Supporting the growth of tech start up Orange Bow CIC

Supporting the growth of digital technology, employability/skills startup Orange Bow CIC

We took instruction from Orange Bow CIC in early October 2020 following one of the Directors attending a funding surgery with Eoin. Integrate had been recommended by the organisation, Rising Stars Support CIC, also based in Lambeth. Over two long conversations on the phone we established that Founder, Ryan Bakare was keen to get support with funding applications so that he could focus his time on delivering and developing his community business.

We agreed a basic package of pipeline management and development of fundraising applications to support the income diversification and growth of the organisation from a turnover in 2020 of £37,548, primarily from trading income. They had incorporated August 2018.

Orange Bow CIC delivers accredited training for unemployed 16-24 year-olds in subjects such customer service and basic IT skills to help them secure employment and progression. They also focus on the wellbeing and resilience of their delegates by embedding the principles of Neuro Linguistic Programming into courses and inviting regular input from a qualified CBT therapist who also offers the young people 1:1 counselling sessions.

Since 2018 the Directors have generated trading income by selling IT/Web support services, in order to fund the organisation and deliver their revolutionary training programme to participants across London.

Integrate Head of Business Development, Anne Utting was impressed by the organisation’s story as well as the service they deliver which is founded on participant feedback and surveys from young people and employers in Lambeth. They have established a small but strong network of partners and are embedded in the heart of Brixton.

After a brief onboarding telephone call and review of some recent bids Anne got to work identifying a pipeline of opportunities suitable for Orange Bow to apply for. There was a good selection available at the time as funders continued to support the social justice and COVID recovery agendas and Ryan was keen to overcome some of the challenges COVID was presenting such as difficulties securing work placements for his participants.

Anne identified the products that would be attractive to funders and packaged them into ‘deliverable’ projects in each application, positioning the offer to maximise on Orange Bow’s strengths and competencies. Less than a week after their first conversation Ryan had a draft of the first application which he said was ‘beautifully written’. Over the following three months we submitted seven more applications and the results started to come through in early December, reflecting on this Ryan said ‘It has been a beautiful December. Better than I hoped.’.

Successful bids by the end of December (just 3 months) amounted to £58,650, with a success rate of 82% based on the value of the bids, with one result still outstanding. Special mention should go to one of the funders, Unltd, who awarded us much more than we asked for under their Inclusive Recovery Fund.

We have developed a potential pipeline for the next few months of approximately £250,000. The projected turnover for Orange Bow CIC in this financial year is in excess of £130,000, a 221% increase year on year.

Along the way Anne and Eoin have supported Ryan with introductions to the Lambeth Digital Inclusion Network, Opportunity Lambeth (including key employability commissioners at Lambeth Council) and Brixton Buzz, and advised on managing the incoming funds and cashflow accounting. We have also supported Ryan’s application to the Community Business Trade Up programme through the School for Social Entrepreneurs which will be a great development opportunity for Ryan and will further support and grow the organisation to help as many people as possible.

This case study is a perfect example of how Integrate can draw on the skills and experience of our team in managing contracts and securing funding for skills and employment services to support the growth of an innovative organisation keen to develop support for disadvantaged young people.

Ryan is grateful for our support and turns to Anne for advice before making any business decision which has given him the confidence to overcome significant challenges.

Integrate is available to support me at any time and I would not get a quicker response if I employed a full-time fundraiser which would cost me 4 times as much each year.

Ryan Bakare, Founder Orange Bow CIC

Orange Bow has been able to continue to deliver workshops to its participants and has offered employment opportunities to some, as well increasing the counselling service to support the wellbeing of young people throughout the pandemic. Success in fundraising has facilitated additional partnerships such as with Playback Studios who are helping to develop Podcasts. Ryan says ‘I thought it would have taken years to achieve what we have done in just 4 months’.

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