Aster Group are a £200m+ turnover housing provider with over 30,000 homes, primarily located in the South-West of the UK. The Aster Foundation was created by Aster Group “to give something back”. Its purpose is to invest in communities through a range of initiatives, including an Into Work and Financial Wellbeing services, a Digital College, tackling fuel poverty, a mental wellness and resilience offer and volunteering opportunities.
In early 2020 we were commissioned by Aster Foundation to lead the design, development, and implementation of a new social enterprise incubator to help identify and support social entrepreneurs who can make a difference and drive change across Aster Group’s target communities. Our role was to undertake initial scoping, lead on market analysis and research, and to develop and design the incubator strategy and model including minimum viability, equity/pricing models, recruitment and selection criteria, and overall programme structure. We have designed the entrepreneur recruitment and partner engagement plan, developed the communications strategy and are leading on identifying suitable investors, funders, and corporate partners. We have also worked with Aster colleagues to co-design the syllabus and engage mentors and subject matter experts.
Moving forward, we will be leading on the delivery of the syllabus and supporting entrepreneurs to access appropriate ongoing business support and funding.
The Incubator, titled “Inc.”, is open to social entrepreneurs from across the UK, providing that their business idea or model seeks to solve issues relating to these embedded challenges; homelessness, isolation, sustainable homes, mental wellbeing and resilience and unique challenges brought about by the Covid-19 crisis.