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Capital at risk
Capital at risk
Director guaranteed
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Minimum investment is £100
Total return
Monthly repayments

Offering strong vocational qualifications alongside real hands-on experience, Employ My Ability enables those with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) to develop vital skills, expertise and confidence in the work world. Students are taught how to work in environments such as hospitality, horticultural and retail facilities. Our students are often overlooked and our aim is to ensure that they are integrated into their local community through employment. The funds raised for this campaign will go towards retail development, making improvements in their cafe and e-commerce.

Integrating our overlooked community back into the work environment.

Founded in 2013 by professionals who are highly experienced with children and adults, our business has been growing to help the SEND community integrate into the work environment. Our love and passion for this community continuously evolve and we are keen on ensuring that we help them thrive in society. Our aim is to equip them with social and communication skills in sectors such as hospitality, horticultural and retail facilities.

We are based in two locations, The Walled Garden, Moreton and at the Thorngrove Garden Centre in Gillingham, Dorset. The Walled Garden is a beautiful five-acre landscape close to the historic market town of Dorchester and situated on the River Frome. Our curriculum is shaped around the environment, which is home to The Dovecote Café, Formal gardens, Kitchen garden, Animal and family area and the Garden Shop. All of our students complete functional, vocational and Recognising and Recording Progress Achievement and Destination (RARPAD) qualifications. These are all complemented by the real working environment that they are part of. In our Thorngrove Garden Centre location, sitting at the heart of Gillingham, we have a Secret Garden Café, a re-vamped Garden Centre shop, and have created modern teaching spaces. This sweet location also offers RARPAD qualifications and our students participate in our key operations, the café, garden centre, plant nursery and glasshouses. All of our cafés and gardens are open to the public, which makes great practice for our students, enabling them to regularly interact with the public. With visitors, tourists and regular customers being drawn to both our sites throughout the year, we set high expectations, standards of service and consequential learning is experienced throughout.

Employ My Ability also offers therapy, these being, CBT, Drama Therapy, and Speech Therapy. During CBT, our specialists help our students talk through their problems and help them find ways of dealing with them through their thinking. In Drama Therapy, our specialists help students gain personal insight through re-enacting their personal stories through drama production. This enables them to achieve improved interpersonal communication skills. With Language and Speech Therapy, we help students overcome any
psychological barriers that can arise as a result of social anxiety or other external factors.

We offer offsite help with a team of professionals working virtually and our on-site team are is now in full flow.

This has been a great experience so far, and we cannot wait for many more experiences. We are constantly learning as a team and hope that you can be a part of our journey. The funds raised for this campaign will go towards retail development, making improvements in their cafe and e-commerce.

Three days after lockdown Employ Our Ability was able to provide remote teaching and was able to teach on-site again in week three. They also continued operating in their garden centre, selling over the phone and developing out e-commerce quickly. They even had a home delivery service running from the second week. They were quickly able to adapt their services to continue helping vulnerable students in the SEND community.

Credit Commentary:
The directors have a previous businesses in liquidation (where the shortfall appears to be relatively small) and this has been approved as an exception to the policy. The business has an EBITDA of over 400K, low gearing, and good creditor days. The bank statements show substantial receipts from local authorities and demonstrate affordability for a loan. The directors are providing a personal guarantee, this means that if the business fails the directors become personally liable for the loan. The directors are homeowners, however this does not ensure there are sufficient assets should the loan need to be recovered. There have been no CCJs for the business or directors.


Business keeps the raised amount even if target is not met.
Loan - product type
£ 64k
£ 65k
Est close date
Funded 2 years ago in 2 days

Where will the funds go?

Develop retail space
Make improvements to cafe

Key people

Stephen James White

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Business brand

Dorchester, UK

"Integrating our overlooked community back into the work environment."

9 years, 11 months
Credit risk indicator

Risk warning

Past performance and forecasts are not reliable indicators of future results. Your capital invested is not covered for compensation in the event of a loss by the FSCS. Tax treatment will depend on the individual circumstances and may be subject to change. Please see our Risk section before making an investment decision.