Innov8 On Sheppey was the brainchild of Andrew Deeley, the Founder and CEO. Having semi-retired from his previous Board position he decided he wanted to invest time and money in doing what he could to help improve the Islands local economy.
Spending all his spare time researching the issues and meeting various people around the Island, including local government officials, charities, business people, unemployed and consumers he began to present possible ways forward to various Islanders, whose views he respected.
With help from various people he refined the concepts and then set about working on a number of initiatives that were designed to address some of the issues identified.
Innov8 On Sheppey is the third project and arguably the most important so far. During a session at the Academy, Andrew was dismayed to hear how the Island’s most talented young people were focused on doing well to get off Sheppey. He knew we needed to keep that talent on the Island to help repair the local economy through their innovative and entrepreneurial endeavours. This spurred him on to find away to give his own kids and the rest of the Islands young people choices.
He was fortunate to have the support of Jamie Hutchinson, the Finance and Operation Director of the Academey, Paul West, Paul Lukehurst and Simon Hill from the Island Partnerships, Dan Pyke from Restoration Youth and Pete Giffen from O.SO.U. They challenged Andrew’s assumptions, which helped him put a solid business strategy together and then they supported him in his efforts to gain funding from KCC. Funding that is being used to rent part of the Restoration Youth building in Trinity Road and renovate the disused derelict rooms into a business startup centre.
Getting this far has been a real collaborative effort.
The hard work is still yet to be done. The space available is limited and there aren’t any other places like this on the Island, however there is more funding available if we can prove that there is a need on the Island to create more centres where innovative and entrepreneurial people can develop their concepts and grow their businesses.
There are no shortage of Islanders with the skills, determination, desire and ambition to succeed in their own business. So now’s the time to identify and support them as we strive to create a more positive future for us who live here on Sheppey.
If you can support in any way, either by providing business mentoring or by helping identify people with potential to start a business or you know a business owner with capacity to grow then please contact us.