Transformational Enterprise Network was founded in November 2020 and registered as a CIO in June 2021. We are so thankful to God - and our members and partners - for a remarkable first year.
See above to download the formal 2021 Report and Accounts.
What its all about
Our prime aim is to develop enterprise-based solutions to poverty, taking an approach that is:
- sustainable (not long term dependent on donations)
- builds dignity and self esteem
- avoids creating a dependency culture.
This is achieved by growing a community of members who share a common Christian faith, have a desire to alleviate poverty, are willing to work on a pro bono basis, and are accountable to each other through small groups.
It has become apparent that there are two types of project:
1 Those identified by TEN (such as TANU and Nyero, see below), where we invite members to engage as mentors, advisors, trainers, investors, etc.
2 Projects set up by members, where TEN provides accountability, prayer support and specialist advice from members identified through the members’ directory. Examples include Transcend, an impact business in Bethlehem, aiming to provide jobs and skills and model integrity and gender equality, currently employing 170 staff; Green Pastures, providing homes for the homeless in the UK, currently with 1300 tenants; Just Earth, which has provided agricultural training for over 3000 farmers in Kenya, increasing yields 3-8 fold. Experience
Although new, TEN is adapted from the Transformational Business Network (TBN) model. TBN was founded 20 years ago and now runs business start-up programmes in Africa and Asia. However, TBN has been ‘mothballed’ in the UK, and the TEN founder Jerry Marshall, who led TBN 2008-2012, was encouraged to set up a new organisation with TBN’s blessing. TEN was launched following research among former TBN members conducted in July 2020.
Executive Director Jerry Marshall works on a pro bono basis. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded a wide range of successful business and social enterprises, including Transcend (see above) and CITEE, which helped long term unemployed people in Coventry build self-esteem and find work. A Cambridge economics graduate and marketing professional, he was CEO of the Arthur Rank Centre 2012-2018, where he developed a business start-up programme which became a Cinnamon Recognised project. He is on the Spirit of Enterprise Advisory Council.
Costs and finances
First year finances
There are no staff costs so overheads are very low. First year report and accounts for the period to 31.12.2021 are being finalised. Income was £15k, from membership fees, donations and fees for a retreat. Funds carried forward are approximately £2k after providing small grants totalling £9k.
“Mind Your Own Business”
A particular asset for TEN is the “Mind Your Own Business” (MYOB) business start-up workbook and templates.
The MYOB book... is simply amazing! Such a wealth of knowledge communicated easily for entrepreneurs starting out (Financial professional, Uganda)
"I really like your MYOB workbook – I must have read quite a lot of these over the years and yours is excellent, comprehensive, easily understood and up to date" (Business advisor, UK)
First Year Achievements
TEN had had a remarkable first year. Members have benefited from this website, which includes restricted access areas like directories for members; monthly eNews and Zoom gatherings; an accountability group; a LinkedIn page; and a 24-hour retreat with 20 members at Launde Abbey, described as a “Friendly, open, honest meeting of like-minded people in a lovely environment".
As well as registering as a CIO and setting up a Board, we appointed a Patron, Lord Michael Hastings.
These have included the following.
Running MYOB courses on Zoom, for potential entrepreneurs and for potential trainers. The course was also run by a TEN member in South Africa and was positively received, and a variant used in Uganda.
Supported two different vocational training organisations, TANU and Nyero, in Teso Province, the poorest part of Uganda. We provided:
- Grants for solar power, computers, router, security fencing, and shipping cost of tools from “Tools with a Mission”
- Mentors for the founder directors
- A 5-day business start-up training for students
- £2k in grants to enable these organisations to provide interest free one-year start-up loans for five businesses
- The costs for building a skills centre and latrines.
A £2k loan was provided for a Ginger and Turmeric growing project in Malawi.
Assisted members on impact investment (no recommendations).
We are a niche player in poverty alleviation so the expectation was never to be a large organisation with many staff. But we do want to be a serious, professional organisation able to “punch above our weight”, respond quickly to opportunities and offer a loving community for members.
Over the next three years these are the priorities being discussed with trustees. We are seeking funding from grant making trusts.
1 Building long term sustainability
For TEN to outlive the current team, we need to be in a position to hire at least a part time administrator, and pay expenses, fundraising costs and for an independent examiner. We aim to increase income to around £100k, with at least a third from membership and other regular donations. This will require around 200 paying members (and a further 200 subscribers). The balance of funding would come from grant making trusts, events, sponsorship, and (in due course) legacies.
2 Increasing Impact
- Create new versions of “Mind Your Own Business” – an interactive version for Africa and an App version
- Do more to encourage and support members with their own projects or to be involved in TEN–led projects.
- Seek further funds for business start-up loans.
- Decide how to measure and record impact.
3 Growing Community
- Create further Zoom small accountability groups.
- If and when appropriate, create interest-based groups connecting on WhatsApp and / or in-person; groups based on where members live, or country of interest, or type of enterprise.
- Hold annual retreats.
However things progress, there is a sense of God's presence and blessing. Thanks to everyone who has been part of this journey together.