• Laura Symmons

Meet Florence, social business owner

Launch It have started the second round of their exciting Opportunity Fund project, supported by Blagrave Trust and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.


The innovative project provides training, mentoring, a grant and a monthly salary to cover living costs of young people wishing to start and grow a business with social impact.

8 young entrepreneurs across the UK will soon be learning the ins and outs of starting a business through intensive bootcamp training regular virtual meet ups with a Launch It business advisor.


Meet Florence, one of the group, who is excited to learn what it takes to be successful in business, whilst making a positive impact on the planet.


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I’m Florence Wildblood; I’m 24 and live in Angel, in London. Since graduating from my English degree at UCL this time last year, I’ve been working as a journalist – primarily covering green business and tech – and running Ours to Save on the side.


''Sometimes being a young founder feels like a total leap in the dark, so being able to share opportunities and chat through highs and lows with other people in the same boat will be transformative.''

I started Ours to Save with my partner while studying for my finals in April 2020. I had taken a year out of university at 22 due to physical health challenges, and subsequently developed a severe anxiety disorder. Though I’ve been on medication for over a year now and consider myself fairly recovered, this period of time had a lasting impact. I felt I was playing catch-up, and also needed some kind of creative outlet to keep my illness at bay as the global pandemic began. So Ours to Save was born..


Ours to Save is a media startup that makes it easier to engage with the climate crisis. We harness the power of technology and community to tell stories from around the world – bridging four core themes: innovation, power, conservation and inspiration.


This week, we covered the UK’s £1.5B Green Homes Grant Scheme – which has just been scrapped because of a shortage of skilled green workers. We also looked at how an Indian charity is creating solar-powered artificial reefs, speeding up coral regrowth and safeguarding marine biodiversity.


We have vibrant communities on Instagram and Twitter, and a number of paying subscribers, whose support we rely on to pay those that write for us. We also work with and train volunteers across the world, who are just starting to get into journalism or want to stay environmentally engaged alongside other work.


Ours to Save has grown massively since I set it up with my partner this time last year, but we were so lucky to find Launch It and the Opportunity Fund when we did. With their guaranteed financial backing and mentorship for the next 18 months, I feel ready to level up and make Ours to Save much more than a side hustle.


Thanks to the training and resources provided by Launch It, we’ll be investing in product development and marketing, and commissioning more writers and creatives. We launched with an interactive, crowdsourced map of climate action – which we’re hoping to bring back, bigger and better. We’ll keep social and environmental impact at the heart of what we do, and focus primarily on producing truthful and empowering journalism.


Looking ahead to two weeks of training sessions on everything from resilience to e-commerce, I’m excited to develop my business know-how. I’m a writer first and foremost, so this is a much-needed opportunity to diversify my skill set for the good of the business.


I’m looking forward to getting to know the rest of the cohort – who are doing such innovative things, across a real variety of industries. Sometimes being a young founder feels like a total leap in the dark, so being able to share opportunities and chat through highs and lows with other people in the same boat will be transformative.

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