Primary school children throughout the UK are being inspired to develop their enterprise skills with the help of a syndicate of 15 business angels who have completed a £400,000 investment in 2B Enterprising headquartered in Swansea, South Wales.
Led by Angels Invest Wales lead investor Ashley Cooper, the syndicate has invested £275,000 across two consecutive funding rounds alongside £125,000 from the Development Bank of Wales’ Wales Angel Co-investment Fund. With the support of Angels Invest Wales, the equity investment is being used to scale-up activity; funding a series of appointments including Jayne Brewer as Chief Executive and the further development of class materials for use by schools throughout Wales and England.
Established by multi award-winning enterprise educator Sue Poole, 2B Enterprising has created and introduced the Bumbles of Honeywood as an enterprise skills programme specifically for children aged 5 to 7 years old. Developed by entrepreneurial business leaders and experienced educators with extensive input from teachers, the Bumbles of Honeywood features a series of illustrated books and over 120 activities that enhance the teacher’s toolkit and improve numeracy, literacy, digital and physical education skills alongside developing an enterprising mindset.
Over 40 schools are already using the programme with 20 of these having been part of a 24 month pilot programme, to help develop life skills and future aspirations. The programme is funded by a unique Corporate Engagement Partnership Programme (CEPP) that involves local and national businesses partnering with schools to bring real life enterprise experience into the classroom. Partners already confirmed include Swansea.com, Dawsons Estate Agents, The Fab Four Coffee, GS Verde Group and Bluestone Resorts.
Sue Poole is the founder of 2B Enterprising. She said: “Our vision is a community where school pathways and future career choices for all young people are equally valued and respected. With the support of the Development Bank and our syndicate of business angels, we can now reach out to so many more youngsters initially across the UK, and then abroad; helping them to grow into capable, healthy, well-rounded individuals who can become ambitious, resourceful and successful adults.”
Jayne Brewer is the newly appointed Chief Executive of 2B Enterprising. She said: “The Bumbles of Honeywood provides a wonderful selection of lesson-ready resources and connections to bring real life enterprise into the classroom. It also gives businesses the opportunity to strengthen their links with their community, engage with a younger audience and improve employee satisfaction. It’s an innovative programme that is being delivered by a close and committed team who all share a real passion to inspire future generations.”
Ashley Cooper, Lead Investor for the angel investment syndicate said: “As responsible business leaders we must do everything we can to assist in developing the talent of the future. Alongside our superb educators we have it within our power to maximise the enterprise skills and resourcefulness of future generations. The 2B Enterprising model allows businesses to directly impact the youngest in our community making a significant difference to millions of young people both in the UK and abroad, to the significant benefit of future economic success. We look forward to working with the many business leaders and their organisations who are joining our Corporate Engagement Partnership Programme”
Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Mazuma Accountants Lucy Cohen is one of the investors working alongside Ashley Cooper as part of the syndicate. She said: “This is my first investment as a business angel and I’m delighted to be part of such a talented and ambitious syndicate that is already working together by pooling our expertise to support the team and help to drive the business forward.”
Carol Hall of Angels Invest Wales said: “Encouraging young people to become enterprising is an important step in helping to unlock the longer-term potential of our economy and create opportunity for all.
“2B Enterprising has captured the hearts and minds of a syndicate of business angels who all recognise the value of syndicate investments and the extra firepower that they can bring to companies looking to scale-up. We wish them every success.”