Do you want to change the world?

inc.

Social innovation, community and collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we created our social incubator, inc

inc. is part of our drive to develop innovative and sustainable ways to drive change across our communities, to invest in their future through a range of initiatives that improve life chances and remove barriers.

We want to inspire, connect and enable the social entrepreneurs who dream of making a difference and want to change the world for the better. It’s for those who dare to innovate and care enough to make it happen.

brochure for entrepreneurs
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Our 20/21 Entrepreneurs

bMoneywize Ltd
CDUK (Collective Decisions UK)
My Pickle
Padlock
Places 4 Nature
Raw Brick Innovations Ltd
Return 2.0
Social Change Platform
Well Cool Clothing
Well Good
bMoneywize Ltd

bMoneywize Ltd

Arinola Araba - Director / Founder

The challenge I will tackle is: Financial exclusion

Mission: To improve the numeracy and financial skills of a generation of young people.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

I was inspired to set up a social business because I saw an opportunity to impact a generation of young people with essential life skills. I see it as an opportunity to present complex money concepts, normalise money discussions and equip young people with the knowledge, confidence and skills to manage money, in a fun way! Our aim is to make managing money, "child's play.

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

bMoneywize Website
CDUK (Collective Decisions UK)

CDUK (Collective Decisions UK)

Stevie Mitchell - Founder

The challenge we tackle is: Homelessness

Our Mission: Affordable, sustainable clothing made, sold and worn to help people rise out of homelessness.  Through CDUK I aim to establish a programme to train and employ people from the homeless community to make the clothes through collaboration with local charitable partners.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

While volunteering my time to help run the social enterprise Bambooka (selling Bamboo sunglasses and donating the profits to charity) I discovered ethical fashion and how it’s a reaction to what the bigger brands are doing. With the fashion industry being the second biggest contributor to modern-day slavery it’s having a devastating effect on the lives of the people making our clothes. It’s also creating a toxic environment with pollution from the factories leading to debilitating health issues for children and newborn babies in the communities that surround the factories.

I started making changes with my personal fashion choices buying second-hand but when looking to buy new from sustainable/ethical brands I found they were either too expensive or too niche for my taste which is what CDUK aims to solve.

Walking through Bristol I spotted a handwritten sign that was left on the bench which read “94 people are sleeping on the streets tonight that seems like a solvable problem” and I completely agreed. Every time, but especially around winter, my heart breaks for the people shivering on the streets always wishing I could do something more to support them. Believing business should be about more than just making money, CDUK will not just be another ethical brand as we will use our resources to contribute to solving homelessness in our community.

We are establishing a training programme with the long-term hope to train and employ 94 people from the homeless community to make affordable sustainable clothing.

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

CDUK Website
My Pickle

My Pickle

Cat Divers - Founder and CEO

The challenge we tackle is: Social exclusion

Our Mission: No one should struggle alone.  My Pickle is an online platform equipping people to find the right help they need online.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

While working in insurance a few years ago, I became interested in how new technologies were being used. Insurers were introducing machine learning techniques to price risks better. However, there was a risk that vulnerable and less privileged groups would become excluded. This didn’t sit well with me. I believe no-one should struggle alone.

In 2018, I left the industry to explore this issue further. Looking beyond insurance, I wanted to understand, what support is there to help those facing life’s toughest challenges?

At that time, the rollout of Universal Credit was causing a lot of chaos and affecting many aspects of people’s lives from mental health to housing situations. I turned my attention to this. During my research, I stumbled across a Universal Credit Survival group on Facebook. Thousands of people were coming together across the UK to help one another by sharing knowledge and signposting resources. It was inspiring.

Research shows that 11.8 million Brits find it difficult, stressful or time-consuming to find help when faced with a life challenge. Of this, almost half (47%) have delayed or given up searching for help because it’s hard to find the information, advice or support they need. We can combat this by sharing knowledge of support resources. At mypickle.org we collect, review and share trusted support that is available nationally, for any issue. This can be a lifeline for the millions of people across the UK that find it difficult to find help, and that might otherwise struggle alone.

Linkedin / Facebook / Instagram

My Pickle Website
Padlock

Padlock

Eoin Heffernan - Founder

The challenge we tackle is:Unemployment

Mission: Padlock is an online platform connecting businesses with cybersecurity expertise, powered by the training of single parents in marketable cyber skills.  We create a bridge to the future of employment through a model of free, interactive and market-focused cybersecurity training in perpetuity for single parents.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

What inspired me to start Padlock was to build a sustainable approach to social change.

In the UK for every 100 cybersecurity jobs posted on indeed.com there are only 32 applicants, the second worst skills gap in the world. This gap creates severe financial and national security risks for the economy. And here is the opportunity.

93% of the European cybersecurity workforce are men who do not feature the diversity of thought and problem solving that the market desperately needs to address a rapidly changing threat environment. Padlock’s practical approach to closing the ethnicity and gender gaps therefore creates both social value and financial value by addressing a key industry business requirement.

Facebook

Padlock Website
Places 4 Nature

Places 4 Nature

Andrea Harvey – Managing Director

The challenge we tackle is: Social isolation

Mission: We want to help communities connect with nature and each other, by creating, improving, maintaining and preserving places for wildlife in gardens and communal spaces.   From new housing developments to long established villages, towns and cities, we want to help and support people to come together to help nature and in doing so, improve the health and wellbeing of all involved.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

A few years ago, I moved to a new build site. There were only a handful of other residents living there and from what I could see, very few signs of wildlife. There was no warm welcome when we moved in – just waste ground and empty and unfinished houses.

Thankfully, things didn’t stay that way for long. As more residents moved in, new neighbours became new friends. Before we knew it, a friendly, welcoming and supportive community was formed, however, the wildlife was a little slow to join us. Having moved from a house where the garden was a hotspot for birds, bees, butterflies, badgers and more, it became my mission to turn my empty garden into a place that enabled the wildlife to thrive in our shared space.

Knowing how to encourage wildlife into your garden, can be an overwhelming, time consuming and expensive experience if you don’t know where to begin. I’ve heard this story from many neighbours, friends and acquaintances so I began sharing my experiences on how to get started online. Being outdoors and working with nature is my retreat when I am having a difficult day. Best of all is the reward of seeing my garden filled with birds, pollinators and prickly friends, but also the feeling of our community coming together to help nature.  What had originally started as a mission to help nature in my back garden, has rippled out into the wider community and that kickstarted the idea for my social enterprise.

Raw Brick Innovations Ltd

Raw Brick Innovations Ltd

Carl Randle - Owner/Inventor

The challenge I am tackling is: Sustainability and the green agenda

Mission: To create construction and building products which are made from non-recyclable waste or single use plastics.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

There is an increasing awareness and determination to eradicate single use plastic, and my innovation is incredibly relevant to this discussion. The Raw brick is designed for use in the construction/DIY industries to work in conjunction with products already on the market.

The simplicity of my prototype could work in the UK and countries that up to now do not have the necessary infrastructur, to facilitate a recycling/up-cycling system. My goal for RAW Brick is to help contribute to the reduction of waste, reducing the need for landfill sites and easing the stresses on recycling centres already in operation.

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Rawbrick website
Return 2.0

Return 2.0

Dhivya Venkatachalam - Founder

The challenge we tackle is: Unemployment

Mission: Return2.0, is aimed at helping our returners back into strong career paths by upskilling and reskilling them in Skill Gap areas.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

I myself have been a returner, twice. I have been a mentor with several organisations (Cherie Blair, STEMNet) and have mentored several women back into work. I had volunteered at several returners program and found them lacking. After trying and failing to change the system, Return 2.0 was conceived to fill in the gap. I have built this program after extensive research with our returners, adapting the tech & program to suit the returner (and not the other way around).

We are a female led, proudly BAME owned enterprise.

Twitter / Facebook / Linkedin

Return 2.0 Website
Social Change Platform

Social Change Platform

Jitse van Ameijde - Founder / Director

The challenge we tackle is: Social exclusion

Mission: We provide scalable learning pathways for social entrepreneurs and changemakers wanting to start or grow their social impact.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

I love education and the opportunities it offers to help transform people’s lives. However, I feel that most educational institutions are too focused on developing individual learners to progress along tightly-defined career paths, rather than supporting them in becoming fully developed and self-actualised citizens who can help address the many issues facing our local communities and global society.

I am passionate about using education as a force for supporting social transformation in collaboration with others. I feel that if we can connect the social passions of individuals and support them to look after themselves, while learning their way to a better tomorrow, amazing things can happen. That is why I started the Social Change Academy - as a platform for supporting changemakers to become the best human beings they can be.

Twitter

Social Change Academy Website
Well Cool Clothing

Well Cool Clothing

Kirsty Glynn - Founder / Director

The challenges we tackle are: Independence in later life/ wellness and resilience

Mission: To give dignity to those in vulnerable situations through offering a new approach to how we dress ourselves in hospital or at home.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

Well Cool Clothing offer a new approach to how we dress ourselves in hospital, with health care needs at home or for those with reduced mobility.  Unlike traditional clothing and hospital gowns, our Hospital PJs and Adaptive Loungewear are designed, quite simply to make dressing easier, promote independence or make the job of the carer less demanding. 

As a small start-up company with ambition, Well Cool Clothing did not start out with the intention of becoming a social business. It was only when we looked at positioning ourselves in the market and who we wanted to reach, running our company as a social business began to make more sense. Like Aster, who’s vision is that everyone has a home, Well Cool’s vision is that everyone has access to practical healthcare clothing when needed.

Well Cool Clothing want to reach a large population to offer clothing that both empowers and enables, when people need hospital care or care at home.  We want to interact with our customers and provide clothing that is going to make life easier for them. As our products are new to market, that interaction with our customers is vital in making clothing of the highest standard. From an environmental viewpoint, we want to manufacture in the UK if possible, which has less impact on air freight, source the correct fabrics, know that our garments are made ethically and that our manufacturing colleagues are paid a decent wage. We see adaptive clothing as an area ripe for growth and want to continue to innovate within the company and make clothing to last.

Facebook

Well Cool Website
Well Good

Well Good

Dan Willis and Adam McNichol - Co-Founders

The challenge we will tackle is: Mental Health

Mission: Preventative, personalised digital mental health care.

What inspired you to set up a social business?

There is a mental health crisis. Unfortunately, this is now a fact. Your family, your friends, your colleagues, every layer of society is affected by struggles with mental health.

But huge numbers of people are not getting the help they need to live healthy lives. This lack of mental health care is being driven by a global shortage of psychiatric professionals.

Technology is rising to meet this challenge, transforming how treatment is delivered and accessed, with apps emerging as powerful tools to bridge the treatment gap. But until now, they have been built to help users only when they hit a crisis point, not before. These apps deliver generic solutions but don't consider the individual, leaving people to struggle.

Well Good is on a mission to provide tailored predictive mental health care to its users, preventing them from reaching crisis by maintaining good mental health. Using state of the art Artificial Intelligence technology, we will signpost users to the dangers of their own poor mental health before it becomes a problem.

Twitter / Linkedin

Well Good Website

Our programme

Our unique programme will draw on the benefits, resources and expertise of a highly successful and established social organisation and its people:

  • A strong core syllabus covering all areas of business development, growth and ethics
  • An opt in syllabus which you can use to strengthen areas you wish to develop
  • Mentoring and coaching to support personal growth
  • Offices/ digital spaces offering a workspace for you to work with others
  • Access to funding and investment
  • Opportunities to gain insight to shape your business from our 90,000 customers across our communities
  • Benefit from expert advice and support from our colleagues and partners
  • An entrepreneurial community of peers to collaborate with and provide support
  • Alignment to the Aster Group brand

Why Choose Aster?

Hear from us...

...and those we work with

Applications closed for 20/21

Get in touch for 2021/22

If this sounds like you, we want to help transform your vision into a business that can have a real impact on the things that really matter. With unrivalled insight into our communities and customers we can provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take your ideas to the next level, with a focus on supporting you to understand the mechanics of running a successful business and how to deliver real change.

If you would like to find out more about future programmes we’d love to hear from you.  

Use the form below to express an interest and get details about applying.

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Alumni

Our inc. alumni network help our social entrepreneurs to translate and apply the learning from the inc. syllabus to their business.

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