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Change Please

Waterloo Station
Waterloo Road
SE1 8SW

www.changeplease.org

Making a difference and change for the better

I would like to either franchise or grow this to other parts of the country Cemal Ezel

Cemal Ezel saw a business opportunity that would also give something back to the community. In Nov 2015 he set up Change Please as a CIC.

With his previous experience of working with a coffee roasting social enterprise company, Cemal saw there was an opportunity to work with homeless people to give them a clear way forward. The company provides barista coffee carts operated by homeless individuals.  There are currently 8 coffee carts operating around London.

Cemal originally heard about Start & Grow through Cavendish Enterprise who introduced him to Richard Salmon from Enterprise for London. Although he had managed to raise £120,000 funding for the project through the Big Issue, Cemal needed advice and guidance on sourcing the appropriate grants and putting together successful applications for future expansion. Start & Grow has also guided Cemal in areas where he needs to employ, such as Operations Manager, looking at job descriptions and employee handbooks.  “The support received has been around guidance on grant applications, and my advisor has been a sounding board for ideas and challenges.” said Cemal.  “I hope that the support will enable me to grow the business in a much more efficient way.”

Change Please employs 11 homeless individuals and pays the London Living Wage and arranges housing. Whilst working with the company, employees can build their skills base and eventually move on in their career. After six months, they are moved into full time employment with one of the organisation’s partners.

“I would have been able to start the business because the of the backing from other companies, but the benefits of research and assistance with grants available through the Start & Grow programme will have a positive impact on outcomes.  I am also benefiting from networking opportunities and introductions through Richard, Start & Grow, and Cavendish Enterprise.” said Cemal.

Cemal’s future plans suggest that up to 50 additional jobs will be created and £500,000 investment secured as he hopes to expand into new regions and potentially other sectors.

Cavendish Enterprise delivers Start & Grow nationally, with Enterprise for London working the London area. “I hope to receive access to national support when I begin to work outside of London” said Cemal.

Cemal has so far received 18 hours of business support from Enterprise for London through the Start & Grow programme.  Change Please Ltd has created 11 jobs and raised £120,000 to invest into the business.  Plans to extend the business model into other regions of the country will bring more investment and create many more jobs.

Change Please can be seen at work in  BBC1’s broadcast on 16th March of ‘Famous, Rich, and Homeless’ (Series 2, Episode 2, 51:02-52:20) which is available to view on BBC iPlayer until Thursday 14th April 2016.

CREDIT: Photo Frame taken from footage from BBC1’s ‘Famous, Rich, and Homeless’, Series 2, Episode 2

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