Our chief executive Guy Laurence was the guest speaker when the Chelsea Foundation's Edge of the Box Club celebrated its fourth anniversary on Tuesday.
The Edge of the Box Club was launched in 2015 and over the past four years an impressive 4,000 start-ups have come through the programme.
The Club is unique to Chelsea Football Club and helps people in the local and wider community start and build their own business, with 49 per cent of start-ups beginning to trade having completed the Chelsea Foundation incubator.
Taking place once every month at Stamford Bridge, the programme brings together job-seekers, start-ups and trading companies to network, develop their ideas and learn.
Speaking after the event, Laurence said: ‘At Chelsea we are involved in far more than football and believe in being a prominent member of the community. This means engaging in a whole series of activities, whether it be encouraging businesses and new entrepreneurs, as well as education, and a whole host of other topics.
‘I had the honour of speaking at the Edge of the Box Club, which has been running every month for four years and it is about engaging with local people starting up new companies.
‘While no-one likes to admit it, starting a new company is very lonely. You are out there by yourself, not sure what you are doing, and it is really important you get to interact with others who are doing the same. The Edge of the Box Club gives you the chance to meet other entrepreneurs, listen to expert speakers and share ideas.
‘A number of organisations have clubs like this, but it is quite unusual to see a football club doing this and it shows our commitment to the community and their needs.’ The success stories keep coming with 400 participants achieving a level 2 qualification in enterprise, while 60 per cent of our start-up community are female.
Carl Southwell, enterprise manager for Chelsea Foundation, added: ‘Four years of the Club is amazing and we have come so far. We have listened to what the start-ups need and adjusted accordingly to meet their needs.
‘The event is all about the start-ups, and to have Guy, who has a wealth of experience working in all different businesses is a unique benefit to the start-ups and shows the support Chelsea gives this programme.’
Click to learn more about the work of the Foundation and Edge of the Box Club, or follow us on Twitter @CFCFoundation.
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