Meet the Changemakers
Each year, our Changemakers programme will find innovative ways to build financial resilience across the UK and Ireland. And we’re delighted to announce the first ten Changemakers we’ll be collaborating with through the ‘Scaling Up’ stage of the Changemakers programme, to grow their ideas through bespoke learning, support and funding.
A Deloitte report of 2016 found that women are held back financially because of a lack of confidence, lack of belief in their business skills and a lack of mentors and role models. The Growing Club CIC is trying to change that, with a unique ‘peer-support model’ and a range of courses to help support women in business.
Founder Jane Binnion explains:
'We were founded to bridge the gap in skills training and business education for women, to create a safe space to enable all women to re-connect with their skills and dreams. The support of this programme will give us the resource to make this happen.'
With only 12% of women in the UK feeling financially prepared to deal with a life change, The Growing Club CIC is helping to increase women’s overall financial resilience with a holistic approach to becoming financially independent, including a Money Matters to Women programme.
Find out more about The Growing Club CIC
Bereavement can have a profound effect on loved ones, but the financial impact is often under-discussed. Jane Duncan Rogers, Before I Go Solutions Founder, is on a mission to have end of life plans become as commonplace as birth plans so that this impact is radically reduced because of the advance preparation.
Just as one packs a bag to prepare for a birth, so too a ‘bag’ can be packed, in preparation for death. The contents of this bag are enormously helpful to loved ones, both towards death and after, as Jane discovered after her own husband’s death.
‘I learnt the hard way that it’s always too soon to do this kind of preparation – until it’s too late. We now train people to become End of Life Plan Facilitators because we’ve discovered that most people really do need help to think through what exactly needs to go in their ‘bag’, to discuss with the family, make decisions, and get them written down – i.e. get their End of Life Plan done. The help from Royal London will enable us to impact many more thousands of people.’
Before I Go Solutions also provides products and online programmes and has a scholarship fund in honour of Jane’s husband for those from disadvantaged communities who want to become Facilitators.
Find out more about Before I go Solutions
Half of young refugees (18-34) struggle to find employment in the UK. Breadwinners want to change that, by supporting refugees and young people seeking asylum into employment through artisan baked goods.
Breadwinners sells real, high-quality bread via delivery and in London’s food markets, offering employment experience alongside training and mentoring opportunities to refugees.
Martin Cosarinsky Campos, the director of the business, told us:
‘We strive to continuously improve in how well we can support our beneficiaries. I am very proud to have been leading Breadwinners to where it is now, supporting over 138 refugees in London. I am also very excited to be joining the Royal London Changemakers and getting support from other fellow social entrepreneurs!’
90% of Breadwinners have progressed into further paid work after graduating.
Find out more about Breadwinners
When Grayson* left prison he found himself facing debts he could not repay, as well as the challenges of Covid-19 and the loss of his mum. And he’s far from alone – financial instability is common in the UK, as both co-founders of Money A+E know first-hand.
Driven by their personal experiences of financial crisis, ‘Money A+E’ is an award-winning social enterprise with a mission to empower individuals from Diverse Ethnic Communities (DEC) by providing accessible, independent and effective money advice and education projects building individual resilience and strong relationships with minority communities.
Jerry, one of its founders explains:
‘’Money A+E’ was born from our founders' lived experience of financial exclusion and racism. We are excited to join the Changemakers programme and be working with the amazing mentors from Royal London.’
Find out more about Money A+E
According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2020 the average cost of utility bills was around £234 a month. With high costs of living often leading to financial instability, Pocket Power are dedicated to helping the 5 million people in the UK who have only £10 left over after paying all their essential costs.
Pocket Power aims to ‘put money back in people’s pocket’ by helping with the everyday costs of life, whether it’s switching to a better value provider or by applying for discounts. The enterprise provides support via a free phone service, saving people an average of £200-£300 after their first call, and also partners with service providers such as housing associations.
Pocket Power founder, Louis Holliday, told us:
‘We wanted to create an organisation that helps people navigate confusing financial situations and come out the other side happier and healthier. We are really grateful to be joining the Changemakers programme, so we can increase our reach, over the coming years.’
Find out more about Power Power
A carer is someone who looks after a person who needs support because of age, disability or illness (including mental illness). As a carer you cannot be engaged in employment, training or education courses outside the home for more than 18.5 hours a week, which means caring responsibilities can have an impact on financial resilience.
That’s why Fiona O’Neill created Jobs for Family Carers. As a Family Carer, she recognised the difficulties of regular employment in the modern job market. She told us:
‘My son lives with a number of medical conditions. The level of care he requires means that even if I wanted to, I cannot work full time. I decided I wanted to help people in a similar situation to myself. Then ‘Jobs for Family Carers’ was born.’
Jobs For Family Carers offers a space for both ends of the jobs market. Carers can look for jobs that work around their commitments, and employers can find employees to fill their vacancies too - ensuring those who provide an invaluable service to society can work and earn too.
Find out more about Jobs for Family Carers
If you’re a self-employed, gig, or insecure worker, or own a small business, managing finances can be challenging. From knowing what to pay yourself to budgeting for unseen shocks, managing yourself financially while running a business – plus managing life commitments at the same time – can lead to living month-to-month and struggling to stay afloat.
That’s why Easy as 123 offers a set of tools and resources called Balance, aiming to increase commercial financial literacy through an innovative approach to business management called Business Data Interpretation (BDI).
Its founder, Laurence Taylor, told us:
‘Our mission is to help people to work towards DIY financial management. I've spent 25 years working with people who are brilliant at what they do – too often, however, they've been forced to give up, by not being able to do some simple financial tasks.’
Balance is promoted by Easy As 123 and was 1 of just 400 ventures supported in 2020-21 by Innovate UK's COVID-19 business response programme.
Find out more about Easy As 123
An aspect of financial resilience that is often overlooked is mental wellbeing. RoseTinted Financial Services offers personal financial support with an emphasis on the ‘personal’. From financial planning and group support to budgeting courses and one-to-one budgeting, the aim is to provide unified financial and mental wellbeing support for individuals.
As founder, Ebony Rebecca, told us:
‘I founded ‘RoseTinted Financial Services’, due to my own personal struggle with poor mental health and debt. Debt charities I accessed had amazing resources, but no-one ever asked how I felt and resources arrived in the post, whilst I was still struggled to cope.’
This personalised, caring approach is the foundation of RoseTinted’s contribution to financial resilience across the nation.
Find out more about RoseTinted Financial Services
Page and Bloom sells hand crafted paper flowers from preloved materials, to create employment and career opportunities for women who are rebuilding their lives after experiencing domestic abuse.
Available to buy online for weddings, corporate events and gifts, Page and Bloom offers a sustainable alternative to cultivated flowers while saving books, maps and sheet music from landfill. The service directly employs women survivors of domestic abuse, as well as providing work experience, volunteering opportunities and skills training – all aimed towards helping financially vulnerable women back into work in an environmentally-conscious way.
The founder, Rosie Oglesby, explains:
‘I knew that having a job is crucial in helping women to start a new life and become financially independent. I wanted to create a beautiful product and a brand that our employees can be proud of, that can also create opportunities for women as they make a new start.’
Find out more about Page and Bloom
Flank is a platform that enables people who have borrowed money from their friends and family to repay their informal loans in a way that is safe and accountable. From calculating and prioritising repayments to sharing and tracking progress through a common, trusted record, Flank is a FinTech that strives to create communication, trust, and a nurturing environment.
As Flank founder CJ Tayeh told Good Finance: “At Flank, I contribute to a more compassionate, accessible financial system that serves everyone, not just the people who can afford it. It's this strong sense of purpose that motivates me to keep learning and energise people to build something game-changing.”
Founder CJ Tayeh also told us:
‘This is a unique chance for social entrepreneurs, pioneering important financial services to come together with the support of Royal London. I hope we're able to create real impact.’
Find out more about Flank
By combining their experience with our own insight, together we’ll create, develop, and invest in bold ideas and sustainable solutions that will help build people’s resilience to life shocks.
Participants on this programme get:
- Two years of support, including 1-2-1 expert consultancy, learning sessions with other social entrepreneurs in the same sector.
- A grant of £10,000-£30,000, with opportunities to access further funding in years 2 and 3.
- The chance to collaborate and build a relationship with Royal London to work on building resilience for more people facing life shocks.