Local entrepreneurs dream big in 2023
Local entrepreneurs are hoping their dreams of making a difference in their communities will become a reality this year after successfully becoming part of the Aster Foundation social incubator, inc.
Trowbridge entrepreneurs, Pepper Barney, Craig Morris, and Anna Sabine founded their award-winning social enterprise and interdisciplinary placemaking consultancy, BiBO in response to a lack of diversity in the property industry.
BiBO’s studio in Meadows Works, Court Street in Trowbridge hosts public events and supports an education and outreach programme through its Urban Room project.
Pepper Barney, architect and urban designer said: “We believe there is a better way to deliver projects through education and it’s through the diversity of people designing and building our towns and cities that we will be able to create a more thoughtful, considerate, and inclusive built environment.”
Dorset based Ben Gibbons formed his social enterprise, Circular11 with two others in response to the increasing issue of environmental damage caused by low grade plastic waste.
Circular11 has created technology to turn difficult to recycle film and mixed plastics into outdoor furniture, landscape products and construction materials, creating a circular environmentally friendly economy.
Ben says: “This is a global problem, but something we can all play our part to do something about. We want people to be able to take ownership of their waste and give them the option to turn it back into a resource. We’re looking forward to developing the business and exploring opportunities to make a real difference in our local communities through the inc. programme.”
Refashion My Town
Tze Ching Yeung set up her social enterprise, Refashion My Town to help young people in Chippenham, Wiltshire find their identity and purpose through pre-loved fashion, music, and art.
Through selling pre-loved clothing, providing environmental education and skills programmes around sewing/mending and textile waste reduction, Refashion My Town is hoping to build a likeminded community who believe in sustainability.
Tze Ching said: “Through repurposing fashion we’re also reconnecting our communities. I want to inspire young people to take responsibility, reduce, reuse, refashion and mend more. Being part of the inc. programme means we can amplify our impact and make a real difference.”
Social Circles CIC
Launched as a pilot covering the Bridgwater area in Somerset earlier this year, Phil Sharratt, Anna Gover, Richard Crowe, and Wayne Sharratt set up social enterprise, Social Circles CIC, to improve the wellbeing of their communities. The team worked closely with other organisations to support those unable to maintain their outdoor space, with referrals from social services, NHS teams, housing associations and local community groups including the Community Council for Somerset’s Village and Community Agents.
Phil Sharratt said: “Access to green spaces and nature can profoundly enhance wellbeing, however there are many in society who, due to physical or financial barriers, are unable to maintain or enjoy their gardens. With the current cost of living crisis the demand for our services, is growing.”
Applicants from all over the UK applied to be part of the Aster Foundation inc. programme. Its aim is to develop businesses with a social purpose such as those tackling homelessness, mental health, financial exclusion, unemployment and sustainability.
The businesses have now begun the inc. ten-month business development programme, designed to bring their ideas to market and connect with potential partners and investors.
Chris Stenlake, Aster Foundation head of social impact, said: “Social innovation, community and collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. We are thrilled that BiBO, Refashion My Town, Social Circles CIC and Circular11 are part of inc. and supporting our work to make a real and sustainable difference out in our local communities.”
The Aster Foundation is the registered charity of local housing association Aster Group.
For further information about inc. and all participating entrepreneurs visit www.aster.co.uk/foundation/get-help/inc
Back to latest news listings