Firstport, a social enterprise in itself, helps social entrepreneurs realise their ideas and turn them into sustainable businesses. It acted as a key grant distributor during lockdown to help third-sector organisations and social enterprises. It now also manages the government-backed Catalyst Fund to support high-growth, scalable social enterprises.
Having heard how passionate we are about helping social businesses and of the pivotal role played by Eagle Labs, the team at Firstport were keen to get us on board to support with their ‘LaunchMe’ programme. This is a nine-month initiative to develop a social entrepreneur’s business, from start-up and early stage to scale-up and investment readiness. We now regularly host the programme’s launch, help participants, and support judging to award participants a place on its annual intake of cohorts. Firstport also helps raise awareness among social enterprises of our scale-up programmes, Annual Entrepreneur Awards and other support we offer.
They decided to switch their banking to us, as their previous banking arrangements couldn’t meet all their growing needs during this process. We were able to provide accelerated access to online systems, ensuring the Third Sector Resilience Fund could be delivered promptly to third-sector organisations during lockdown.
EPIC Risk Management
EPIC Risk Management is a leading gambling-harm minimisation consultancy. Learning from the experiences of those they help, they take the problem out of gambling through education, raising awareness, consultancy and accredited training to the highest-risk sectors, including financial services, education, criminal justice, elite sport and the gambling industry itself.
Through our Scale-Up UK Programme, we worked with EPIC’s founder from its inception, providing guidance on everything from cashflow forecasting to social media marketing.
The programme and our mentoring helped EPIC to restructure, taking the business from £385k revenue and £85k profit in 2018-2019, to £3m revenue and £1.3m profit in 2020-2021. EPIC has now also expanded its reach to 23 countries, including a growing presence in the fast-growing US market. In 2021, EPIC launched the EPIC Restart Foundation, which provides the tools to lead a positive life post-treatment for those who’ve suffered gambling-related harm.