Company Name: Beam
Founder: Alex Stephany
Business: Beam has created a highly-innovative long-solution to tackling homelessness. The startup is the very first global crowdfunding platform whose main focus is to support homeless people by getting them into training and into the workforce. Beam works on the principle that providing donations are far more effective in helping keep people off the streets if they are put into a fund to help them into training and employment.
Founder Alex Stephany launched the platform in 2017, wanting to create a change in perspective as to how homeless people are often seen as: an object of pity, by giving people the opportunity to fund and invest in their future instead.
Prior to starting the business, Stephany, who is based in London, ran a parking startup called JustPark, which he is still a part of as a Board Advisor. It was at JustPark that he got his first taste for crowdfunding: he led a record-breaking equity crowdfunding round that was the largest round for a startup in history. He is also on the board of Spacehive, which is another crowdfunding platform focused on civic improvements.
Beam works by partnering with charities and homeless organisations that recommend people, usually living in temporary accommodation, directly to Beam who hope to get into skilled work but require training. When Beam has raised enough money through crowdfunding, the member is able to start their training.
Each person is provided with a caseworker, who is a trained professional that provides support to the person in training up until they get into work. However, once the member goes into work, Beam does check-ins with them for the first 26 weeks in order to make sure they are happy in their work and that they are settling in well.