Sir Ronald Cohen launches fundraising appeal for Future Business Centre


27-03-2013

The pioneer of the social investment movement, Sir Ronald Cohen, helped launch the public fundraising campaign for the Future Business Centre – Cambridge’s first purpose-built incubation centre to help social and environmental businesses start up and succeed.

The new 35,000 sq ft Centre is currently being built and will be run by local social enterprise Future Business, offering affordable, high quality workspace on flexible terms with onsite specialist business advice and an ethos of collaboration and innovation. It will also be home to Cambridge Cleantech who will be further supporting cleantech start-ups in the City.

At the event hosted by the Cambridge Judge Business School, organisations and individuals found out more about the Centre and how they can support it and heard why Sir Ronald Cohen thinks the Future Business Centre will help set Cambridge apart:

“The Future Business Centre is a very important initiative – by bringing together in one location people of different skills who share the same interests, Future Business is building the first example of what is needed if we are to turn social entrepreneurship into a global force that is capable of making a dent in social issues. I would like to congratulate Future Business and I wish the new Centre every success.”

Professor Jaideep Prabhu represented the Cambridge Judge Business School on behalf of Professor Christoph Loch, endorsing the Future Business Centre and the importance of collaborative enterprise. Professor Prabhu explained how CJBS and Future Business are working together on initiatives to encourage enterprise; which could include locating start-ups at the Future Business Centre that have come from their Accelerator Cambridge programme.

Due to open its doors this Autumn, Future Business is looking to the people of Cambridge to help fundraise a further £2.5m to avoid drawing on loan finance and ensure the Centre gets off to a great start. Earlier that day a ‘topping out’ ceremony took place to mark the Centre reaching full height.

A fundraising ‘wall of support’ website was launched at the event, where individuals and organisations who make a donation can add their picture or logo to the wall to represent their contribution – the wall will then feature as part of the Centre’s public art installation.

Gerald Avison (Chairman of TTP) and Dominic Vergine (Director of Sustainable Development at ARM) also spoke warmly of their £2.5m bond investment in support of the Future Business Centre.

The Centre was able to begin construction thanks to funds from local supporters including Abcam, ARM and TTP plus a grant of £3.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund which has a low carbon economic growth theme.

If you would like to make a donation to the Future Business Centre and add your photo or logo to their wall of support go to www.futurebusinesscentre.co.uk/support

Future Business is also looking for potential tenants, not only start-ups in the social/environmental sector but also commercial companies that can provide a service to tenants. For more information go to www.futurebusinesscentre.co.uk

Image credit: Alan Bennett / Media Imaging Solutions

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