INVESTORS and consumers are more eager than ever to support entrepreneurs and businesses that have a positive impact on the world. Terms such as ‘ESG’ are becoming increasingly popular, as industry leaders are transforming their strategy and business models to become as sustainable and socially positive as possible.
However, the people really pushing this movement are the businesses that were built from the ground up with a positive social impact being the key concept, not just an afterthought. If you’re looking for examples of the entrepreneurs and founders who are running companies that have world-changing capabilities – the Entrepreneurs’ Award for Social Innovation (EASI) 2022 Showcase at the Old Bailey in London was the event to find them.
EASI is an initiative which was created by the Company of Entrepreneurs to highlight and support businesses having an innovative positive impact on society and the environment. The CoE is a philanthropic group based in the City of London which seeks to bring together entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and industries to create an advanced entrepreneurial community and network.
The winner of EASI received an exceptional package of support including a £10,000 grant, PR support from leading brand and marketing agency Champions (UK) plc, business support and networking opportunities with leading entrepreneurs. The finalists have all also received business support and exposure through CoE events and channels.
The EASI showcase event consisted of a series of speeches from EASI contestants and senior members of the Company of Entrepreneurs, starting with an opening speech from the Master Entrepreneur, Judy Hadden.
Judy expressed her delight at the success and importance of the event, as well as the high calibre of the entrepreneurs involved “Through the Entrepreneurs’ Award for Social Innovation, the Company of Entrepreneurs’ and our Trust, provide support to early-stage social innovation entrepreneurs developing critical and innovative solutions to big social and environmental issues.”
Judy continued “Our EASI 2022 Showcase provided the opportunity to hear directly from our EASI 2022 Winner and finalists on how the support provided is making such an impact to them and enabling their ‘boats to go faster’.”
The finalists then took their turns to describe their business and answer questions from entrepreneurs and other attendees.
The entrepreneurial projects at the event who have been recognised by this fantastic award were as follows:
EASI 2022 Winners – Pastoral
The deserving winner of EASI 2022 was Pastoral, a world-first revolutionary farming technology company that uses tracking systems to reduce damage to the environment and help improve the efficiency and profit of farming in low-income countries.
Josh laid out the premise of Pastoral “Our priorities involve reducing land degradation and CO2 emissions, as well as helping low-income farmers make a profit by providing them with reliable data.”
Josh continued by explaining how important EASI has been for them “As entrepreneurs, we understand the importance of being tenacious: we are not in the business for quick wins, but to make a difference long-term. Winning the EASI award made us feel like we were finally being heard, and that the value of our mission had been recognised.”
EASI 2022 – Finalists
Founder, Tamzin Lent, explains the vision for Where You At “I started the Where You At app because time after time I would go out, lose my friends, and end up feeling vulnerable and alone. I had a particularly bad incident after being spiked at a nightclub. The following morning, I could see there was a whole series of texts to my friends inside the club – asking them where they were and to come and find me – but none of them sent as I had no signal.”
“I wanted to build an app which helped people to feel more in control in nights out, and hopefully protect other people from going through the same experience as me.”
Co-founder, Rokiah Yaman, explains the vision of LEAP Micro AD “I co-founded LEAP Micro AD to give people and businesses on the ground a way to tackle some of the big global issues such as the climate emergency, the cost-of-living crisis and food waste.
“Our solution is to turn organic wastes into biofertiliser, bioenergy and compost, using them to grow food for local consumption. We’re passionate about providing solutions that eliminate waste, and create social and environmental value, while supporting local economies and green jobs.”
Founder, Ed Rogers, explains the vision for Bristol Braille “Braille is ten times the cost of print. Affordable Braille is essential for blind literacy, education and employment, yet Braille use has declined, due in no small part to stagnant technology.”
“So as a team we’ve dedicated the last twelve years to creating better Braille technology and breaking down the barriers blind people face. Bristol Braille Technology CIC is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to serving blind communities through the invention and provision of Braille devices.”
Attendees from across the civic and business city, representing a wide cross-section of charitable and industry communities, networked with finalists in the beautiful Old Bailey venue to strengthen their connections and discuss possible business partnerships.