Innovation Hive ’15 UK

Social Innovation Lab and HelpingB, an award-winning UK based crowdfunding platform for social entrepreneurs partnered to launch a joint venture programme to promote social entrepreneurship. It’s a unique, first-of-its-kind fellowship programme for early stage social impact startups. Also, SIL is the first Pakistani venture that has extended its incubation activities in the UK.

Official logo of the Innovation Hive lead and developed by HelpingB and SIL

The team of SIL flew to UK to lead trainings at the Innovation Hive for registered startups from July 22nd to July 27th, 2015. The primary purpose of trainings was to develop entreprenuerrial skills, refine ideas, develop prototypes and ultimately, raise funds and customers for the startups through crowdfunding.

Many startups registered for the training, but some of the most innovative forerunners included:

1. ‘Socii’ working to increase impact of businesses working on solar solutions & sanitation

2. ‘IntegrateUni’ aiming to integrate international students with the local community by helping them fight isolation

3. ‘Augmented Vacancies’ using augmented reality t help young talent find jobs

4. ‘UnCommon Ground’ as a support system for the LGBT community aged 18–25

5. ‘The Bombay Sandwich Club’ that brings quality lunch products and distributes them in UK using technological tools

6. ‘Beneficient’ that wants to change the way people make donations through a cross-device platform

7. ‘Natural Beauty Products’ which embeds beauty with sustainability, health, wellbeing, and community enhancement

Insights, dialogues, new perspective, were discussed alongside the team of Acumen on patient capital, adaptive leadership, potential of crowdfunding, LEAN business models, business sustainability, design thinking, rapid prototyping. Role of leadership in a startup environment, along with community based research and learning with the potential of social impact were also discussed elaborately.

Teams of HelpingB and SIL training the young entrepreneurs

Terry Igharoro leading the opening session in the training

On the third day of training (July 25th) trainees revised their business models in light of their learning from the workshops. Terry Igharoro, author of ‘Think Like An Entrepreneur’ and ‘Grow Rich’, led the next day’s opening session. Finally, on the last day, these young and confident entrepreneurs presented their pitch for crowdfunding to the teams of SIL and HelpingB.

Programmes such as Innovation Hive challenge the notion of development flowing north to south as young entrepreneurs. SIL has demonstrated to the world that there is indeed a strong, impassioned voice coming from the global south that deserves to be heard.

Stay tuned to hear first-hand testimonial of incubates and entrepreneurs that were trained at IH15. Join the conversation using the hashtag #IH15 on social media and read more about these innovative startups here.

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