New boost with Delta for Foundation start-up club

Today (Tuesday) marked the two-year anniversary of the Chelsea Foundation’s Edge of the Box Club and it was celebrated in style with Delta Air Lines unveiled as the programme’s new sponsor.

To date, more than 2,000 people have attended the business start-up club which aims to support entrepreneurs and job seekers who are looking to start a company.

The new and exciting partnership will help grow and support the Foundation-run programme, which from now on will be known as the Edge of the Box Club presented by Delta Air Lines. It also showcases Delta Air Lines’ commitment to the London community, while benefiting the start-up scene and the education of job seekers wishing to become entrepreneurs.

Today’s event was attended by more than 100 job seekers, people looking to start-up businesses and business mentors as well as Delta Air Lines director of international finance, Sumanth Rao.

Speaking at the event he said: ‘Here at Delta, education is really key for us and is one of the areas in which we like to support and it is a way for us to give back to the communities that we serve. The Edge of the Box Club fits well with our goal of giving back and being involved in our communities.

‘I think start-ups are extremely difficult and there are so many aspects to a start-up and so any support that they can get from business leaders and from the Chelsea Foundation is going to be extremely beneficial.’

The event also celebrated the programme’s two-year anniversary, and among the guest lecturers at Stamford Bridge was Michelle Dewberry who became the first female winner of TV programme The Apprentice back in 2006.

She said: ‘Football has the ability to bring a lot of people together and for Chelsea to use their brand to do something like this is brilliant. Events like this are essential for anyone who wants to set up a business because you can get actual advice, you can network, get new connections, it helps with your confidence and you can also learn lessons from people who have been doing what you are trying to do.

‘I’ve been self-employed since way before winning The Apprentice and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and I came today to share my journey right from the beginning to the end.’ 

 Pictured from left to right: Sumanth Rao (Delta), Lucia Asanache (Google Garage), Michelle Dewberry (First female winner of The apprentice), Carl Southwell.

The opportunity to use the global brand of Chelsea FC to enable local people to start businesses and learn about innovation has proven to be very successful, with the club also managing to collaborate with the government’s New Enterprise Allowance to enable the early start-ups to access funding and mentoring.                                                                              

Chelsea Foundation employability and enterprise manager Carl Southwell said: ‘Today was a bit of a celebration but also an opportunity to help a lot of start-ups. Two thousand people have gone through the programme in two years and so today was all about those guys.

‘There were guest speakers, opportunities to network, an opportunity to innovate and collaborate and also an opportunity to feel a sense of belonging as it can be very lonely when you are starting up.’

He added: ‘We’ve now got the opportunity to work with Delta Air Lines, a huge brand and so they’ve been here today to talk about how they are thinking like a start-up and how they need to innovate to stay ahead of the competition. It was refreshing for the audience and what Delta allow us to do is engage with more start-ups and engage with them more regularly.

‘It’s a great opportunity to help more start-ups and all the help these guys need, they will take. Now they feel comfortable, they trust the brand of Chelsea, Delta Air Lines and the Edge of the Box Club, it will have a real impact for them.’