A CONSULTANCY specialising in improving business outcomes through diversity and inclusion, has been selected from almost 25,000 UK-wide applicants for a £25,000 grant.
Watch This Sp_ce provides intersectional diversity and inclusion training to improve happiness and productivity in the workplace by affecting long-term, structural change to businesses. They have been awarded the £25,000 Business Boost grant from B Corp certified small business insurance broker Simply Business to help the business grow and recover from the continued impact of the pandemic.
Watch This Sp_ce was founded in the first lockdown and since then have been on a mission to reimagine, and repair the world of work. They provide consultancy, training, mentoring, coaching, and content creation services to existing business and under-represented entrepreneurs looking to start and build businesses.
Their no-nonsense approach to training has seen the consultancy go from strength to strength helping the organisations they work with move forwards to increase both workplace happiness and profits.
The money from the grant will go towards making their content more accessible, expanding onto digital platforms and developing an app to reach more people with ongoing training.
As the UK emerges from nearly two years under the spectre of the pandemic, research from Simply Business found that small business owners expect to lose £22,461 each on average as a direct result of the pandemic – with 81% of owners believing they haven’t had enough support from government. Furthermore, more than one in three (37%) SME owners were unable to access any government schemes or grants, while the total estimated cost of Covid-19 for UK small businesses sits at a staggering £126.6bn.
The winner was chosen from a shortlist by a panel of judges consisting of:
- Piers Linney, CEO of Moblox and Dragons’ Den dragon
- Carina Lepore, The Apprentice UK winner and founder of Dough Artisan Bakehouse
- Tony Robinson OBE, author and vocal champion of the self-employed
- Merlie Calvert, founder and CEO of Farillio
- Larissa Cooper, winner of Business Boost 2020 and Creative Director and owner of Rowan Bay
- Alan Thomas, UK CEO of Simply Business
Rugby legend, and former Wales and British & Irish Lions captain, Gareth Thomas is also on board as an official ambassador for the campaign.
Comment from Watch This Sp_ce
Mo Kanjilal, co-founder at Watch This Sp_ ce, commented: “We’re so excited to be in a position to build the subscription platform we’ve been dreaming of – we thought it was something we’d have to build up to over time, and suddenly we can do it straight away. There’s been so much talk in the media about how diversity and inclusion training doesn’t work – and in its current form, it doesn’t. You can’t fix deep rooted unconscious biases and become an inclusive organisation in a one-hour workshop, that’s impossible. Yet all the research shows that diversity and inclusion increase innovation, productivity, results and profits. So they’re vital for the future of organisations. Our platform will give businesses access to an ever-growing suite of training courses that will support a long-term journey of growth that will embed diversity and inclusion in the fabric of their organisation, enabling them to make the fundamental changes they need to survive and thrive in the years to come.”
Allegra Chapman, Co-founder at Watch This Sp_ce commented: “Business Boost will change everything for us. This money takes us from the initial start-up stage, armed with only our ideas, passion and optimism, to running a viable business overnight. Getting a start-up off the ground is incredibly challenging at the best of times, never mind in a pandemic, with multiple lockdowns and personal struggles to contend with (including illness, pregnancy and a premature birth!). We’ve been doing it all on our own around our day jobs and our families. Now we can concentrate fully on Watch This Sp_ce and on making it everything that we know it can be.”
Piers Linney, CEO at Moblox and Ex Dragons’ Den investor commented: “Watch This Sp_ce is a business with a strong social purpose – something which stood out to us in the judging process. Diversity and inclusion sits at the heart of their proposition, and their mission to help organisations reimagine the way they do things has the potential to have a huge impact. Equally, we believed in Mo and Allegra’s ambitious plans for the £25,000 grant and believe their business has the potential to scale quickly.”
Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: “It’s never been more important to support small businesses, and we’re delighted to have found such a worthy recipient of our £25,000 cash grant.
“With almost 25,000 entries, we were moved and inspired by the stories we received from all across Britain – stories that show resilience, innovation, and a pioneering spirit run throughout the self-employed community.
“Watch This Sp_ce’s commitment to diversity and inclusion resonated with our own values at Simply Business, and we’re excited to see the continued positive impact they’ll be able to have with the help of a cash injection.
“Small businesses are crucial to the UK economy – and we know that behind each of these businesses are passionate individuals with a big dream. That’s certainly true of Mo and Allegra, and we’re proud to be able to support their big dream of continuing Watch This Sp_ce’s exciting journey.”
Small business owners can sign up to hear about future Business Boost grants from Simply Business at www.simplybusiness.co.uk/business-boost/