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London, United Kingdom (HQ)


Supporting Female Entrepreneurs and Minority Founders

The Hatch Enterprise Way

You may remember our earlier article featuring Hatch Enterprise - if you haven't read it yet, you should

I recently got a chance to sit down with Anu Chandy who not only is a programme manager at Hatch but also runs her own business selling luxury vegan candles. I wanted to find out a bit more about not only Hatch's mission and what you read online but also to get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes of this successful enterprise.

How does Hatch Enterprise empower entrepreneurs, especially women and underrepresented groups?

Hatch is a charity that supports underrepresented entrepreneurs from across the UK to imagine, launch, and grow businesses that are sustainable, successful, and have a positive and lasting impact on their communities.

We help founders from underrepresented backgrounds, such as women and those from other marginalised genders, disabled entrepreneurs, and founders from an ethnic minority to bridge the opportunity gap so everyone has the chance to realise their potential and start a business that benefits them, their communities and society.

To date, we have supported nearly 7,800 people through our programmes and events. Last year nearly 18% of founders on a cohort programme were disabled or neurodiverse; 84% were women or other marginalised genders; 64% were from an ethnic minority and 80% were running businesses with a social or environmental impact. In 2022 we set up a fund to provide early-stage grants to Hatch graduates, as access to funding is one of the greatest barriers they encounter.

The cohort programmes that Hatch offers - Launchpad, Incubator, Accelerator and Deep Dives - cover idea and start-up stage through to growing and scaling a business. Every programme is co-designed with founders, meaning the experience of every cohort of founders is tailored to that specific group’s needs, allowing them to tackle their most pressing business challenges.

Hatch female entrepreneur 2

Tell us about your role as a Programme Manager at Hatch Enterprise. What exciting or meaningful projects have you worked on?

My main role is to manage the recruitment of founders for our programmes - I absolutely love it because it gives me the opportunity to meet so many incredible people who are doing very inspiring work. It's also been great to see how much Hatch has grown over the past 2 years I've been here. In 2022 we set up a fund to provide early-stage grants to Hatch graduates, as access to funding is one of the greatest barriers they encounter. We're also collaborating with some really cool organisations and widening our ecosystem.

What else do you love about working at Hatch Enterprise?

In addition to the overarching mission, I've found it really inspiring to meet female founders from my own background successfully managing their own businesses and establishing meaningful connections with them. Hatch has been really supportive of my own personal business endeavours as well. For instance, last Christmas, I ran a candle making workshop and market events, which was such a valuable learning experience for me.

The work environment is very flexible too. You're really encouraged to explore projects that you're interested in, and it's quite rare to find a place where taking time off for your well-being is not only acceptable but also encouraged. It really feels like you can fit work around your life a bit more and people are a lot more honest and open about very human moments in life they're going through. Most importantly, the team here is amazing! I've made some great friendships, and it's clear that people genuinely care about the mission and everyone is always willing to support and offer guidance.

Failure often leads to great lessons. Can you share with us any challenges faced on the job that taught you something unexpected?

Not particularly a failure I guess, but sometimes, especially in the past, I really struggled with delegating tasks even when things got very busy. I think I always feel a bit guilty when handing over my work to others even when they are happy to help. Definitely something I need to get more comfortable with.

How does the Hatch team motivate each other and maintain a positive culture?

I think always maintaining a positive culture can be tough at any organisation. At Hatch we really try to make sure that we check in with the team regularly and do a pulse check on how everyone is doing. Any suggestions made by the team for areas of improvement are taken into consideration when making decisions. It is a very open culture and everyone is encouraged to be honest and upfront. Being a fully remote organisation can also have its ups and downs, so we also make sure that we have regular team days where we can have fun together as a team.

Working at Hatch Enterprise sounds exciting! Any fun or quirky Hatch Enterprise traditions or inside jokes you can share with us? We love getting a peek into company culture!

We have a bi weekly team meeting and we always kick it off with a fun check in with the whole team. Whichever team is running the meeting that day comes up with the question or topic. This can be something like "what is your favourite Christmas movie and why," something funny you did or saw during the week, etc.

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