19. Beam

The Tech For Good startup that’s empowering homeless people to find stable employment and reclaim their future

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Founder: Alex Stephany, Seb Barker
Founded: 2017
Website: www.beam.org

Homelessness in the UK often seems like a dishearteningly difficult social problem to solve. While certainly a complex issue, Beam offers some light at the end of this tunnel, owing to its commitment to investing in the long-term employment, wellbeing and future of homeless people.

Having worked with homeless charities for several years, founder Seb Barker teamed up with Alex Stephany to launch a business with a simple but ambitious mission: to remove all barriers to getting out of homelessness – for good. This means offering support that helps homeless people find stable, well-paid work, access to private renting, and professional advancement opportunities.

The founders teamed up to launch a business with a simple but ambitious mission: to remove all barriers to getting out of homelessness - for good.

Beam is the world’s first crowdfunding platform for homeless people and claims to be the most efficient way to donate money to UK homelessness, with 100% of donations going directly to beneficiaries. But beyond financial help, the ongoing support Beam offers in the form of dedicated case workers, personalised career support, and bespoke technological tools is all integral to the success of the business’s concept.

Beam is an easily justifiable entry on the Startups 100 list two years running. In terms of disruption within its industry, the business has a sector-leading track record in employability success – 76% of its trained job seekers move into paid employment (versus 31% of participants on DWP’s Work & Health Programme).

The startup also offers unusual levels of transparency within the sector, offering live, anonymised data on its social impact, and also creates its own digital tools that are specifically designed for the needs of marginalised people: a severely underserved part of the tech market.

76% of Beam's trained job seekers move into paid employment, versus 31% of participants on DWP’s Work & Health Programme.

Plus, Beam is growing! 2021 has seen the company launch outside of London in Leicester and Rugby and reach two million in crowdfunded donations.

All this means that the business is getting close to reaching its target of changing 1,000 lives by the end of 2021 – an achievement we are certainly invested in seeing Beam reach and exceed in coming years.

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