Guy Rigby and David Murray will row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to raise funds for UnLtd – The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs
London, 07 September 2021: Two of the UK’s most well-respected business brains – Guy Rigby, founder and now Chair of the Entrepreneurial Services Group at Smith & Williamson, and his fellow crew member, entrepreneur, investor and sports enthusiast, David Murray – will row across the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in ‘The Entrepreneur Ship‘. Rigby and Murray will begin their row from the Canaries to Antigua on 12th December 2021, hoping to arrive in February 2022. The completed challenge will see them recognised as the oldest pair in the world to row any ocean.
According to recent data, 64% of the UK workforce wants to set up a business, while 83% of 18-24 year olds dream of self-employment. However, the biggest barrier for budding entrepreneurs remains access to finance. Passionate about supporting UK entrepreneurship, Rigby and Murray are raising money for UnLtd – a charity that finds, funds, and supports social entrepreneurs in the UK. Since forming in 2002, UnLtd has supported over 15,000 social entrepreneurs.
The money Rigby and Murray raise will help social entrepreneurs from minority backgrounds, who have historically been locked out of funding to scale their ventures, with support to grow and raise investment. Their combined fundraising efforts so far have secured around £350,000 for UnLtd, with support from some of the most influential organisations in the tech and business ecosystem including Tech Nation, Founders Forum and London Tech Week.
Over the last year, UnLtd supported 662 social entrepreneurs, 42% of whom identified as being from a Black, Asian, or minority ethnic background and/or having a disability. For example, Patchwork Hub received support from UnLtd to build out its accessible employment platform run by disabled people, connecting highly-skilled professionals looking for opportunities outside of the conventional office environment. Meanwhile, in 2020, UnLtd also provided both financial and non-financial support to EduKit through the Inclusive Recovery Fund to support them into recovery and long-term resilience. EduKit developed a powerful web and mobile app to help school staff understand and address the mental health needs of their students. Using the app, staff can provide students with personalised, life-changing support at their fingertips so any issues can be addressed early, before they escalate.
Guy Rigby, founder and Chairman of Smith & Williamson’s Entrepreneurial Services Group, said: “Having spent around four decades working with entrepreneurs from all walks of life, I’ve seen first-hand what ambitious, smart and visionary individuals can do when they have the resources to get their businesses off the ground. I am excited and proud to take on this challenge in the name of entrepreneurship to raise as much money as we can for UnLtd, who have a track record of identifying savvy entrepreneurs with ideas that can truly level the playing field across our whole society.”
David Murray, Investor and company director said: “There are many similarities between taking on this challenge and starting a business – from planning, preparation and team building to overcoming unforeseen challenges. Social entrepreneurs have many challenges – but lack of early-stage funding shouldn’t be one of them. Brilliant ideas come from all corners of our society and I hope through this challenge and our partnership with UnLtd that we can give social entrepreneurs the exposure, finance and support they deserve.”
Mark Norbury, Chief Executive at UnLtd commented: “Guy and David have taken on an extraordinary challenge: and backed it up with such an impressive commitment to both training and fundraising throughout the last year. This can be seen in their ever-growing fundraising total. Like the social entrepreneurs UnLtd works with, they have set themselves an audacious goal and will need all their resilience and creativity to succeed. This is the fuel that keeps our work going and will help many more entrepreneurs on their way to extraordinary impact. We’re excited to work so closely with them and their team as they enter the last leg before the big race.”
The Entrepreneur Ship team would like to thank all of its existing sponsors including: Smith & Williamson, Crowdcube, Mishcon de Reya, Trimite, Plasmor, Moneycorp, Dent and Woodsome Estates.