Unreasonable Impact

A collaboration between Barclays and Unreasonable Group

A partnership unlike any other

Supporting high-growth entrepreneurs to create the jobs of tomorrow
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The Problem

By 2020, it is estimated that the global economy will need 212 million new jobs in order to accommodate current unemployment, supplement projected job loss resulting from automated industries, and provide opportunities for the next generation.

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The Solution

Barclays and Unreasonable Group have partnered to launch Unreasonable Impact, the world’s first international network of accelerators focused on scaling up entrepreneurial solutions that will help employ thousands worldwide while solving some of our most pressing societal challenges.

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The Programmes

Unreasonable Impact is a series of programmes held in select geographies across the world that support the scale of growth-stage ventures by providing entrepreneurs with the resources, mentorship, and global network of support that they need to rapidly create jobs and address key global issues.

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Impact Scaled

Unreasonable Group and Barclays have built Unreasonable Impact to support companies positioned to create 500+ jobs each over the next five years. Unreasonable Impact will become an R&D engine, helping address the global unemployment crisis by scaling up entrepreneurs worldwide.

Asia Pacific Programme

May 2017

UK Programme

November 2017

US Programme

October 2017

Why have you created Unreasonable Impact?

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), within the next four years the global economy will need 212 million new jobs in order to accommodate people who are currently unemployed, to supplement projected job loss resulting from automated industries, and to provide opportunities for the next generation. Similarly, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has determined that almost a quarter of the world’s young people are economically inactive. Something has to change.

Barclays and Unreasonable believe the solution to help alleviate global unemployment lies in supporting and scaling high-growth entrepreneurs as job creators. The ILO calculates that small and medium-sized enterprises account for two-thirds of all jobs worldwide. By supporting entrepreneurs who have developed scalable solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, we will not only help scale up technologies that address significant societal and environmental issues, but we will in turn be helping to accelerate the creation of thousands of new jobs. This is what we like to refer to as “Unreasonable Impact.”

How does this fit into Barclays’ broader work around creating lasting positive impact?

Unreasonable Impact is a key element of Barclays’ Citizenship activities. Barclays understands the critical role that banking can play as an enabler of social and economic progress, growth and development. Barclays’ 2016-2018 Citizenship plan, the Shared Growth Ambition, is focused on creating a virtuous link between the bank’s own success and society’s progress. Shared Growth is a strategic framework for how Barclays drives both commercial and societal benefits and is focused on supporting access to employment and digital empowerment. Unreasonable Impact supports entrepreneurs in creating the jobs of tomorrow whilst also helping to address global societal and environmental challenges.

How have you picked which companies go onto the programme?

Each company must be focused on solving a pressing societal and/or environmental challenge and have a solution that can scale. The programme selects ventures that demonstrate potential to introduce at least 500 jobs each over the next five years. Whether the ventures are creating jobs directly through new employment opportunities, or indirectly through the industries they build and the inventions they introduce that enable more people to enter the workplace, each company selected is oriented around job creation.

Unreasonable Impact also targets high-growth companies ready to scale. To source these companies, Unreasonable Impact works with a highly-developed network of mentors, funders, partners and entrepreneurs to vet, handpick, and selectively invite company CEOs to attend the programme. The programme selection committee then evaluates the company’s ability to scale exponentially, their value alignment with the programme, and the capability of the product or service to both solve social and environmental problems and spur job growth. After multiple rounds of interviews, a final cohort of select entrepreneurs is welcomed into the programme.

What’s in it for Barclays and Unreasonable?

Barclays is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and their ventures worldwide by providing a range of services that can support businesses at every key stage of their development – from start-up, to scale-up, to IPO. Barclays believes that as one of the world’s largest banks, it is uniquely positioned to support today’s fastest growing entrepreneurs, who are also rapidly creating the jobs of tomorrow. Unreasonable Impact is a key element of Barclays’ support for the entrepreneurial community.

Unreasonable Group’s mission is to be the most effective platform in the world for entrepreneurs solving key global issues (i.e. ensuring renewable energy reaches the 1.3 billion people currently without electricity, reimagining the future of healthcare, or addressing the global unemployment crisis, etc.). Unreasonable Impact, created with Barclays, is an aligned partnership designed to specifically support high-growth entrepreneurs positioned to solve the grand challenges of our time while creating the jobs of tomorrow. Together, Barclays and Unreasonable will seek to transform the seemingly intractable problem of global unemployment into an opportunity to build new sustainable industries and spur the creation of thousands of jobs.

What does life at the programme look like?

The daily structure of a two-week Unreasonable Impact programme is designed to help each of the participating entrepreneurs achieve breakthrough realisations faster. This is achieved by uniting attending CEOs with a targeted group of serial entrepreneurs, funders, and global experts in a close community bound by a remote sense of place, and dedication to supporting entrepreneurs in overcoming any obstacles to scale. Daily life at a programme is centred around a belief that business is fundamentally about people, partnerships, and relationships. Given the selected ventures are at a high-growth rather than early-stage in their company’s development, their needs are often precise and specific to their team and business model. We identify their specific needs and connect them with world-class mentors, leaders, and specialists who have been specifically brought into the programme based on the aspirations of the participating entrepreneurs. In doing so, our programmes create the conditions for attending CEOs to solve their key challenges in real time among a community of world-renowned leaders.

The structure of each day is fluid and allows us to be agile and develop the programme based off of the real-time needs and feedback of participating entrepreneurs. That said, a standard day involves opportunities to schedule conversations with mentors, multiple small-group rapid ideation sessions, occasional workshops, and ample time specifically designed for the entrepreneurs to continue to manage their companies while they are out of the office.

How will Barclays and Unreasonable determine if this initiative is successful?

Number of net new jobs created Unreasonable and Barclays are looking to support companies positioned to catalyse the creation of 500 jobs each within the next five years. We will track this across participating companies and emerging industries that result from developed innovations. We will measure to what degree, within five years, companies who participated in our inaugural programmes have reached this target.

Scaling Faster Annually, the programme will monitor participating companies’ scale and growth in revenue, profits, customer/user reach, financing, team size, and geographic expansion. The goal is to see that a CEO’s involvement in this programme has radically accelerated growth across these five key business performance indicators compared with similarly sized peers.

Scaling Impact Ultimately, Unreasonable and Barclays are striving to build and support the most effective portfolio of entrepreneurial-led companies focused on solving key social and environmental challenges. We will determine success by tracking participating companies’ impact on the environmental and social problem they set out to address, whether that is lack of access to clean water or adequate healthcare.

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