Lisa Warner - Village Capital London 2011 Fellow

by Hub Venture Labs
Rewards

About the project

Goals

Tipping Point £1,000
Program Participation £2,800
£2,800
tipping point
£30.000
20%
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!
tipping point
25 hrs
12hrs
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!

More about the project

What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Our products are guaranteed to create fun, laughter and conversation but there is a much more important reason behind what we do - the UK is currently experiencing a rise in the number of children with speech difficulties but this isn’t due special educational needs - experts blame the growing problem on the death of conversation in the home. If language problems remain untreated children have a more increased risk of ending up unemployed, experiencing mental health problems and being involved in crime later in life. The problem is simply that opportunities for family interaction are diminishing and the implications for society are huge. Although the problems are complex the solutions don’t have to be technical or expensive. We believe that simply talking to our children can have a massive impact not just on families but society too. Fink is passionate about communication; simple, honest communication that builds relationships.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
In 2008 the Government published the Bercow Report which revealed that in some areas over 50% of children starting school are unable to communicate. The report states that if the problem remains untreated it is estimated that it could have a future cost to the UK taxpayer of around 26 billion GBP.
What is your solution?
The lack of opportunities for families to interact has caused significant social harm; our products get families talking and promote the importance of family communication. Our solution is to provide a range of fun products, games and tools for families and teachers. We want to reach 10 million people in the next ten years through the sale of our products in the retail and education sector. We have initial distribution within these markets but look to scale up our efforts to achieve mass distribution within the next 5 years. I take my inspiration from Chicken Soup for the Soul, a company that started off with one book of feel good stories and now has achieved over 2 billion dollars of sales. What milestones have you achieved? We have supported The National Year of Communications Hello campaign. Since founding Fink Cards I have won Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the O2 X awards and was the only UK Finalist in the global Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.
How will you deliver this?
Who is behind you and in your team? In addition to me the team now includes 2 individuals; Sarah Newton is a teen expert, author, and TV personality, and Glenn Warner who has in depth knowledge on products and print. Sarah is best known for her 8-part TV series, ‘My Teen’s a nightmare – I’m moving out!’ She’s been seen by 1 in 4 UK television viewers. Sarah’s approach is authentic, loving, firm, and compassionate - she is not looking to place blame or to shame anyone into change. She incorporates equal parts of sensitivity, wonder, common sense, and humour to touch people’s lives. What other resources do you have to help achieve the venture’s goals? Our products are for sale on Virgin Atlantic planes and Peugeot purchased 10,000 packs for the launch of a new family vehicle. We have 3 distribution agreements covering both national and international markets. We have developed a range for education and retail and we have 4 new products ready for production.

Get involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out. If you have...
  • 2 minutes
    Please pass the link for this project on to your friends. http://www.buzzbnk.org/vc2011/lisa
  • 5 minutes
    Join us on facebook and twitter http://www.twitter.com/finkcards Take some time to say hello and find out what we are up to.
  • 15 minutes
    Have a chat to your friends, tell them about Fink and why we want to get families talking.
  • 30 minutes
    We are big on networks – do you know anyone who might be able to help us spread the word in a big way – it may be a publisher abroad, or a buyer from a high street store, or someone who could help us translate our cards into different languages. Please introduce us!
  • A few hours
    Pop in to your local bookstore and ask if they have heard about Fink Cards.
  • Regular time commitment
    We love talking to people and would love some help spreading the word, we would love some help writing and distributing our monthly newsletter.

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About the organisation

Vision and mission

Village Capital is an incubator program, started in 2010, which has been run in New Orleans, Boulder, Mumbai and San Francisco. It has been cited as "#1 Trend to Watch in 2010" on Change.org; featured in Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine and Beyond Profit. So far, the program has incubated 82 entrepreneurs selected from over 500 applications. The first European Village Capital, being launched by Hub Venture Labs, will be a twelve week program designed for entrepreneurs to accelerate their for profit social businesses. In workshops focused on fundraising, marketing and designing for impact the 10 participants will develop the core skills needed to attract investment and scale their businesses as well as receiving mentoring and coaching from our team of experienced advisors. At the heart of Village Capital lies the belief that entrepreneurs benefit from building peer networks for review and support. The program culminates in peers selecting two entrepreneurs that receive investment prizes of £50,000 each. The Village Capital London 2011 programme is supported by: SANGHATA GLOBAL Championing Innovations at the Frontier Sanghata Institute for Social Entrepreneurship and Investment is a non-profit organization that advances enterprise development and raises living standards for people in the low-income areas of the world. It does so by facilitating association between enterprising people, management talents and investors, and it follows through to champion and support selected initiatives with financial and technical assistance. http://www.sanghata.org/

Geographical coverage

Within UK