Raising Finance

City & Guilds backs entrepreneurs with £7.5m fund to drive skills and social purpose

3 min read

18 September 2015

Skills development organisation City & Guilds has introduced two funds as part of a £7.5m pot as part of a “social purpose” to invest capital, skills and innovation into post-revenue businesses and entrepreneurs.

The concept of social enterprise continues to gain traction and was highlighted as a study in September revealed that 27 per cent of the UK’s entrepreneurs say that it’s a priority of theirs to support the community.

Following that, Boris Johnson parted with £285,000 to help jumpstart 20 community-centric projects across London to support “creativity and enterprise” across the city.

One of the most campaigns is an effort to transform a 1km stretch of a disused Peckham railway line into an urban park, enriching accessibility for locals and footfall for businesses in return.

Skills development body City & Guilds now wants to deliver “social purpose”. The group is recognised for providing hundreds of qualifications for sectors including business, beauty, construction & engineering, childcare, creativity & media, hospitality and more, but now introduces a new £7.5m fund.

The pot is split into two investments, with £2.5m for the New Venture Fund (NVF) and £5m for the Skills Development Fund (SDF).

The £5m SDF will focus on social projects that are based on communities and able to deliver benefits to education and training sectors globally, while also supporting employers. This will be achieved as the body will use its experience to drive long-term and sustainable change by improving skills.

Read more on the British skills debate:

Mikki Draggoo, group corporate relations director, City & Guilds, said: “We often talk about how the City & Guilds Group is all about ‘making money to make a difference’ and that is exactly what this investment demonstrates.

“The Skills Development Fund will allow us to make a unique contribution and add value to initiatives that could be life-changing for people and transformative for communities across the world.”

The NVF, meanwhile, aims to bring innovation and skills education into growing firms and early entrepreneurs, with capital provided for an equity stake. In addition, the group will help partners to get ideas up and running and John Yates, new ventures director at the City & Guilds Group, will be in charge of the fund.

“This Fund is all about supporting innovation and entrepreneurship by helping grow the businesses of entrepreneurs who are committed to skills development,” Yates said.

“We are particularly keen to hear from founder-entrepreneurs across the world who are delivering education technology to support young people in their transition from education to employment, or in their pursuit of their next career step.

“For us, it is not just about providing money, but also support from across the City & Guilds Group to give successful recipients the best possible chance of success.”

Those interested in the NVF can email Yates directly, while SDF applications can be made by emailing the sustainability department.