Start a business and make a difference in 2017

Make 2017 the year your start-up gets going, with free support from Allia's Serious Impact to start a business with purpose.

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In 2016 Allia launched a brand new programme of support for potential impact entrepreneurs in and around Peterborough and Cambridge. Serious Impact offers workshops, challenges, accelerator, incubator and a state of the art innovation lab, to support and energise people and organisations with the potential to make a positive impact on local and global challenges by starting a business.

"As our population grows, the world is facing more challenges; poverty, hunger, climate change, aging population, pollution, education, unemployment, agriculture, healthcare; the list goes on. But with the new challenges come opportunities for exciting innovations, and ultimately new businesses," said Paul Hughes, Director of Enterprise Support at Allia.

He continued, "The UK has seen a huge rise in the number of new start-ups in recent years, but to make sure businesses last, and grow, they need specialist mentoring and support. That’s where Serious Impact can help."

Whether your business is still just an idea, or has been up and running for some time, our unique combination of workspace, support, experience and tools can help you develop and grow.

Free one day workshops provide attendees the knowledge and tools they need to begin evaluating their idea, with the opportunity to move onto a 30 day challenge to really test the market and viability of the product or service, before starting a business.

Tracy Wilkinson took part in one of the first Serious Impact 30 Day Challenges last year, with her idea to develop a Social Enterprise to help make charity ‘Illuminate’ more sustainable.

“The Challenge helped me understand how to take an idea for a product and translate it into sustainable income. On top of that, the weekly group meetings helped keep the focus and momentum going, and having to report back to peers helped motivate you to apply the learning from the previous week." she said.

“I was surprised that actually I knew a lot of this stuff already, but having it set out by our mentor Neil, in a structured way, affirmed how important each stage is. Neil has experience of working with so many entrepreneurs, he’s really honed the process.”

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For businesses in their early stages, the accelerator and incubator offer structured programmes of support and mentoring to help ventures start-up and scale. Now a successful and growing impact venture, Form the Future has received support from Allia’s mentors since starting out.

Co-founder, Michaela Eschbach said: “You do 10,000 things you never did before when you are running a small business.  The support provided by Allia was so important.”

She continued, “We had support at hand at every stage to give us the guidance we needed and we were able to share experiences and challenges with other businesses based at the centre at a similar point in their business journey.”

For both potential, and established, impact entrepreneurs in and around Peterborough and Cambridge, the message is simple:

If you want support to start or grow your own business venture that makes a positive impact on people, planet or place in 2017, you can start your journey today by visiting

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Sign up for a Meet & Greet and learn how we can help you start your impact venture today! Click here.

Looking for a space to design, prototype, test or build a product that makes a positive impact? Take a tour of the Innovation Lab!


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