Digbeth Social entrepreneurs are being given the opportunity to pitch their business plans to an expert panel as part of an exciting collaboration between iSE and RBS.
The RBS business planning ‘scrutiny’ panel offers budding entrepreneurs the chance to receive expert advice on their business plans from senior bank representatives.
The panel meets bi-monthly and offers feedback on the style and content of the entrepreneurs’ pitches, the style of the business plan, the strategy, financial robustness and business idea. Although it may sound reminiscent of a ‘dragon’s den’, the RBS panel is keen to point out that it is in fact very friendly and aims to act as a critical friend rather than foe.
RBS representatives have so far been presented with an interestingly diverse assortment of enterprises, very much reflecting the diversity of the social enterprise sector, and have heard pitches from a car club, a cleaning company and a social enterprise set to reduce fuel poverty.
So far, entrepreneurs have greatly benefitted from the opportunity to pitch to the panel, commenting that it has helped them to see their business in a different light and has brought forward ideas they wouldn’t otherwise have thought of.
Hamze Mohamed is director of new-start social enterprise Greencare Enterprise CIC which aims to tackle fuel poverty in the Somali Community.
Hamze has been receiving business support from iSE and was keen to take advantage of the opportunity to pitch. “I was nervous at first but the panel put me at ease straightaway! They’re not patronising like the Dragon’s Den, they listened to my mission statement and gave me very constructive feedback.”
As part of an ongoing collaboration between the bank and social enterprise support organisation iSE, the panel will continue to offer support on a regular basis and is open to new start-ups and social entrepreneurs whose business plan is complete or ‘nearly there’.