Virgin StartUp and Crowdcube partner to support businesses with purpose

Virgin StartUp and Crowdcube have partnered to help the next generation of purpose-driven founders grow their businesses and achieve real change through their Collective Impact programme.

This five-week online programme sets out to find the next generation of founders building businesses for good, and provide them with the necessary tools and support to help them raise funds and awareness through an equity crowdfunding campaign. The programme will cover the essentials of getting investment-ready, from fundraising masterclasses, to legal expertise and marketing support.

The scheme will exclusively support businesses focused on scaling change in one or more of the following areas: technology for planetary health; responsible commerce and consumption; and democratising access to societal needs, this includes solutions that will help create a society in which everyone has equal access to healthcare, well-being, education, and financial stability.

As part of the programme, Crowdcube has partnered with an experienced network of purpose-led investors, including Holly Branson.

Holly Branson, Chief Purpose and Vision Officer at Virgin, comments: "Changing business for good has always been at the heart of what Virgin does and I believe the best way to achieve that is through cross-sector collaboration, which is why working to help support founders tackling key societal challenges is so exciting.

“I really believe that entrepreneurs can solve some of the world’s biggest problems, and I’m excited to see how the Collective Impact programme will accelerate and amplify the positive impact that British startups are already making.”

Luke Lang, Co-founder at Crowdcube, said: “We’re teaming up with Virgin StartUp to seek out changemakers that have an inspiring vision for a better future.  We live in a more aware world – and consumer demands are changing. People want to work for, buy from, and invest in businesses they believe in, and businesses that have a clear purpose.”

Linda Grant, Chairwoman at Virgin StartUp said: “At Virgin StartUp we’re dedicated to helping businesses not only survive, but thrive. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for us to help a new generation of founders with bold ambitions, so they can achieve their goals to make the world a better place.”


To create the biggest possible impact, the Collective Impact programme will support the founders who are working to address some of the biggest issues of our time:

  1. Technology for planetary health: visionary businesses committed to protecting Earth’s finite resources and restoring the environment across a range of sectors including clean energy, environmental health, transportation, logistics and infrastructure.
  2. Responsible commerce and consumption: businesses focused on resource efficiency and creating a circular economy, responsible consumption and production, and sustainable agriculture.
  3. Creating equal access to societal needs: This includes purpose-driven and innovative businesses in areas such as health and social care, mental and emotional wellbeing, education and lifelong learning, lifestyle and ageing population.

To qualify for the accelerator programme businesses must be UK based, operate in sectors actioning change, be looking to raise between £150,000 and £1million, be EIS or SEIS eligible and have existing customer bases or be revenue generating. As part of Crowdcube and Virgin StartUp's commitment to supporting change, we are committed to improving access to funding for all founders and addressing the barriers faced by women starting up their own businesses to help work towards solution-led change.

Crowdcube and Virgin StartUp have run investment-readiness programmes previously which to date have supported nearly 60 startups and more than 100 founders, raising £15m. Applications are open here now!