Welcome to the NEF newsletter for autumn 2017, we hope you had a fantastic summer break and found time to invest in relaxation and scale-up your suntan. You won’t be surprised to hear that at NEF the work hasn’t stopped; throughout the summer months we’ve been busy preparing for the arrival of the class of 2018 – you can read more about them below.
This early autumn period, when we welcome 46 bright new talents to the programme, provides us all a good moment to reflect on how far we have come as an organisation, but also how much further we have to go. We’ve just returned from our annual residential Boot Camp which kicks off the intensive learning programme for all NEFers. This year, as ever, I was struck by the ever increasing quality and ambition of applicants to NEF.
We’ve achieved a lot, but constant change and development is our mantra at NEF. Our cohort this year is the largest and most diverse ever and we’re driven by the same restless energy that we see in them.
As I write, nearly 200 graduated NEFers are out in the world of work or growing their own businesses. Our alumni have launched 92 new ventures, raised over £27m in early stage funding, creating over 1000 new jobs in the process.
The beauty in the NEF model is that as our community grows, and our network expands, more and more NEFers are placed into mature NEF businesses, led by entrepreneurs who share our vision. This year we have placed at Thriva, Krzana, Sideways6 and Turn Partners, four fast growing businesses established by NEF graduates. As this trend accelerates, we’re certain to see more high impact NEF businesses taking the opportunity to host NEFers, further strengthen our growing network.
Looking beyond NEF, we are entering uncertain times. As the UK moves through the Brexit process, conversation increasingly turns toward the future of our economy once we leave the European Union. It is clear to me that the innovation and creativity displayed by our young entrepreneurs will be hugely important; both for the future of the UK economy, and equally for our future prosperity as the UK begins to reimagine its position in the world outside the EU.
NEF stands ready to help ensure that our next generation of entrepreneurs are well equipped to meet these challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.
Thank you for your ongoing support, I hope you enjoy reading about our work and find time to join us at an upcoming NEF event. I welcome any feedback and comment on what you read here.
Neeta Patel, CEO – New Entrepreneurs Foundation