Broadcaster and food writer Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall today presented a cheque for £40,290 to Andrew Denham of The Bicycle Academy, at River Cottage HQ, in Axminster.
The money was raised in an amazing 6 days, through website Peoplefund.it and is thought to be the fastest ‘crowd-funded’ enterprise in the UK.
Fledgling enterprise, The Bicycle Academy, asked the public to back them on the new website developed by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s team.
The money was badly needed to establish an innovative bicycle building academy, teaching students how to construct bike frames which will then be distributed across Africa through partner charities. The bikes can help provide a vital transport link to food, water and education.
The academy were thrilled when they hit their target. Andrew Denham, founder and organiser says, ‘ It's fantastic to be presented with this cheque by Hugh. We owe a very big thanks to Peoplefund.it and the people who backed us. We’ve been working towards this for some time, so it’s a great feeling knowing that we’ll definitely be setting it all up as planned. The response to our Peoplefund campaign has been overwhelming.”
Peoplefund.it enables people with a potentially game-changing business idea to ask the general public for the funding they need to set up or expand. The business sets a target for the money it wants to raise and explains how it will use the cash. People can then make pledges for small amounts of money in return for a ‘reward’ if the target is reached.
Nick Underhill, Peoplefund.it says ‘It’s a simple, powerful idea. Great ideas can come from anywhere - as long as they might just change the world. Pledges start at £1 and money doesn’t leave anyone’s account until the target is raised. We are looking for good ideas that may just make a global difference and we want to empower people to take positive action.’
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef, campaigner, broadcaster and director of Keo Films (the team who have created Peoplefund.it) says, “The success of our Fish Fight, Landshare, and Chicken Out campaigns have shown that solutions and impetus often come from grass roots collective action, and have the power to effect more remarkable change than we really ever imagined. Peoplefund.it builds on that momentum and gives people the means to take their ideas forward. We want it to be a fantastic tool for entrepreneurs and idealists who capture the popular imagination.”
Peoplefund.it might just change the world…