Businesses that can play a role in meeting some of the most pressing societal challenges of our time can have a robust and long-term growth potential.
From our own 12-years of experience backing high-growth, high-impact businesses we have identified a number of sectors where commercial success and social impact can go in “lock-step”.
1. Under-invested areas and “consumer champions”
By establishing their businesses in some of the most under-invested parts of the country, SMEs can play a crucial role in the regeneration of local areas by building economic dynamism and creating employment in the local community.
In exchange, businesses can benefit from the sustained competitive advantages that these areas have to offer, ranging from affordable real estate and unmet local demand, to access to highly-committed employees.
We have also seen that “consumer champion” businesses providing high quality value-for-money services to underserved consumers can enjoy strong growth prospects, whilst making a real difference to the communities they serve.
The Gym, one of Bridges Ventures’ flagship investments, is a great example of how providing low-cost, high quality fitness facilities to parts of the population who had previously not been able to afford it, makes commercial sense.
Launched in 2008, The Gym now operates from 40+ sites across the country, mainly located in underserved areas, and around 30% of its 200,000+ members are first-time gym-goers.
2. Health and well-being
Increasing sophistication of care, lifestyle changes, rising levels of obesity and ageing population are some of the current trends driving a fundamental transformation in the provision of health and well-being services.
As investors, we see great growth potential for businesses providing specialist services to the healthcare sector. There are a number of sub-sectors where we are seeing tangible high growth opportunities – ranging from well-being services focused on targeted prevention and wellness to keep individuals out of the healthcare system altogether, to cost-effective, high-quality health care delivered at home or in the community.
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