Why Smith & Williamson are on board The Entrepreneur Ship

Nick Travis

Smith & Williamson | Head of Entrepreneurs

13th December 2021



The Entrepreneur Ship is underway, crossing the Atlantic in aid of supporting social entrepreneurs to thrive. As they hit the start line, we hear from Nick Travis at Smith & Williamson, a major sponsor of the row, about why they've chosen to support this important cause.

There's a challenge to becoming an entrepreneur that very few people talk about and that's fear. Starting a business is not for everyone, so what characteristics does it take? I think most would agree that resilience, bravery, tenacity and an appetite for the unknown.

Having worked with many entrepreneurs as Head of Entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson, I have seen and experienced these traits first-hand. We work with entrepreneurs at every stage of the business lifecycle. We champion and promote entrepreneurship focusing our energy on aspirational and growing businesses whose founders want to succeed and make a difference.

Over the years we have seen a rise in the number of entrepreneurs putting impact at the heart of their business. Good business and good causes have for too long and too often been seen as distinct. It seems that the world is shifting its focus and that good business really is good for business.

But while Environmental, Social and Governance commitments might be becoming more important to customers, some of the most important innovations are coming from those who are using business to tackle entrenched social problems. Some of the most exciting and impactful businesses emerging today are reshaping the world's view of profit and purpose, proving social entrepreneurship is critical as we look to the future.

Smith and Williamson have supported many social entrepreneurs including:


  • Alex Stephany, Founder of Beam, runs the world's first crowdfunding platform for homeless people. Funded by the Mayor of London and the UK's leading tech entrepreneurs, Beam has proven a powerful new model, helping homeless people back into work.
  • Fran Boorman, Founder of Goal 17 runs a mentor training company pairing corporate mentors with homeless people or vulnerable young people helping to close the gaps in society. On top of that, they also donate 50% of all their training programme profits to their sporting charity partners.

And since an idea is only as good as the people and structures around it, it's clear we need to support emergent and support social entrepreneurs, helping to turn their expertise, talent and ideas into thriving businesses.

Taking those admirable traits of resilience and tenacity, combined with the motivation of fear driving our entrepreneurs, it is no surprise that we often see entrepreneurs pursuing extraordinary challenges away from their businesses.

Our very own Guy Rigby (Chair of Entrepreneurial Services at Smith & Williamson), alongside his rowing partner, David Murray, set off yesterday on their very own record-breaking challenge, rowing across the Atlantic, and if they succeed, becoming the oldest pair to ever row any ocean.

Aptly named The Entrepreneur Ship, Guy and David are fundraising for UnLtd. It was only fitting that we got behind this challenge as principal sponsor and we are so proud of the achievement Guy and David have made so far. The current fundraising total stands at £500,000 and we hope, as Guy and David are now on the water, we will see an increase in donations not only for the epic challenge they are facing over the next three months, but also for UnLtd so they can continue to help vital businesses, creating change in their local communities, succeed.

To donate to this fantastic cause, please visit their Crowdfunder

Guy and David feature in the latest edition of Smith & Williamsons Enterprise magazine along with other adventurous entrepreneurs who too have taken on extreme challenges of their own, including South Pole expeditions and running 40 marathons in 40 days.

How Smith & Williamson support entrepreneurs

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