Bright Ideas Trust launches
Perhaps somebody should have explained to Tim Campbell exactly how charities work before he set up Bright Ideas Trust
(BIT).“We don’t believe in grants, hand-outs or patronising words, we make it very clear we want this money back. In fact, we don’t even consider that we’re really a charity, more a business. We believe in profit. Profit is good.”So BIT is hardly ‘Terry Wogan and Pudsey the Bear’ for business, then. Campbell’s desire for a healthy return isn’t a result of his tutelage under Sir Alan Sugar either, though. Instead it’s a firmly held belief that responsibility, not aid, is the real driver of social change.“It’s imperative that the young people we invest in have a value to their ideas,” he explains. “You see hundreds of free newspapers left on the train and the floor every night, but you never see an FT or an Evening Standard. That’s because someone’s forked out for it, so they’re gonna make sure they take it home and put it on their coffee table.”He’s repackaging the business maxim ‘what you discount, you devalue’, but that’s because it works. When BIT gives a kid out of Hackney £25,000 to make their business idea a reality, it’s investing not giving. It takes equity. But most important, that equity places a value on a business that person could one day realise. That’s a seriously powerful proposition.“We want to show people can turn their passions into opportunity and business can provide the capital to do that. Business puts everyone on a level platform. Race, colour, creed doesn’t matter - instead it’s all about the numbers. If the numbers work, the business works.“We want to be visible in communities and change the agenda. I’m sick and tired of seeing messages about the minority who carry guns and knives, because the people I know don’t do that and it doesn’t happen every day.“My message to those young people is this: Anyone who wants to work hard and pursue a good business idea can be successful, especially with the right type of support. If you put your hand up for assistance then BIT can help you to achieve your goals but if you’re looking for a hand-out then we’re not for you.”That is what sets BIT apart. It’s not throwing money at a problem and hoping it’ll go away. It’s giving people support and incentivising them to improve their own situations and, as a by-product, the communities around them.Using the CSR spend of sponsors such as Bank of America and additional support from the likes of Make Your Mark and Prince’s Trust, it’s already investing.Indeed, its first investment Fabien Soazandry, a 20-year-old filmmaker who’s just set-up production company V.OGRAPHICS, somewhat stole the stage from Boris Johnson at this week’s launch. He’s got big plans, but first on his agenda? “Paying back Bright Ideas Trust so I own it all.” Proof already that Campbell is right and this works.We’ll be speaking to Tim over the next couple of weeks and supporting BIT however we can. We’ve also invited Fabien in for a chat, but have a sneaky feeling he’s got back to the night’s host Sky News’ Emma Crosby before us. Ah well, you can’t win ‘em all... Fabien, when you're ready, gives us a call!