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 contacts or confidence. That’s why we started Visionnaires – to help more people turn their idea into a successful business.

Like all new businesses, we started as an idea in 2018. Pablo Lloyd OBE is an entrepreneur who builds social enterprises in the education sector. When a much-loved member of his family died, 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 and run a business.

He discussed it with as many people as would listen, including Roy O’Shaughnessy, CEO at Capital City College Group, a College and Charity responsible for 37,000 students. Roy and the Group’s Board of Governors also wanted to help more students become entrepreneurs, so Pablo joined the group in 2019 to work on this together.

The next step was to talk to customers, the students of Capital City College Group. Discussing the initial ideas for branding with a business studies class revealed some sharp feedback – ‘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 seminar with 100 students was held in our Tottenham Centre in May 2019 with six entrepreneurs: from left to right Hayden Taylor (Unloc), Pablo Lloyd (Visionnaires), Vanessa Dawson (WorldSkills UK Champion), Franklin Boateng (King of Trainers), Colin Shepherd (Tree Shepherd) and Kaja Choma (WorldSkills UK Champion).

The first programmes and mentoring sessions for adults ran in June & July 2019. The July Visionnaires seen here with their completion certificates, and, on the far left, Facilitation Partner Robert Sadler-Brocklehurst of DDR Learning.

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

We now have a community of hundreds of Visionnaires who attend programmes through live webinars, plus seminars, mentoring sessions and access to the marketplace and other digital resources.

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

I have always wanted to start a business but had absolutely no idea where to start. This has given me a push in the right direction and confidence to get going with my idea.

Carolyn, Visionnaire

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