Investing in Social Enterprise
Tel: 0845 140 1400
Absolutely first class support and advice from Key Fund. Superb back up, professional and friendly attitude... sets the standard
Keith Angel - Wavelength Arts CIC Ltd
Having the Key Fund in Yorkshire has helped address disadvantage and discrimination in a practical and lasting way.
Sam Keighley - ABL, Bradford
The Key Fund has been instrumental in our development. We started as one thing, but now we deliver many different services
Steven Mundin - Higher Rhythm
The Key fund has been instrumental in supporting the growth and development of our setting over the last 10 years
Carol Hill - Cawthorne Children's Centre
Without the Key Fund support, we'd be finished. They've handed us at least two 'get out of jail' cards. I can't praise them enough
Steve Palmer - Barnsley Community Build
New Role for Discarded Office Furniture
A lifelong ambition to develop her own business led social entrepreneur Caroline Wherrit to act when she witnessed many large businesses discarding unwanted office furniture into skips for landfill. A background of working in the social sector meant that Caroline was aware of a perfect way to match unwanted furniture with a new home, extending its life and use, whilst simultaneously preventing increased landfill waste.
Beginning four years ago as the sole Director and employee of ReWork, Caroline approached Key Fund for initial help to create an effective business plan to start her own enterprise. Providing recycling office solutions, including a full clearance service, Caroline has steadily built awareness of the project in Leeds and gained the support of many local organisations. Always working from a position of not wanting to waste furniture, ReWork now re-directs high quality re-useable furniture into new sectors of the work community where budgets for fitting office environments are lower but demand for comfort and function are equally high.
As a social enterprise, ReWork also has a commitment to help others access work where they would otherwise struggle to find opportunities. With a staff of 6, 4 of whom came from long-term unemployed backgrounds, they proved themselves to be well matched and motivated to help the business grow. Similarly, with volunteers via Mencap, ReWork is providing a more stimulating environment for people who may otherwise be confined to a daily life solely within their home.
ReWork approached Key Fund to support an essential rebrand activity in 2011. Over the years since starting, new products and services have evolved, which means that the image and communication about the business needed to be updated so that the local community understand the full range of services. Caroline is certain that she would not have been able to secure the funding from other means, which means the essential activities to help her business grow would not have happened without Key Fund.
ReWork has grown and changed so that they now sell brand new furniture, but with a high recycled material content, so that they remain true to their values. They also provide a bespoke recovering service so that businesses can present themselves in a way which reflects the style and colours unique to them.
Informing local organisations about what ReWork does and improving brand commnications has paid dividends, with a 25-30% increase in turnover projected for this financial year.
As the market changes for office furniture, further innovations are to come and Caroline praises the dedicate support of Key Fund in helping her to develop ReWork into the business it is today.
Key Fund is keen to support similar social ventures. To find out if this fund could help to get your business off the ground, please contact us.