The metropolis of London, a bustling economic hub, has faced unprecedented trials in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses, especially those in underserved communities and specific sectors, have grappled with formidable setbacks. As the pandemic's toll reverberated disproportionately among certain groups—such as Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, women, and disabled individuals—the imperative to support and nurture diverse businesses has crystallized.
In response to this clarion call for inclusivity and resilience, the Amplify Venture programme, headquartered in London, has emerged as a beacon of hope. This visionary initiative has been meticulously designed to confront the myriad challenges faced by founders today—ranging from access to finance and business support to securing contracts and expanding networks.
Amplify Venture has garnered substantial backing, receiving £1.4 million from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This marks the inauguration of a groundbreaking two-year programme, an oasis of opportunity for enterprising and underserved founders who aspire to scale and elevate their businesses.
Amplify Venture is a joint endeavor masterminded and executed by Capital Enterprise, OneTech, Foundervine, and Startup Discovery School. It represents a formidable partnership uniting organizations that have been trailblazers of change in the past five years, a collective poised to propel this movement to unprecedented heights in the years to come.
Emma Obanye, CEO of OneTech, voiced her enthusiasm, stating, "Amplify Venture is a robust support initiative tailored for the most resilient entrepreneurs within London’s dynamic startup ecosystem. These individuals have weathered significant challenges, are often marginalized and underfunded, and are now poised for transformation. The comprehensive backing we offer will serve as a catalyst for unprecedented growth and innovation."
Gosbert Chagula MBE, Co-Founder of Startup Discovery School, echoed the sentiment, saying, "We’re excited to be part of Amplify Venture, an initiative designed with the needs of entrepreneurs at its heart. We recognize that society faces many challenges both in the present and the future. One of those is ensuring that the full spectrum of entrepreneurial talent across the London startup ecosystem is fully utilized both through access to funding and training and skills. We’re confident that a collaboration like Amplify Venture can overcome that challenge."
Disturbing statistics underline the urgency of initiatives like Amplify Venture. Less than 1p in every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK is allocated to all-female founder teams, and only 4% of total investments made between 2009 and 2019 flowed to all ethnic minority teams. Greater London, often perceived as a daunting arena for entrepreneurs, witnessed just 71% of business owners reporting profits in 2019.
By March 2025, the Amplify Venture programme aspires to offer non-financial support to 120 enterprises, arming them with the tools to triumph in the post-pandemic landscape. The programme encompasses a rich tapestry of offerings, including Food & Beverage and UNSDG Accelerators, a series of five business workshops, community events, executive coaching, and access to peer networks.
Amplify Venture is poised to be a catalyst for London's entrepreneurial renaissance, empowering businesses across diverse sectors with tailored support, industry expertise, and the knowledge needed to propel their journey to the next level. OneTech and Foundervine will provide community events, coaching, peer networks, and the business workshop series, while Startup Discovery School will spearhead the UNSDG Accelerator, and Foundervine will oversee the Food & Beverage Accelerator.