“Execution” is what differentiates a mediocre business idea from a thriving one. There is an entrepreneurial mindset and a measurable set of behaviours. As such, our mission is to align people's ideas with their capacity to execute them.
At Watershed we connect young people with innovative commercial ideas to the best training, access to resources (financial and more) and mentor support. READ MORE
The course is deliberately residential. "Relationship" and "trust" are core values. These are developed during the course and last beyond the event.
Mitigating the high failure rate associated with entrepreneurial endeavour is one of our core competencies. We use and commission original research in the discipline of behavioural economics.
It is a quantifiable mindset. Based on our observation that "you get what you measure", current economic measurement approaches often lead to dysfunctional traps because the "heart" is ignored.
The silence has been deafening, we realise that! This is as a direct result of our knuckling down to some challenging times of our own - namely - growing! As a consequence we have not been talking very much but we have not been idle and the results will soon prove this!
For a start we have joined forces with National Westminster Bank PLC. They were so impressed with the programme we ran with Monkton Combe, (link the Bath article here) they have asked us to identify and train 50 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Bath. The aim is to grow successful businesses in a bid to make a fundamental difference in their local communities.
This Watershed NatWest project closely follows our ethos to help build confidence, trust, self-esteem and self-worth in young people. As we have now proven on numerous occasions this will encourage an increased level of engagement and interest for good in the local community and has the potential to cr....
My goal when I set up Fluid IT eight years ago was to provide IT services and support to SMEs - particularly non-profits.I started Fluid IT because I was fed up of seeing the small charities around me misspending the precious little funding they had on their IT infrastructure and services. The goal was to establish a service that, by providing a readily accessible, affordable and transparent IT service, would help these organisations deliver their work. These three key factors together, I felt, were never available from any service provider.
Just as our 7th year in business was drawing to a close (and only a couple of months after my daughter was born!) I was invited on a two-week Watershed residential course. It was not an easy commitment to make from either the family or the business perspective, but with the promise of some really high quality input on the business plan, potential access to investors and training that was well aligned to my ....
I am sure I am not alone when I talk about the sense of hopelessness I used to feel when walking past a homeless person,either asking for money or selling a Big Issue. This prompted me to find out what more I could do beyond buying them a coffee of leaving them some spare change. My research led me to discover that one of the things I take for granted, a plentiful supply of clean, warm socks, is a real luxury for many homeless people. I was taken aback by this and decided that this was definitely an area I could focus on.
My journey from reaching that decision to handing our new socks whenever I could has now become a thriving, if still fledgling, business, for which the motto is wear a pair, share a pair, the brand is Jollie Goods.
For every pair of socks bought, a sturdy pair of hiking socks is given to a homeless charity. This is just the beginning, I plan to move into other warm garments and to extend my business proposition.
My passion is to see culture shaped in a meaningful way. I’ve always been inspired by entrepreneurs, inventors and cultural influencers with integrity who have contributed to the way we live, think and see the world. It was during my experiences trying to launch a business and being surrounded by other entrepreneurs, dreamers and visionaries that it became apparent two of the biggest obstacles to realising an idea were access to funding and skills to bring them to life.
GOODFRUIT brings this equation together. We are an online ecosystem where dreamers connect with co-dreamers and source funds and skills to bring ideas to fruition. For example a writer publishing a memoir sharing the stories of women in Korea joined GOODFRUIT and raise £10,000, an editor, book designer and tour manager all in one. We take a curated approach to crowd funding by selecting dreamers, ideas and projects that show integrity and create cultural and social value.
I first started making ties thanks to the proximity of one of the worlds leading silk mills to my home, and a recent travel scholarship from my school.
I was on a gap year between school and university, and before going to Paris to learn french for 6 months (the purpose of my scholarship) I went to the silk mill and invested the money in making 100 ties - 10 ties in 10 different designs. I had always been fascinated in design and this seemed like a natural thing to do - I was certain I’d be able to sell these ties to a couple of local shops as well as to my friends and family.
I then continued this small hobby business throughout my gap year and university in Edinburgh - for five years it steadily grew and occupied my summers, but I was always dreaming about what it could be if I focused on it full time. After graduating I quickly realised that this was what I wanted to do. I re-branded and re-launched as Augustus Hare.
I’ve been working as a chef in London and abroad since I left the Besom charity nearly four years ago, where I interned and worked.During the Besom stint I was involved in working at their micro-finance sister company, Facetoface, helping people start small businesses. I was challenged by how you encourage those who don’t know what they are good at. I imagined a launch-pad to tackle this might be a professional environment that instilled self-worth, embossed and developed talents.
Outside of work I was cooking a fair bit, occasionally for money, and decided a food business could have a few different guises and limbs so sought to learn in that industry.
That’s been going for a few years: I started in a pub kitchen in Notting Hill, on the grill - a literal baptism of fire - and a month ago I left the research arm of Noma in Copenhagen. In between I’ve helped launch a restaurant and products for retail. Every door has opened miracu....
When I first heard of Watershed I had just set up Gadabouting, a luxury travel website I had been refining for a couple of years.
At the time, I was not after investor funding but I was intrigued by the prospect of finding out how best to grow my online business by exploring my own strengths and weaknesses, attitude and mindset. To a certain extent I had never even thought that side of it really mattered!
My 12 day residential break - right in the middle of my busy start-up - was an amazing experience. It enabled me to focus on areas which I would not have deemed important in the hectic turmoil of starting up. Whilst I had not felt I needed mentoring on how to maximise my strengths and find the right kind of people to help me develop my business further, I came away with a new set of business tools and a whole new attitude towards turning my fledgling business into a thriving success. I maintain regular contact with the Watershed team w....
After leaving university, I longed to fulfill my dream of setting up a business which could make a difference.Whilst sitting outside in the garden one September evening I had my ‘Isaac Newton moment’; an apple fell off our tree, joining many others scattered over our lawn. A problem was staring me in the face: every year the majority of our apples would ultimately go to waste. There seemed to be no easy and effective method of storage (there are only so many apple pies a family can eat!) and this was a great shame. My solution was to make apple juice. Perhaps my discovery wasn’t quite as groundbreaking as the theory of gravity, but I like to think it comes a close second!
I began to research how to make apple juice and crucially how to ensure it lasts. Three weeks later I bought my first apple press. I didn’t want to keep all my shiny new kit to myself, so that season I made juice for all the family as well as the neighbours. The feedba....
It was during a social entrepreneurship course at Pretoria’s Business School that I had my light-bulb moment.
A young entrepreneur was presenting his idea of creating a lap desk for under privileged children to use to do their school work. The simple, transportable idea appealed to me. However it also made me realise that these children may not have tables to work from but they were also sitting on cold concrete floors at schools.
My research confirmed that there are over 3 million children in South Africa alone who walk miles to school and then sit on the floor. This figure pales somewhat when compared with the 40 million children on the planet who suffer a similar fate.
Getting kids off the floor became my mission and my light weight, easily transportable desk and chair unit goes some way towards solving this issue. Distribution is of course the next hurdle I am learning to leap. So far I have managed to get 8000 un....
I was three years old when I decided I wanted to be an inventor, something which I was told was unlikely to happen! Nevertheless, by the time I was 13, I was working on a simple water pump design which was inspired by a physics lesson. As it turned out my design was technically impossible. Subsequent research highlighted the flaws of pumps in the developing world; from lack of maintenance to unavailability of replacement parts.
So I set myself the task of designing a very basic irrigation water pump that required little to no maintenance and that did not need any shop-bought replacement parts.
It was during my Watershed course that I realised that the FlexiPump was a physical manifestation of one of my passions; to see people stand on their own two feet and look after themselves. It was also during this time that my 3-year-old self had been right. I was an inventor.
The course helped me channel my energies to better utilis....
More and more corporates are looking for ways to tap into the talent of their people to make them extraordinarily innovative, to achieve step change rather than just incremental improvements. The Watershed programme has shown it can develop intrapreneurs who can lead that thinking and lead to the step change required by so many. READ MORE