A syndicate of 10 business angels led by Angels Invest Wales lead investor Ashley Cooper has made a follow-on investment in Swansea-based 2B Enterprising, the company delivering an engaging and bilingual enterprise education programme for primary schools throughout England and Wales.
This brings the aggregate number of angel investors over the two funding rounds to 21.
The investment of £390,000 includes a second round of funding of £125,000 by the Development Bank of Wales’ Wales Angel Co-investment Fund. It follows a £400,000 investment in November 2021 which helped the business to appoint Chief Executive Jayne Brewer and recruit a team which has led the business from working with 12 schools to over 220 in less than 18 months. The 20-strong team has delivered over 480 in-class activity sessions attended by over 14,000 children in schools from Tower Hamlets to Haverfordwest. 20% of these schools are Welsh language.
The latest equity funding will enable 2B Enterprising to develop more class materials for older age groups and explore extending their core proposition beyond the classroom through cartoon animation of their ‘The Bumbles of Honeywood’ series of books. Additional teaching staff are being recruited to work alongside corporate partners to help deliver the innovative programme.
Jayne Brewer said: “Education needs to prepare young people for a rapidly changing future and the world of work. Our enterprise education programme teaches broader skills such as resilience, teamwork, communications and problem solving, all of which will help to prepare future generations of leaders and entrepreneurs.
“Our growth over the last 18 months is testament to the calibre of our resources and our team. Businesses want to partner with us because they recognise the benefits of developing ambition and enterprise in young people while schools appreciate the fun and interactive way in which we embed entrepreneurial learning. The on-going support of our investment partners is enabling us to make a real difference to thousands of young lives.”
Ashley Cooper, lead investor for the business angel investment syndicate said: “With 21,328 primary schools in the UK, the primary education sector is valued at £35 billion p/a. The collective firepower of this, now 21 strong, syndicate means that 2B Enterprising can scale-up significantly with the roll-out of additional resources and investment in technology; expanding their reach across multiple platforms that will increase impact and develop wider visibility of our proposition.”
Carol Hall is Investment Manager for Angels Invest Wales. She said: “This follow-on investment will accelerate the growth of 2B Enterprising and help young people to understand the world of business and work. It’s a great example of how business angel syndicates can make a real difference to our economy and society by working together as a group of investors to support more businesses .”
Ajay Mistry, Founder and Director of Gambit Partners has invested in 2B Enterprising. He said: "We're proud to support 2B Enterprising. We believe that the current school system doesn’t develop entrepreneurial skills – and the 2B Enterprising programmes are a fantastic way to get children into the future mindset they will need. We look forward to seeing the positive social impact of this investment and the potential for future success."
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. Existing partners include National Grid, SONY, Acorn, Vinci, Bluestone Resorts, Redrow Homes, University Wales Trinity St David and various housing associations.
The £8 million Wales Angel Co-investment Fund provides Welsh businesses with a key source of alternative finance through the encouragement of more active angel investment. The five year fund supports the creation of angel syndicates and networks across Wales by providing loans and equity up to £250,000 to investors looking for co-investment.