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2014 Fast Growth Winners

32 entrepreneurs have been awarded a place on the Fast Growth programme for 2014.

The Fast Growth programme works in partnership with Santander and The Cabinet Office to fund entrepreneurs to scale social ventures.

Santander has funded 10 of our Fast Growth 2014 entrepreneurs through its SEDA scheme, which supports social enterprise. To find out more about SEDA and Santander’s partnership with UnLtd go to www.unltd.org.uk/seda.

The Cabinet Office has funded five of our Fast Growth 2014 entrepreneurs who are running ventures we call ‘social market makers’ – organisations which support other social ventures to grow.

A further 17 entrepreneurs have been funded through the Millennium Awards Trust

Our Fast Growth winners are some of the country’s most promising entrepreneurs – driven, focused and with one thing in common: the ambition and ability to use enterprise to solve social problems.

Scroll down to find out more about them.

Fast Growth SEDA winners

Bethany Ainsley

Nouveau Dance & Fitness

Nouveau Dance & Fitness provides affordable fitness programmes to people in areas of high deprivation. The programmes help tackle health inequalities by encouraging people to improve their physical and mental health. Bethany set up her venture after seeing the impact sedentary lifestyles has on health inequalities.


Fintan Connolly

The TakeTen Programme

The TakeTen Programme designs computer games for children in schools to allow them to combat stress and concentrate better in class. Fintan previously spent 20 years working as a pharmacist and developed the programme after seeing the impact self-regulation tools had on the ability of his own child, who has a learning disability, to manage stress and anxiety.


Jenny Dawson

Rubies in the Rubble

Rubies in the Rubble is a food waste initiative which employs disadvantaged people to make chutneys out of food that would otherwise go to waste. Jenny became interested in food waste after seeing the amount of fruit and vegetables getting thrown away in London’s food markets and left her job in investment banking to set up the company.


Julia Lally

The Cycle Systems

The Cycle Systems helps create employment by training people to become cycle maintenance mechanics. Julia, a keen cyclist, set up her venture to both promote the environmental and physical benefits of cycling and help develop the cycling industry.


Juliette Green


Livelihood help to create jobs for people at risk of exclusion from employment by working with them to develop the skills employers are looking for. Applicants offer to ‘try me before you buy me’ to give employers resassurance. Juliette set up the company after seeing that businesses wanted to give opportunities to people struggling to find work but needed more support to help them do so.

Website under construction

Michael Sani

Bite the Ballot

Bite The Ballot is a youth-led organisation which promotes better engagement and participation in politics amongst young people and encourages them to vote. Michael, a former teacher, set up the venture after being struck by his pupils’ lack of interest in politics and voting.


Paul Humphries

Bright Ideas Trust

The Bright Ideas Trust helps disadvantaged and marginalised young people to start up their own enterprises by providing training, mentoring and start-up funding. Paul set up the venture with The Apprentice winner Tim Campbell in order to help young people take responsibility for the direction their lives take and help increase social mobility.


Peter Anderson

VocalEyes Digital Democracy

VocalEyes Digital Democracy is an online platform which helps people get involved in local decision making and encourages greater transparency in the decision making process. Peter was inspired to start the venture after seeing the lack of opportunities for individuals to easily get involved in local decision making.


Peter Tryner

The Star Community Foundation

The Star Community Foundation recycles clothes, furniture and other unwanted items to raise money to help disadvantaged young people engage in sport and creative activities. Peter was motivated to set up the company to help maximise the impact that enterprise can have on young people’s lives.


William Marley

The Employability Trust

The Employability Trust help disadvantaged young people to become job-ready by providing training in manufacturing and engineering work. The company operates out of a large factory and has contracts with several household names. William has a background in manufacturing and set up the venture after identifying a need for ‘on the job’ training opportunities for young people to help prepare them for employment.


Fast Growth Cabinet Office Social Market Makers

Emanuela Vartolomei

All Street

All Street is an online platform providing reports to individuals and organisations wanting to invest in deals and projects seeking crowdfunding. It aims to inform ordinary people to help them make their own financial decisions. Emanuela left her career in investment banking to start the venture in order to help increase the number of people and organisations making investments for social good.


Gavin Francis


Worthstone provide information for financial planners on the potential returns investments in social ventures can bring. Gavin has worked in financial services for over 20 years and set up the company to help the social investment market go ‘mainstream’ by promoting the potential of social investment products to those advising investors, helping to attract capital to the social enterprise market and bring about positive social impact.


Karl Richter


EngagedX is an online platform which tracks the performance of the social investment market. Operating like a stock market index, it provides information on both an investment’s impact and return. Karl set up the venture to help drive up the number of individuals and organisations making social impact investments.


Rick Benfield


Thirdbridge is an online platform which encourages companies to work with third sector and not for profit organisations, by demonstrating the business case for developing corporate partnerships. It provides a tool which measures and monitors both the social impact the company is helping to create and also evidence the return on their investment. Rick set up the company to help charities increase revenues and encourage companies to operate more sustainably.


Vicki Shotbolt


MarkIt is an online platform which connects schools with social enterprises. Schools can view information on social enterprises and the services they can offer to schools for free and can also view the social impact the enterprises have made to date. Vicki set up the venture to help maximise the potential that social enterprises can offer schools.

Website under construction.


Fast Growth Award Winners funded by Millennium Awards Trust

Aaron Jones

Fikay Eco Fashion

Fikay Eco Fashion is a sustainable fashion company which works with young adults with learning disabilities to help prepare them for employment. The company recycles cement and food bags from developing countries into stylish bags and accessories. Young adults are trained to help produce the bags. Aaron, whose mother and brother both have Asperger’s Syndrome, set up the venture after witnessing the challenges people with learning disabilities can have securing employment.


Abrar Akhtar

Student Tutors

Student Tutors is an online tutoring platform which recruits undergraduates from top universities to tutor GCSE and A-Level students in both their chosen topics and also provide guidance on how to get onto a university course. Abrar set up the company while at university to help drive up the number of places top universities award to pupils from state schools.


Adam Matich

Tiny Diner

Tiny Diner makes organic food for babies and children, creating training and employment opportunities for women who are vulnerable to experiencing violence and are struggling to enter the employment market. Adam set up Tiny Diner together with the charity Eaves, to help provide it with sustainable income to continue its work supporting vulnerable women.


Alex Smith

South London Cares

South London Cares is a community network mobilising young professionals to volunteer to support their older neighbours in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. Alex, a former adviser to the Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband, set up the venture to reduce isolation amongst older people. He has successfully tested the model in his first venture, North London Cares.


Alexandra Humphreys

Circle Sports Training Programme

Circle Sports helps disadvantaged young people to secure employment by offering a range of training, including work placements in the venture’s own high street sports shop. The company also organises work experience placements for young people in the creative sector. Alexandra set up the venture to help improve young disadvantaged peoples’ confidence and increase their chances of employment.


Anisa Haghdadi


Beatfreeks provides consultancy services to companies and organisations wanting to engage young people and uses its profits to train young people in leadership, enterprise, creative and media skills. Anisa, who has won numerous awards for her work with young people, set up the venture to use her expertise on education, arts, enterprise and young people for social good.


Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders

Difficult Conversations

Difficult Conversations runs workshops to help professionals better communicate with patients, families and carers dealing with long term conditions, cancer, dementia and frailty. Catherine is a GP and a leading figure in palliative care.

Website under construction

Chris Hughes

The Enterprise Factor

The Enterprise Factor helps young people develop business skills by training them in events management. The courses train students to deliver a concert, with profits going back to the school. Chris set up his venture to increase the availability of relevant, practical business education available for young people.


Christian Wilse

Seniors Helping Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors® matches older people who want help with those who are looking for help. Support is tailored to each individual’s level of support. It is based on model which has been running successfully in the US for over 15 years. Christian decided to introduce the model to help the less active to live independently for as long as possible.


Jonny Chatterton

Campaign Bootcamp

Campaign Bootcamp is a year-long training program for people wanting to develop a career in campaigning. Jonny co-founded the campaigning organisation 38 Degrees and set up the venture to help people driven to combat social injustice to maximise the effect of their campaigns.


Jonathan Collie

Trading Times

Trading Times is an online service that connects people who are over 50, carers and single parents with businesses looking for part-time workers. Jonathan set up the venture to help those who want to work but would find working full time difficult or impossible.


Jonathan Walton

Rebeats, from Tonguesten

ReBeats is an innovative app which uses music to help disadvantaged people improve their literacy skills, developed by the digital agency Tonguesten. Users of the app are given the choice to learn through whatever music they love. The product is sold to language schools with profits used to provide the app to prisons, schools and other organisations for free. Founder Jonathan developed the app because of his conviction that a disruptive educational approach is required to help solve the UK’s literacy problems.


Julie Dawson

Surf & Turf Camp

Surf & Turf teaches children digital skills at day camps and weekend residential camps. Children aged 8-13 are given the time, space and skills to get creative online – making video games, mobile apps and robots. Children also learn presentation skills and how to give feedback. They enjoy outdoor physical challenges to help develop their confidence and team building skills. Founder Julie set up the venture to encourage children to be more active and to develop their natural curiosity for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).


Oliver Waddington-Ball

Goldfinger Factory

Goldfinger Factory makes and sells high end upcycled furniture and provides interior design services using reclaimed materials. The factory is based in one of London’s most deprived areas and trains and employs disadvantaged local residents to upcycle the furniture, using designs by designers and artists. Profits go towards providing cheap furniture to local residents. Oliver set up the venture after spotting the opportunity to maximise the profit and social impact of London’s waste.


Paul Buck

EPIC Problem Gambling Consultancy

EPIC Problem Gambling Consultancy provides employers with risk and training solutions to support employees who may be suffering from gambling addiction, or preferably prevent the addiction in the first place. Gambling is the fastest growing addiction both in the UK and worldwide. Paul, an ex-gambler who suffered devastating effects to his life due to the addiction, set up the venture to address the lack of education and support available in the UK.


Sharla Duncan


TeamUp runs a leadership development programme to train university students to deliver tuition and careers support to disadvantaged school children in their local communities. Sharla, who grew up in a deprived neighbourhood and went on to secure a place at Oxford University, set up the programme to ensure disadvantaged children reach their academic and career potential and also to help university students develop leadership skills, enabling greater life chances for both school children and university students.


Tasos Papastylianou


Sentimoto aims to help older people get the right kind of support using wearable technologies. Users wear a smartwatch, collecting lifestyle and wellbeing information; this gets analysed by Sentimoto’s app-based platform, providing its users and their carers with information and insights, ensuring they are better supported. Tasos and his three co-founders came up with the idea during their PhD at Oxford University, while discussing their concerns for their own ageing parents.


Are you an entrepreneur ready to scale your social venture? If you think you have what it takes to become one of our winners, click here to find out more about our programme.

Are you an investor wanting to find out more about the Fast Growth entrepreneurs or be connected to them? Please get in touch

Do you want to work with us to help entrepreneurs solve social problems? We work with a wide range of supporters, from delivery partners to companies and individuals who offer their services on a pro bono basis to help our entrepreneurs grow their ventures. If you are interested in working with us please get in touch