Mylo Kaye is the Chief Executive Officer of Pledge, a charity that is on a mission to end poverty in Greater Manchester by providing grants to charities and social enterprises who work with these groups.
“Having the right leadership who think a few years ahead will help you carve out opportunities that others cannot see yet; if you find the next significant innovation in your industry, you could be the new start-up unicorn.”
Pledge believes that each person living in poverty should have the same opportunities to thrive as everyone else. The charity’s mission is to reduce poverty in Greater Manchester for those people who are experiencing homelessness, exploitation and unemployment. Pledge do this by providing grants to charities and social enterprises who work with these three groups. As well as being Pledge’s Chief Executive Officer, Mylo is also a trustee of The Booth Centre; a charity set up 22-years ago to help homeless people in Greater Manchester rebuild their lives. Mylo is also an investment advisor for Fair by Design; a £20 million fund and partnership between Big Society Capital, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Finance Birmingham and Ascension Ventures that aims to help those living in poverty in the UK.
What makes Manchester a great place to start a business?
Manchester has a strong, vibrant community of entrepreneurs, and this is something I have never experienced anywhere else in the country. Along with these innovators, there are tons of different spaces to locate your business, which all cater to different crowds.
What makes a great start-up in 2018?
Two key attributes to be a great start-up in 2018 is being adaptable to changing markets and having leadership that can think ahead. Being adaptable means pivoting your business model when you find something needs changing, this is key to staying relevant. Having the right leadership who think a few years ahead will help you carve out opportunities that others cannot see yet if you find the next significant innovation in your industry, you could be the new start-up unicorn. I’ve invested in two pretty ground-breaking start-ups this year, both set to make huge waves in the tech world and I’m excited to share more about these in the coming months.
What inspired you to start the business?
I’ve run multiple tech companies for the past ten years, and they have always had a social conscious. With me starting a charity, this is a natural evolution of the meaningful CSR programmes I’ve had in my previous companies, just on a larger scale. Pledge is focused on helping people living in poverty, but this mission of helping others has always been ingrained in the companies I’ve been part of.
What makes your business stand out from the crowd?
Pledge is a charity that’s ‘digital first’. We’re focused on helping those in poverty, but also sharing our expertise in digital technology with other charities to also help them reach more people. The number of charities that are doing this, I can count on one hand.
What surprised you the most when setting up your business?
How long it takes to get things done in the third sector. My experience in the tech world has always been fast-paced, non-stop decision making. Things are a little slower let’s say when dealing with charities.
What keeps you motivated?
I’m motivated by helping others in need. I was once one of those people crying for help; now I’m helping those people like me. This is my purpose and the reason I’m here, doing what I’m doing. I feel a great injustice seeing people living in poverty, in this day and age we should not see people rough sleeping on the streets, and I’m here to change that!
How does your business help give back to Manchester?
We help people living in Greater Manchester who are living in poverty; we do this by proving grants to charities and individuals. For individuals, this can be for essentials like socks and razors for a homeless person, for charities this could creating technology to enable contactless donations in the street.
What are your business goals for the next 3 years?
Pledge is just getting started; with a strong management team in place and an army of volunteers and supporters, I’m excited to start building the team of likeminded passionate entrepreneurs who want to help others.
Our first annual ‘Manchester’s 20 Hottest Startups’ feature is our pick of the most inspiring startups and stepups in our city. If you’d like to be featured in 2019’s ‘Manchester’s 20 Hottest Startups’, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.