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Diversity and inclusion consultancy wins our £25K Business Boost grant

3-minute read

Diversity and inclusion consultancy wins our £25K Business Boost grant
Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith

22 October 2021

Inclusion consultancy business Watch This Sp_ce has been selected as the winner of our £25,000 Business Boost grant.

Focused on inclusion, happiness at work, and getting businesses ready for the future, the Brighton-based startup was selected from 25,000 UK-wide applicants.

This is the second year running we've awarded this cash injection to a small business that has innovation and a positive social impact at its heart. That's why we're delighted that Watch This Sp_ce follows last year's Business Boost winner, a sustainable textile business called Rowan Bay.

Brighton business bags Business Boost prize

Watch This Sp_ce wants to reimagine the world of work and help businesses create a more equal and inclusive workplace for everyone.

Founded in the first lockdown, it provides training, mentoring, coaching, and content creation services to existing business and under-represented entrepreneurs looking to start and build businesses.

The grant will go towards making their content more accessible across a range of digital platforms, including helping them to develop an app.

From lockdown startup to viable business – overnight

Founders Mo Kanjilal, Allegra Chapman and Rachel Pearson have a no-nonsense approach to training. This has seen the consultancy go from strength to strength in helping organisations increase both workplace happiness and profits.

Chapman commented: “Business Boost will change everything for us. This money takes us from the initial start-up stage, armed with only our ideas, passion and optimism, to running a viable business overnight.”

Kanjilal added: “Our platform will give businesses access to an ever-growing suite of training courses that will support a long-term journey of growth that will embed diversity and inclusion in the fabric of their organisation, enabling them to make the fundamental changes they need to survive and thrive in the years to come.”

Watch This Sp_ce founders: Mo Kanjilal, Allegra Chapman and Rachel Pearson

Industry experts cast their votes

The winner was selected from an inspiring shortlist by a panel of judges, which included:

  • Piers Linney, CEO of Moblox and Dragons’ Den dragon
  • Carina Lepore, The Apprentice UK winner and founder of Dough Artisan Bakehouse
  • Tony Robinson OBE, actor and author
  • Merlie Calvert, founder and CEO of Farillio
  • Larissa Cooper, winner of Business Boost 2020 and Creative Director and owner of Rowan Bay
  • Alan Thomas, UK CEO of Simply Business

Rugby legend, and former Wales and British & Irish Lions captain, Gareth Thomas is also on board as an official ambassador for the campaign.

The judges were impressed with Watch This Sp_ce’s vision for helping businesses reach their diversity and inclusion goals. Piers Linney said: “It’s a business with a strong social purpose – something which stood out to us in the judging process.”

He added: “We believed in their ambitious plans for the £25,000 grant and believe their business has the potential to scale quickly.”

Sign up to hear about future Business Boost grants

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Resilience, innovation, pioneering spirit

Our UK CEO, Alan Thomas, commented: “It’s never been more important to support small businesses, and we’re delighted to have found such a worthy recipient of our £25,000 cash grant.

“With almost 25,000 entries, we were moved and inspired by the stories we received from all across Britain – stories that show resilience, innovation, and a pioneering spirit run throughout the self-employed community.

“Watch This Sp_ce’s commitment to diversity and inclusion resonated with our own values at Simply Business, and we’re excited to see the continued positive impact they’ll be able to have with the help of a cash injection.

“Small businesses are crucial to the UK economy – and we know that behind each of these businesses are passionate individuals with a big dream. That’s certainly true of Mo and Allegra, and we’re proud to be able to support their big dream of continuing Watch This Sp_ce’s exciting journey.”

Emerging from the pandemic

Our report into the impact of the pandemic found that small business owners expect to lose £22,461 each on average. With our Business Boost grant, we wanted to help an entrepreneur revive or grow their business as we emerge from the pandemic.

On being a new business, Chapman said: “Getting a startup off the ground is incredibly challenging at the best of times, never mind in a pandemic, with multiple lockdowns and personal struggles to contend with (including illness, pregnancy and a premature birth). We’ve been doing it all on our own around our day jobs and our families.

“Now we can concentrate fully on Watch This Sp_ce and on making it everything that we know it can be.”

Inspired by Watch This Sp_ce? Sign up to find out about future Business Boost grants.

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