Our Story

If you have a business idea, you are a Visionnaire

‘If you have a business idea, you are a Visionnaire’

Lisa, Student

Most people want to start their own business one day, but too many hold back on a good idea through lack of confidence or access to expertise. That’s why we started Visionnaires –  to help more new businesses succeed.

This is how we started.

Pablo Lloyd is an entrepreneur who builds social enterprises in the education sector. A much-loved member of his family died in 2018 and it reminded him that life is too short to leave good ideas on the shelf. This inspired him to work out how to help more people start a business and discussed it with as many people as would listen.

One of those people was Roy O’Shaughnessy, CEO at Capital City College Group, a College and Charity responsible for 30,000 students. Roy and the Group’s Board of Governors also wanted to help more students become entrepreneurs, so Pablo joined the group to work on this together.

Soon afterwards, Pablo asked a class of business students about his branding ideas. The feedback wasn’t good – ‘those are names my dad would come up with’ – but one of the students, Lisa, said ‘call it Visionnaires, if you have a business idea, you are a Visionnaire’. Everyone loved it and we’ve been Visionnaires ever since.

The first programmes were held in our Tottenham Centre in early 2019. Our first group of inspirational speakers and mentors included Franklin Boateng, Colin Crooks MBE, Kaja Choma, Vanessa Dawson, Arit Eminue, Jason Holt CBE, Rev Nims Obunge, Damian Reeve, Sharon Saxton and Hayden Taylor.

‘There are always tasks you don’t want to do when you start a business. Do two or three every day, like brushing your teeth. Small actions lead to big results’

Arit, Mentor

‘Get help to build your confidence and courage. Work out the best and worst that might happen, then leap!’

Jason, Mentor

Within 18 months, 200 Visionnaires had experienced our programmes. There are now over 100 people involved in delivering, mentoring & supporting our work for new Visionnaires joining every month. If you want help with your small business or business idea, have a look at our programmes.

It’s better than other programmes I’ve done, the structure is clear and the facilitators really know what they are talking about

Gloria, Visionnaire
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