Ingenuity Impact

We need better information, better understanding, and better empowerment for women.” That’s the rallying cry from Ingenuity’s 2021 Impact Entrepreneur of the Year, Claire Mann.  


Claire’s recent experience of the menopause left her feeling unsupported and uninformed. After struggling to get appropriate advice from her GP, and finding that symptom-tracking apps were not inclusive enough, she reached out to friends for guidance. She discovered that they also encountered difficulties in understanding their symptoms, and had received differing answers from GPs.  


Seeing the gap in support for those approaching the menopause, Claire realised that the lived experience of her peers was key to ensuring others felt supported. “It was years before I felt it was manageable, but the best advice came from friends who were a few years ahead of me on the journey.” 



She joined the Ingenuity Programme in March 2021, to understand how she could develop her idea into an impact-driven business: I went from just having a spark of an idea but having no idea how to plan a business, to submitting a winning plan and pitch in under a year, and I only did that because of Ingenuity.” 


At Ingenuity’s Impact Evening on 27 May, Claire discovered that she’d won six awards totalling £25,000. Her winning idea, ChangeXtra, uses counselling, coaching, support and access to learning to support and empower women going through the menopause.  

Winning the awards means I will be able to build my service quickly and significantly reduce my time to market so that I can start helping women sooner. I can’t wait to get started 
Claire Mann, Ingenuity Impact Entrepreneur of the Year 2021

As well as Impact Entrepreneur of the Year, Claire also picked up the Brenda Dean Award for Female Entrepreneurship, the East Midlands Champion Award, and the ‘Improving Health’ National Champion Award.  


The Impact Evening featured award presentations from pioneers across the UK’s charity, enterprise, and social innovation sectors, awarding over £200,000 in prizes. Awards were given to the most impactful business ideas from the South Coast, West of England, East and West Midlands regions, that responded to the Prosperity, Health, Community or Climate Change Challenges. Charity partners from across the Ingenuity network awarded support package prizes to ideas that most aligned with their values, including Crisis, Groundwork, Youth Futures Foundation, and the Centre for Ageing Better. 


The virtual event celebrated the Programme’s National Finalists and prize winners, and was the culmination of the three-month Programme that brought together over 300 industry, academic, and third sector volunteers and saw applications from 800 participants. It also included keynotes from Cemal Ezel of Change Please, and Claire Dove CBE, the Crown Representative for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise. During his keynote, Nigel Kershaw OBE, Chair of the Big Issue Group, commented on the support network that Ingenuity has created for participants: “If we can replicate this across the globe – that is the change we want to see.” 



Other multiple-prize winners included the community-based financial resilience app SavingHood and climate-mitigating livestock feed Seaweed Culture, who picked up three awards each, including the Create Prosperity and Tackle Climate Change Challenge Champion prizes respectively. Simon Toh’s deep vein thrombosis-preventing Velma app took home the Health Challenge Award, whilst Andrew Porteous was the Community Challenge National Champion for his Hyperlites Community pitch. 


The Nutrition Advisory Team, Foodprint on Wheels and Unitopia also walked away with three prizes each, including several Charity Challenge Awards.  


For more information on all of this year’s Ingenuity Finalists, visit:  

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