25th Jun, 2015

We’re moving!

Onwards and upwards.

rebuildingsociety.com will be occupying new Leeds City Centre offices from the beginning of July in a move that will see our operations, technology and management team take up space in Cloth Hall Court and the Innovation Hub, both in close proximity to Leeds Rail Station.

We’re leaving our Queen Square office behind after 4 and a half years, but our new location will allow us to continue to play a large and ever-growing role in the local business landscape, as well as providing all the necessary facilities for rebuildingsociety.com to position itself at the forefront of innovation in the UK peer-to-business lending scene.

The platform will continue to function as normal while we settle into our new surroundings, although we may be a little slower than usual in responding to emails between June 26th and June 29th – so please bear with us!


23rd Jun, 2015

Peer To Peer Lenders Need Not Fear “Shadow Banking” Risks

Attempts by some in the banking world to associate peer to peer lending with “shadow banking” simply don’t pass muster.

Shadow banking typically refers to hedge fund, private equity and other activities of the type that the International Monetary Fund says contributed to the economic crisis that began in 2007. As bank leaders try to paint peer to peer lending with that same brush, leaders in the P2P industry like Zopa founder Giles Andrew have been quick to distance themselves from shadow banking as a label and approach to finance.

“When Zopa became the first P2P platform to launch in 2005, we knew that persuading consumers to trust us with their cash was crucial to our business. This meant being a transparent and responsible lender from the start, extending credit to “super-prime” borrowers and building a risk function robust enough to withstand the seismic economic shocks that came along a few years late,” Andrew stated. “The activities of the P2P lender that I helped set up, Zopa, are as far from shadowy as the most diligent regulator could hope for. A founding principle of P2P lending is to ensure that platforms are open and transparent about lending.”

Likewise, rebuildingsociety.com endeavours to uphold the highest standards of financial integrity, user trust and transparency.

“It’s great that people are beginning to think of the peer to peer industry as trustworthy enough to be considered an alternative to the banks, but the differences between the two models are noteworthy,” said Adam Knott, rebuildingsociety.com’s Digital Marketing Manager. “rebuildingsociety.com will always strive to offer a fair and transparent service and a genuine choice for investors and borrowers alike.”

As the banking model is challenged by alternatives, it may continue to vilify those it views as competitors. However, good peer to peer lenders will continue to pursue a promising financial model with a spirit of fairness and honesty.


17th Jun, 2015

Play Away – Space to Grow

Emma Mander and her mother Kath have noticed holes in the soft play centre market in their South Manchester neighborhood, and they are collaborating to fill those needs. If they successfully purchase the local Anchors Away play centre, they plan to make it more accessible to disabled children and infants and make the space more enjoyable for parents.

“The business has a good base line to build on; there are many areas within the business that can be developed, all of which will create more custom and more awareness of the play centre,” Emma Mander explains.

(more…)


01st Jun, 2015

Aspirations Apprenticeships Striving to Thrive in 2015

One of the businesses currently listed on our marketplace, Aspirations Apprenticeships and Training Ltd, have taken the time to explain where their business came from and where it’s headed.

Aspirations Apprenticeships and Training Ltd are an organisation established for the benefit of local business and young people entering the world of work. Their aim is to help employers and individuals realise their full potential.

Aspirations started on its current trajectory a year after its inception when the owners recognised that the passion and dedication to the business of their MD, Yvonne Lalley, surpassed their own, and that it was in the best interest of the business for them to pass ownership to Yvonne.

Yvonne Lalley

Yvonne developed her experience through working as the proprietor of a café for just over 11 years. Young adults who had learning difficulties frequented the café with their carers as part of their daily activities, and Yvonne recalls enjoying the relationship that she built with the young adults. “They had limited communication, but their body language showed me they fully enjoyed themselves whilst in my company.” Building on this experience, Yvonne decided to become a volunteer in an independent home for adults with physical disabilities and behavioural or emotional problems. Yvonne says, ”I helped to teach them life skills, and hopefully this enabled them to become more independent. It was really rewarding to support them to have a better quality of life. I moved to the role on a full time basis; I stayed in this line of work for over 5 years.”

Maintaining her passion for the business, Yvonne has worked hard over the last 18 months and has achieved growing the business in to a profitable one. Aspirations now has a staff of 6 and is thrilled to now have a new Operations Director – Clare Gutteridge who has many years experience, working for a number of the leading colleges in the Further Education sector. She has project managed the recruitment and delivery of Intermediate and Advance Apprenticeships with blue chip companies including BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Caterpillar. Clare already had a working relationship with Aspirations while she was at Birmingham Metropolitan College as the main account manager, and will be a huge asset to the team as the business expands their delivery into the Apprenticeship market.

Clare’s skills include:-

  • Monitoring project risks and scope creep to identify potential problems and proactively identify solutions to address them in advance
  • Escalating promptly any issues that may impact on operations
  • Producing stage plans, highlight reports, risk logs
  • Ongoing reporting regarding delivery performance.
  • Understanding and document project requirements
  • Expanding and monitor the Apprenticeship qualification delivery
  • Manage employer/client expectations by ensuring the delivery of the highest quality service
  • Acting on employer/client feedback
  • Monitoring staff and team performance

“By providing an excellent standard of training, we try to inspire all learners in the hope that they can develop confidence, self-esteem and ambition to progress in the work environment,” said Yvonne.
Our mission is to ensure that young people and adults deserve the best opportunities to succeed as independent, well balanced and employable people, and that those in work are upskilled within their chosen profession in order that they can achieve and progress. In providing qualified trainers who have experience in engaging hard to reach/marginalised sections of the populace (e.g.. disadvantaged families, individuals with addiction issues) we believe we deliver an excellent programme of training in Employability Skills.”

Clare Gutteridge

“To meet the increasing demand from the partners we are looking to maintain our relationship with Birmingham Metropolitan College but also expand our association with other colleges and have now successfully completed due diligence with West Cheshire College, The Manchester College, The City of Liverpool College and Hugh Baird College. This will enable us in the coming academic year to increase our provision to include Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships in Health & Social Care, Management, Hair and Beauty, Animal Care, and other sector areas. This enhances our outstanding relationship with the Awarding Body, NCFE who have graded us a grade 1 operation, which makes us a centre of excellence.”

“We are also extremely proudto have gained a new working partnership with HMS Prisons which has identified a niche delivery market, which will find us supporting offenders who are close to release, enabling them to have the necessary employability skills to reintegrate into society. We are also looking at working with life term offenders who have no release date who will be working closely with us to deliver the courses to their peers – this will be full cost recovery work, paid through OLASS (Offending Learning and Skills Service) funding stream by HMS Prisons, which will further increase our revenue, and our aim is to expand this service to private prisons. This contract will potentially increase by another £150k pa profit to the business.”


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