Amplify Venture Raises £1.4m to Empower London's Diverse Businesses
The Amplify Venture programme has received £1.4 million from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This marks the launch of a free transformative two-year programme for ambitious and underserved founders seeking to scale and expand their businesses.
It will be a joint initiative created and delivered by Capital Enterprise, OneTech, Foundervine and Startup Discovery School.
Amplify Venture will encompass a diverse range of programmes and opportunities, catering to businesses across various sectors providing them with the necessary resources, tailored support, industry expertise, and knowledge to propel their entrepreneurial journey to the next level.
Emma Obanye, CEO of OneTech, said, “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 marginalised and underfunded, and are now poised for transformation. The comprehensive backing we offer will serve as a catalyst for unprecedented growth and innovation. By combining our visionary organisations that have pioneered change over the past five years. It is with immense pride that I look forward to the journey ahead as we will collectively continue to drive and amplify this movement over the coming years."
The London economy has faced unprecedented challenges due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with businesses in underserved communities and specific sectors experiencing severe setbacks.
Recognising the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on certain groups, such as Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, women, and disabled individuals, the need to support and create opportunities for diverse businesses has become apparent. The Amplify Venture programme has been designed specifically to address the challenges that founders are currently facing, including access to finance, business support, contracts, and networks.
Izzy Obeng, CEO of Foundervine, added, "Innovation thrives on diverse perspectives. I'm proud to announce the launch of Amplify Venture - our bridge to connecting London's underrepresented entrepreneurs with the resources, mentorship, and networks they need to thrive. Together, we'll amplify the voices that have been overlooked for far too long and help scale groundbreaking new ventures."
The statistics presented underscore the pressing need for such initiatives. Less than 1p in every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK is directed towards all-female founder teams, while merely four per cent of total investments made between 2009 and 2019 went to all ethnic minority teams. Additionally, Greater London is reported as the toughest place in the UK to be an entrepreneur, with just 71% of business owners in the city reporting a profit in 2019.
By March 2025, the Amplify Venture programme aims to extend non-financial support to 120 enterprises, empowering them to overcome challenges and thrive in the post-pandemic landscape.
Gosbert Chagula MBE, Co-Founder of Startup Discovery School, commented, ''We're excited to be part of Amplify Venture, an initiative designed with the needs of entrepreneurs at its heart. We recognise 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 utilised both through access to funding and training and skills. We're confident that a collaboration like Amplify Venture can overcome that challenge.”
The Amplify Venture programmes will include both a Food & Beverage and UNSDG Accelerator, a series of five business workshops, community events, executive coaching and access to peer networks. OneTech will provide community events, coaching, peer networks, and the business workshop series alongside Foundervine. Startup Discovery School will run the UNSDG Accelerator, and Foundervine will manage the Food & Beverage Accelerator.