re doing this through our online restaurant, where people can order dine-in meals, hampers and freshly baked delights. We’re backing this up by deploying our catering service to support the NHS, having already catered hundreds of meals for critical staff. We are hoping to expand this to meet the needs of vulnerable people in the future.

Supporting young Londoners to get back on their feet has shown us that creating a tight-knit, loving community is an essential part of preparing individuals to overcome adversity and it’s really important that we are able to share the work we’re doing to widen our impact and accelerate our efforts.

InCommon (founded 2018)

InCommon is a social enterprise bringing generations together. They connect groups of primary school children with their older neighbours in retirement homes to learn and build friendships together.

They’ve launched InCommon Buddies, a way for children to share joyful moments with older friends and family over the phone and online. Back in early March InCommon stopped their face to face workshops in retirement homes to protect the older volunteers from the emerging coronavirus. They keep hearing from the older people we work with that they are missing spending time with people of different ages in projects like ours and in their own families.

‘We believe that it’s more important than ever to keep people connected across the generations right now, and young and old still have lots to learn from each other and can support each other through this time of change. We all want to stay in touch, but it’s not always easy to spend meaningful time with each other when we’re physically apart. We’re all having to learn fast how we can socialise in new remote ways, and that should include people at both ends of the age spectrum too.

Through InCommon Buddies we’re continuing to connect children and older residents who’ve met at our workshops so these relationships can keep going at a time when we need them most. We’re also sharing the activities for Buddies calls on our website every week so anyone can join in with older friends and relatives. You can find them here: Buddies activities’

Tutors United (founded 2013)

Tutors United deliver confidence-boosting, attainment-raising to some of Planet Earth’s coolest primary school pupils.  We are committed to bring the benefits of tutoring to every child, ensuring their socio-economic background doesn’t hinder how they can achieve in life.

Some of the amazing young people and Tutors at work and play and some details relating to this year’s activities: