K.O.C.A Community Projects is a martial arts centre that uses the power of this sport to transform the lives of members of their community.

Founder of K.O.C.A gym, Bill Judd had an idea for a martial arts centre for the community and in 2020 brought Catherine Denby in to run it as a Community Interest Company. Martial arts require discipline and poise, and the K.O.C.A team have seen how it can be instrumental in improving challenging behaviours of young people, and subsequently reduce anti-social issues facing local communities. K.O.C.A run programs from their gym in Bethnal Green to enhance the physical and mental wellbeing of those taking part.

Olivia first came to the gym with her aunt who is a participant on the addiction recovery programme. When she arrived she was shy, awkward and lacking in focus. Within four months of attending, Olivia’s mum told Catherine that Olivia had undertaken a transformation. She had started to focus more at school and to do her homework, she had stopped sleeping in in the mornings and her mental health had visibly improved.

For Catherine, the support from Investec Beyond Business will be invaluable.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop a business plan to bring ideas into fruition and the grant will allow us to secure premises in order to open a dedicated KOCA centre”.

Investec Beyond Business is looking for fresh new business ideas to make the new normal anything but ordinary. You could be already trading (since July 2020), or just at the idea stage – as long as your business has a clear social purpose we want to hear from you.

Applications are open now and close 17th May 5pm.

Applications open

Brave new businesses wanted

New social enterprises in Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets can get a head start with £20,000 business funding and support from Investec Beyond Business.

Apply now