The home of social business in York

The home of social business in York


Setting up your own business is one of the scariest things you can do. I know, because I’ve done it, and have the scars to prove it. From marketing to finances, recruiting staff to building a customer base. All of these tasks take time, knowledge and can cost huge amounts of money – a distraction from doing what you’re good at and where your passion lies.

Over the last 12 months, Andy Simpson (BrightSparks CIC) and I have met hundreds of amazing people in York, who have great business ideas and don’t know where to start, or want to solve a problem in their community, but don’t know how to make it pay the bills. So we created Tribe York, to support these inspirational entrepreneurs and create a real grassroots movement.

Tribe is York’s first business incubator supporting businesses that want to do good at the same time as making profit. We believe business is best placed to solve community issues. We support them to be more socially conscious, and charitable organisations to think more commercially. This creates resilient, sustainable, and high impact organisations built by, and with, local communities.

At Tribe we provide affordable, flexible co-working office space in the heart of the City Centre, filled with like-minded social entrepreneurs sharing ideas, contacts and advice. We have regular inspirational talks; solutions-focused masterclasses delivered by local business people, and one to one mentoring and surgeries to give start ups the boost they need. If people aren’t in a position to have a desk, we offer a virtual membership

Tribe York is a space for ideas to grow.

Our audience

We are actively recruiting people from the local area who are looking to set up their own business, providing personal and professional development, supported by experts from the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Start up businesses – having a business idea is one thing, getting it off the ground is another. And only a lucky few are fortunate enough to have the time, networks and resources to deliver a sustainable business model. Tribe fast tracks this, providing unprecedented access to a huge number of local business experts, funders and mentors – taking a lot of the stress out of going it alone.

Furthest from the labour market – using our established network of grassroots ambassadors, we are creating new opportunities for those furthest from the labour market. We are delivering presentations in prisons and across the voluntary sector, to empower people to believe they can run their own business, with the support they require to be a success.

Return to work parents – after a period of maternity/paternity leave, many parents experience a shift in their work-life balance, and many want to explore running their own business as an alternative route to employment. We provide them with space, guidance, and support to realise this.

Career changers – changing career, especially later in life, can be a scary experience for many, which often results in people spending half of their working life in jobs they’re desperately unhappy in. This can have a serious impact on mental health, confidence and retirement planning. We encourage career changers to come and explore their ideas and possibilities of owning their own business in a safe, confidential environment, with flexible hours to suit their working and family life.

Students – young people about to embark on their career face many challenges in an ever-competitive labour market. Through our partnerships with local education providers, we are supporting young people leaving colleges, universities and pupil referral units to provide them with the aspiration and confidence they need to shape their own future.

Refugees – a hugely talented pool of foreign nationals currently live in our City. Immigration status, language and cultural barriers, and a lack of employment support can create insurmountable barriers to accessing employment. Our programme will provide genuine opportunities for employment and fully integrate them into our communities.

Case Studies

A few examples of our Tribe members include:

TT, Inventor

Despite a chaotic life, including spells in custody, T is determined to turn his life around. He is an innovator, and has many product-based ideas that will revolutionise the way people live their lives.

Severely dyslexic, T struggles with presenting and articulating his ideas, and requires support to formulate his business strategy and achieve credibility. We have been mentoring T for the last year, and he will hugely benefit from an environment where he is around other innovators and social entrepreneurs.

DF, Life Coach

D has been a lift engineer for 20 years, since leaving school. He is bored in his job and, following a personal event in his life, has decided to become a life coach, supporting young men on the margins of society  to deal with low self-esteem, life management, parenting and health and fitness.

He has no idea how to do the basics of setting up an enterprise, such as creating a website, running social media channels and tax/finance/legals etc. D really needs the support of Tribe York to ‘break free’.

Egg Cameron, Move the Masses

Egg is founder of GoodGym in York, and has recently set up Move the Masses, a social enterprise that makes exercise free and accessible to all. Due to family commitments, Egg is a Virtual Member of Tribe York, and is already benefiting from Tribe introductions to graphic designers, business strategists and local funders.

“We want to show everybody that you don’t need a fancy gym or special equipment to get yourself fit. We are surrounded by open spaces, outdoor fitness equipment and urban obstacles; with the right guidance and expertise we want to inspire and motivate people to get outside and get fit, for free.

We are going to create and develop a fantastic online, interactive map showing people where they can complete brilliantly fun workouts and how to complete them too. We will have pop-up fitness workshops and fitness adventures (on foot or by bike) to teach people how to use all this amazing stuff around us and we will engage with all sectors of society to ensure everybody is included. We will recruit volunteers to become Move Champions in their communities too.”

Business mentors

We have recruited over 100 local business people from all sectors who have donated just two hours of their time in 2018 to support our Tribe. This network will deliver short lunchtime talks on start-up business topics, hands-on masterclasses covering specific subjects, and (we hope) develop formal business mentor relationships with our members.

Get involved

Are you looking to set up your own business? Been working on an idea for a couple of years and need a bit of a boost? Identified a problem in your community, and need help to monetise it? Plateaued after your first year in business? Come and join our Tribe….


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*We will never use your details for any purpose other than Social Vision News