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Catch22 celebrates the success of Launch22, its first business incubator for future entrepreneurs

Catch22 celebrated its newest venture, Launch22, with a lively event that combined inspiring speeches, micro-pitches and good conversation.

28 November 2014


With the cost of starting up a business ever-increasing and London rents soaring, Launch22 defies the idea that the entrepreneurial community is a ‘closed shop’ to the less advantaged. This new business incubator provides workspace, mentoring and an entrepreneurial community for early stage and underrepresented young entrepreneurs.

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Removing hurdles for disadvantaged entrepreneurs

Launch22 is a social business run on start-up principles – collaboration, growth and community – with a vision to inspire as many entrepreneurs as possible. Workspaces and facilities are provided at cost price with any surplus reinvested into supporting disadvantaged entrepreneurs to access the space. Launch22 Scholars, who can use the space for free, will have the opportunity to take their forward ambitions and ideas with vital support from experienced mentors.

The event was attended by a diverse crowd, including established entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs of the future. Launch22 members and Scholars had three minutes to pitch their business idea to the audience and were later linked with potential investors and new customers.

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Opening the event, Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22, said:

‘This new venture draws on our historic values – uniting charity and trade – to transform lives. We are always exploring how we can do things differently. With Launch22, we were bold, we took risks and it paid off. There are already young people from our Route to Work programme taking advantage of the opportunities at Launch22 and we know many more will follow.

‘Entrepreneurship is on the rise and we want to make sure people from all walks of life have the chance to take part.

‘55% of 19 to 30-year-olds in the UK believe they will start their own business in the next five years. Yet we know that the majority of new businesses fail in their first year. Why? Because starting a business is hard. To make it work, it’s essential that people have the right support and building relationships with experienced mentors is key.’

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Eddie Holmes, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Launch22, said:

‘Last year alone, young people under the age of 35 set up 250,000 companies. Being an entrepreneur is now a real and legitimate choice of career for young people, and the UK’s youthful, entrepreneurial spirit is infectious. It’s creating jobs, it’s driving growth and it’s fostering innovation.

‘I’ve mentored over 50 young and aspiring entrepreneurs and discovered first hand that not everyone has the opportunity to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions. Many young people are stunted by expensive workspace, lack of hands-on, high quality guidance, and the inability to raise finance for their business. At Launch22, we tackle each of these problems head-on. Letting entrepreneurial talent go to waste is a tragedy. That’s why our incubator delivers a programme of scholarships, including free workspace, which tackles the problem of isolation, and provides world class mentorship and access to finance.’

‘Of course, we are entrepreneurs too – and we are proud to say that our model delivers amazing social outcomes whilst operating as a sustainable business.’

Closing the event with a passionate call to action, Rightmove founder and Launch22 trustee, Harry Hill, inspired the funders in the room to help us scale up Launch22 to achieve long-term national impact.

Find out more

For more information about Launch22 or if you want to get involved, please contact:

Madeleine Anderson, Director of Social Investment and Innovation

020 7336 4800

Sarah Sinnott, Assistant Director – Partnerships

020 7336 4800