Ingenuity Testimonies

Claire Henson, woman smiling in black shirt
Claire Henson, MindMap (Ingenuity19)
The Ingenuity Programme is designed to create impact through enterprise in communities across the UK. We are looking for the most viable and innovative business ideas that will transform how and where we live.
Since 2016, Ingenuity has launched the careers of many young entrepreneurs eager to use enterprise to change the world. We’ve having had almost 2,000 participants go through the programme, and invested over £500,000 into ideas that can transform society.  For this week’s blog, we’ve spoken to previous participants of the Programme to hear their thoughts on the process.
Trishna Daswaney founded Kohl Kreatives after taking part in Ingenuity 18.
“Kohl Kreatives is an inclusive beauty brand and non-profit that aims to empower through make-up”, she explained. “We specialise in cosmetic creation of features lost through illness or accidents, as well helping transgender people who are transitioning.”
“When I think about my journey, and the concept the strategy and refining it – Ingenuity was the pedestal and catalyst to how it all began. The method, support and competition really sets you up for the real world! It’s amazing to be surrounded by people who are there to promote your business and support your growth in all the best ways.”
Ingenuity aims to support the creation of start-ups that produce sustainable impact across the UK. Another great example is Nottingham-based “social supermarket” Foodprint, which acts as an intermediary between supermarkets, wholesalers, charities and the people of Nottingham to redistribute food.

Foodprint van parked up outside row of shops

It was founded by Elis Edhem and James Scott after taking part in the Programme.
"The funding from Ingenuity enabled us to launch our supermarket, and become a financially independent, stable organisation."
Ingenuity provides funding to get sustainable start-ups off the ground, but its benefits extend far beyond monetary matters for many of our participants.
“The Ingenuity Programme has been life changing for me”, said Claire Henson, founder of Mind Map, which works with businesses in Nottingham to support people living with anxiety. “It gave me the space to explore an idea that would otherwise just be wishful thinking and turn it into something that will help change the lives of people living with anxiety, like myself.”
Claire is now working at Nottingham Forest Community Trust as their mental health lead, bringing in the knowledge on social innovation and impact she gained into a longstanding organisation.
And Ingenuity doesn’t just benefit those looking to start their own venture. The Programme is a great experience for our team of mentors, who get the chance to give something back to the next generation of changemakers by providing expert business advice and guidance to our participants.
Steve Watts, Ingenuity Mentor
Steve Watts is an entrepreneurial technologist and Director of CambridgeIQ.
“Mentoring on Ingenuity? I Love it! Outrageous innovation, the best of social empathy, sustainable environmental change, diversity & inclusion… and above all, people with the enthusiasm, drive and ability to make it happen.”
Steve Watts, CambridgeIQ
So whether you’re a student or alumni at one of our Partner Institutions with a great idea to create a better future for you and communities you live in, or a business expert with skills and experience to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs looking to find a role in this sustainable movement, join us to change the way we live.
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