A Warwickshire entrepreneur is helping start-up and scale-up businesses to grow after receiving support to get his own idea off the ground.
Warwick-based Clive Bawden developed Governance360, a digital toolkit that helps leaders in small companies and charities ensure they have the necessary processes in place to secure growth, mitigate risks and run their boards effectively.
The company has already landed projects with 10×10 – a leading business accelerator programme, Loughborough University and Leicester Start-ups Festival assisting with potentially high-growth, start-up businesses. Governance360 was also the only West Midlands based business to reach the 2021 finals of TechNation’s Rising Stars awards.
The Governance360 platform started life as a portal product called BoardSecure which focussed principally on charities and their trustees.
But, after receiving advice and support from the University of Warwick Science Park’s Business Ready programme during the pandemic, Clive developed the business further to offer a fully digital platform which enables businesses, from pre-start to scale-up to learn, manage and embed strong processes, gain confidence in their governance and form good habits from day one.
The platform includes everything from training directors and trustees through to ensuring key business information is shared safely and securely through a board portal.
As well as receiving direct mentoring from Business Ready’s Luke Pulford, the business recently closed a small private funding round and secured significant grant funding.
Business Ready is a programme that delivers support to expanding businesses which is managed by the business support team at the University of Warwick Science Park, and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Warwickshire County Council as part of the CW Business: Start, Grow & Scale Programme.
Clive said: “With the uncertainty that Covid caused within our initial target market, charities, we needed to re-consider our initial strategy last summer and consider a pivot. After meeting with Business Ready, we saw we could pivot towards companies by developing our toolkit further, and it’s already gaining really good traction.
“We’ve already landed our first contracts and to have been a regional finalist in the TechNation Awards is very prestigious and a real feather in the cap for Governance360.
“Ultimately, we are here as a service to businesses and charities that are just too small to have strong governance processes in place, which could really hamper their opportunities to grow.
“I’ve seen throughout my career that without strong processes in place, the opportunity to grow a business can be hampered, and in the worse cases as families or directors fall-out or fail to comply with basic legislation, businesses fail entirely. Board meetings, board processes and compliance can be dull – but they need to be more effective, efficient and impactful for a business to grow properly and that is the pain we aim to address.
“Our platform is easy to use and helps leaders to concentrate on doing what they do best – growing their business, knowing that Governance360 has got their back.”
Matthew Lawrence, of Business Ready, said: “The global pandemic has affected businesses in a myriad of ways and, in many cases, they’ve had to completely changed focus.
“It’s been great to work with Clive Bawden to support that pivot towards Governance360 and it is already seeing success.
“As an organisation that helps so many businesses through the start-up and scale-up phases, we know the exact market that Clive is aiming for because we have seen in real life the very problems this platform can solve.”