Five migrant social enterprises win over £40k of business support

Date: 23 May 2013

Five migrant social enterprises have together won over £40,000 worth of business support from The Young Foundation – a leading centre for social enterprise – thanks to an initiative by Metropolitan Migration Foundation to grow the number of migrant social entrepreneurs in Lambeth and Nottingham.

The five organisations sharing the £40,000 worth of support include a boxing academy that focusses on tackling anti-social behaviour in Nottingham and a low cost tutoring service in London bringing together university students from low-income backgrounds and primary school children in need of tutoring.

The five winners, selected from over 40 applicants from across the UK, have won procurement contracts with Metropolitan, one-to-one mentoring from Metropolitan staff, and the opportunity to showcase their work in a pop-up shop.

While the social enterprise sector is flourishing in the UK, there has been limited involvement from migrant, refugee and ethnic minorities to date. Lack of access to credit and funding alongside religious, gender and language barriers all contribute to the problem.

To address this issue, Metropolitan Migration Foundation and The Young Foundation created the Community Level Investment in Migrant Businesses programme (CLIMB). 20 migrant entrepreneurs participated, receiving valuable support from The Young Foundation on growing their venture, developing their business model, and communicating the value of their social impact.

The CLIMB programme culminated in a series of Dragon’s Den style panel presentations in London and Nottingham where the panellists looked for sustainable, innovative ideas with the potential to scale and meet the needs of Metropolitan residents.

Metropolitan Migration Foundation Director Paul Birtill said: “We see from our work that there are many great ideas in migrant communities that aren’t yet making the social impact they could, and we are delighted to be working with them to realise their potential.”

Sandra Ferguson Head of Community Regeneration at Metropolitan said “This initiative gave some great insights into the resilience of our communities. The excellent ideas generated by our entrepreneurs were as a result of hard work and recognising true potential. The successful candidates had a real sense of how their business ideas could not only function financially but contribute to solving real problems affecting the lives of the people who live in our communities”

Sarah Mussenden, Executive Director of Finance at Metropolitan, said: “There are people out there that are quite amazing and have amazing ideas, not only are they entrepreneurial in building businesses for themselves but they actually want to give something back and I find that quite inspiring.”

Margaret Ogebule, project lead at The Young Foundation said “The quality and vision of these social enterprises has been inspiring and we look forward to working with them over the coming months to strengthen and scale their organisations. ”

The 2013 CLIMB winners are:

The Jav Boxing Academy brings communities together and engages young people through boxing. Run by brothers Kamran and Jawaid Khaliq and built around Javid’s experience as an undefeated IBO Welterweight World Champion, together they have worked to build the fitness and self esteem of their users, cutting anti-social behaviour incidents in Nottingham.

With little to no knowledge of the language and no networks in the UK, the Persian Community Café is a lifeline for Iranians and other immigrants adjusting to life in the UK. The café offers food, training and volunteering and is run by disadvantaged migrant groups in the Midlands.

Community Therapies and Training offer talking therapies, community development approaches and social empowerment models to help people feel better, happier and lead fulfilled lives. Already providing services to the NHS, Community Therapies and Training aims to increase access to culturally and socially appropriate health interventions.

Tutors United employs low-income university students to provide affordable private tutoring for primary school pupils from migrant, refugee and disadvantaged backgrounds. Nineteen year old founder Joel Davis, formerly an unemployed university student, took two major challenges (student unemployment and primary age underachievement) and merged them to create a solution.

Urban Construction focuses on pathways to employment for young people at risk of getting involved in crime and ex-offenders by delivering construction skills training. In addition to skills training from registered tradesmen, they provide mentoring, personal development and access to apprenticeships.


Notes to editors:

1. Contact: Kate Bagley on 07503 053 000 or

2. Metropolitan Migration Foundation, which is part of Metropolitan, aims to help migrants and the communities they live in, including people who are refugees or asylum seekers. Metropolitan is a social and community development organisation which provides an integrated package of housing services, care and support and community regeneration.

3. The Young Foundation is determined to make positive social change happen. We pioneered the field of social innovation with The Open University, UpRising and Studio Schools. We work closely with individuals, communities and partners building relationships to ensure that our thinking does something, our actions matter and the changes we make together will continue to grow. ( )