Professional services firm Deloitte has announced it will invest £25 million in helping its employees create and run their own start-ups. Employees who secretly harbour ambitions to be the boss of a brand new start-up will be given the chance at Deloitte to develop their idea.
Deloitte’s funding will allow employees to work full-time on developing their business plan and will also provide legal, risk, technology, brand and marketing support. A newly formed business unit, Innovation Investments Ltd, will hold the majority of the new businesses and there will be a reward model that will be of mutual benefit to both the entrepreneur and Deloitte.
The Innovation Investments scheme will enable any employee of Deloitte to submit a new business idea for consideration. According to Deloitte, over 50 new business ideas have already been submitted since the initiative was first launched.
If the feasibility of the business idea can be demonstrated, the entrepreneurial employee will enter a funded ‘incubation’ period. During this period the employee will cease to work on their day-to-day responsibilities and focus full-time on developing their business. The entrepreneurs will use Deloitte’s existing relationships will be available to be used by the employee in order to market their new business. If the business idea is positively received, further funding will be available for the entrepreneur to move the business from concept to reality.
Deloitte chief executive David Sproul said the programme was “a first” for both the company and industry. “We know that an increasing number of people are attracted to the idea of setting up their own business and trying something different,”
“We believe this initiative offers a unique opportunity to pursue those entrepreneurial ambitions while remaining an employee of Deloitte and benefiting from the strength of our brand, experience and expertise.”
Staff will be paid during their time focusing on their start-up, and they will be able to appoint a team to get the project off the ground. Two businesses will be ready to launch early next year.