Ignite yesterday announced the names of 10 successful entrepreneurs who they will be working with to tackle energy challenges, and make real, sustainable change in communities.
- The Big Energy Idea will provide 10 social entrepreneurs with an individual package of investment readiness support and the potential to access a minimum £50,000 investment over the next year
- 10 successful ‘Big Energy Ideas’, including local business Sust-it were announced on 30th April, at an event held in Windsor
- The Big Energy Idea is run by Ignite, a fund that will invest £10 million over 10 years, backed by Centrica
Among the winners is Ross Lammas, founder of Sust-it, a family-run price comparison site that enables consumers to make informed buying choices based on energy usage and running costs of electrical products.
An individual package of support will be provided to the social entrepreneurs, Ross included, helping them gain investment and grow their ventures. The fund has been established by Ignite Social Enterprise, a social investment fund backed by Centrica plc, which is focused on energy-related businesses and enterprises.
As part of the tailored business support on offer (which brings together industry expertise from The Henley Business School, The Good Analyst, UnLtd and confidence coach Peter Nicholas) the primary objective will be to get each venture investment ready in order to grow its social impact. The businesses will be able to gain access to between £50,000 and £2 million from the Ignite fund.
Ross Lammas of Sust-it, said: “Becoming one of the successful Big Energy Ideas will make a huge difference to us. We’ll get additional expertise from the energy industry to build our future strategy, and hopefully, investment at some point in the next year. This will enable us to help those on low income save money and also to improve everyone’s energy literacy.”
Centrica CEO Sam Laidlaw, who announced the winning ideas, said: “I believe that the answers to society’s challenges do not lie solely with the private sector or the public sector, but with social entrepreneurs, in communities, and in cross-sector partnerships. I am passionate about the potential of each of these business – supported by us – to find some of these answers.”
Ignite is investing time, money and support into energy-related social enterprises, and is aiming to invest a minimum £10 million over 10 years with investments ranging between £50,000 and £2 million. The profits from Ignite’s investments will be reinvested and recycled back to help more social enterprises and ventures grow and scale up their work. Ignite has already committed £3.4 million of the fund across four projects that will be creating social change in the UK.