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£2m fund launched for creative start-ups and entrepreneurs

Funding from Arts Council England, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the McKenna Charitable Trust and Ingenious Media.

MeWe360, an incubator for British start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, launched this week with a £2 million investment, backed by public funding from Arts Council England, development funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, philanthropic giving from the McKenna Charitable Trust and commercial investment from Ingenious Media.

Financial offerings of up to £250,000 will be injected into investor-ready businesses that show significant commercial promise.

According to the partners, profits that MeWe360 sees back from investment will ploughed back into the charity to support other upcoming entrepreneurs.

The brainchild of social entrepreneur Kevin Osborne, MeWe360 is in discussions with children’s boots company Spats, which would represent its first investment.

CEO Osborne, said: “The UK’s cup of creative talent is brimming over but it needs to be nurtured and invested in or it will simply go to waste – a missed opportunity for society and the economy.

“MeWe360 is a smart new way of developing and funding untapped creative talent; made possible with the backing of Ingenious Media and Arts Council England. 

“It is this unique fusion that will give our home-grown entrepreneurs the best chance at creative and commercial success and a future new talent pool for investors: a win-win for everyone.”

Patrick McKenna, CEO, Ingenious Media added: “The need to build more business capacity in the UK’s cultural and creative sectors is vital to our future competitiveness.

“That is why Ingenious is backing Kevin Osborne and MeWe360.  Kevin has a proven track record of being able to discover and cultivate new talent – both creative talent and entrepreneurial talent. MeWe360 is a truly innovative form of collaboration between the public and private sectors.”

Moira Sinclair, executive director, Arts Council England said: “MeWe360 is more than a members club. It has an investment strategy built on a new business model and is an interesting example of private money working with public funding to create robust creative businesses.”

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