Press Release

Growth Impact Fund backs Genius Within's mission to empower the UK’s Neurodivergent workforce

Growth Impact Fund, developed by Big Issue Invest and UnLtd, announces its first debt investment of £500,000 in Genius Within

Today (Wednesday 13th March) the Growth Impact Fund (GIF), a social impact investment fund developed by Big Issue Invest (BIIFM) and UnLtd, targeted at £25 million to help underrepresented social entrepreneurs across the UK, announces its first debt deal of £500,000 in Genius Within. 

The funding will help Genius Within, a specialist employment and training provider, support neurodivergent people into employment and help them to work best when employed. In the UK, it is estimated that over 15% of the population are neurodiverse, with 40% of neurodiverse employees reporting to be impacted most days in the workplace by their condition.

Founded in 2011 by Dr Nancy Doyle – also a visiting Professor to Birkbeck College, University of London – the organisation has supported over 24,000 people in the last 12 months. With a dyslexic CEO and a leadership team comprising 67% neurominorities, Genius Within co-produces services that blend lived experiences with the expertise of psychologists, workplace coaches, and HR practitioners.       

The investment from the Growth Impact Fund, will specifically be used to support the development of Genius Finder™, a proprietary strengths-based assessment platform, which has been designed to support neurodivergent individuals, and the organisations that they work for, and explores the most common work-related strengths and struggles. The platform presents a cost-effective solution to understanding the most effective reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

Aaron, who successfully found employment after working with Genius Within, was helped by Genius Within’s Genius Finder™ and said: “We (my coach Leanne and I) completed the Genius Finder™ to get to know me as an individual. Identifying my strengths and looking at aspects that I can do well but looking to improve. This was then generated into a report which was sent to me. We then discussed the report as this was going to influence our following sessions. Based on the report, Leanne gave me a range of topics for us to cover in each session. I chose ‘Time Management’, ‘Organisation’, ‘Stress Management’, and concluded on ‘Affirmation’ and ‘Interview Skills’, which I think tied in nicely.”

Jacqui Wallis, CEO of Genius Within said: “At Genius Within our goal is to show employers what systemic inclusion looks like for neurodivergent people and to help them achieve that. With over a decade working one-on-one and in groups with clients, and consulting with businesses of all sizes, we identified a common set of issues wherever we went. We created the Genius Finder™ tool to signpost solutions, remove barriers, and bring immediate accessible help to more workplaces. This investment from the Growth Impact Fund will allow us to think big, scale up our delivery, whilst remaining true to our core mission to maximise the potential of all neurodivergent people, and the organisations that employ them.  Working with the Growth Impact Fund is an excellent opportunity and we have great respect for the work they are doing in the social justice space.”

Sarah Faber, Investment Director for the Fund, at Big Issue Invest, said: “Genius Within is a testament to the unique insights and expertise that entrepreneurs with lived experience possess in relation to their work. We’re extremely proud to support Genius Within to further develop the GeniusFunder Pro through this investment.”

Social enterprises interested in the Growth Impact Fund can visit growthimpactfund.org.uk to learn more and register their interest or email enquiriesGIF@bigissueinvest.com

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