Last year in April 2016, Grapheel entered the StartUp Sussex entrepreneurship competition (as posted about here). The goal for the Sussex Innovation Centre (SINC), the organisers of the competition, was to encourage creativity and innovation from business-minded students with entrepreneurial ideas from the University of Sussex as well as give them a chance to get some startup capital in order to bring their visions into fruition. This year, SINC introduced the Social Impact Prize in the same spirit: a bursary awarded to University of Sussex students and recent graduates, and as per their website, open to “any enterprise whose core aim is to create a positive social impact and that is focused on achieving its goals through the utilisation of a sustainable business model”. The prize also meant the winners would be taken under the wing of SINC, and have continuous support and mentoring from the Sussex Innovation Support Team.
Grapheel was very fortunate to be entered in this competition, and in fact, we even got to the final round. Preparing for all the different stages was challenging — and at times, a rush — but we managed to pull through and gave our final ten minute pitch to the panel of judges in the beginning of April of this year. The judges included a representative of the B&H Social Enterprise Network (The Platform), the CEO of MakerClub, amongst other members and CEOs of multinational companies.
In the end, the winner of this year’s Social Impact Prize was Roisai Wongsuban’s social enterprise The Solidarity Program: a platform combining retail services and micro-finance to support low-income workers and their families in Thailand. Congratulations, Roisai!
For Grapheel, these events always help to summarise where we are, and allows us to think about our progress. It helped us to put ourselves under the microscope, and to think about areas we might need to improve on or underline from an outsider’s perspective. Between 2016’s StartUp Sussex competition and 2017’s Social Impact Prize, we made massive strides and performed remarkably more well; so even if we are young, 2018 is currently looking very promising for us!
Grapheel as Finalists in StartUp Sussex Social Impact Prize 2017

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