Our aim

Our aim is to uncover, empower and enable Britain’s hidden entrepreneurs, to change things for people who are disadvantaged by circumstances, health or disability and are left behind by the economy. We believe everyone has potential and should have an opportunity to fulfil it.

We open doors and provide opportunities and new possibilities for people who otherwise would not have had access to funding or support. Through our loans and our self-reliant groups. We build capacity, independence and confidence in often marginalized individuals who have previously struggled with employment. We aim to drive positive and sustainable change for these “hidden” entrepreneurs, allowing them to flourish – improving their lives, the community they live in and the wider economy.

At Purple Shoots we are committed to improving people’s lives in a sustainable way. We are proud to contribute to the UN sustainable development goals and we focus on fulfilling nine of the sixteen goals through our work.

  • 1: No Poverty
  • 2: Zero Hunger
  • 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • 5: Gender Equality
  • 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

1. No Poverty

End Poverty in all its forms everywhere.

We work to help often marginalised people out of poverty and into economic stability. 70% of our lending is in areas with higher indices of multiple deprivation – 25% is in the worst 10%. Our self-reliant groups work with very isolated people helping them create savings and generate income, providing some economic stability and a way forward.

2. Good Health and Well-being.

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.

The link between economic stability and well-being has been proven – through our lending and more particularly our self-reliant groups we are creating economic resilience which improves mental health by taking away the precariousness of living in poverty and allows a move to a more healthy lifestyle.

3. Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

Through our groups we empower people of all ages and abilities, enabling them to develop skills and create opportunities for themselves.

5. Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Our lending is inclusive – in the last 5 years 40% of our total lending has been to women. Our self-reliant groups are predominantly women, although they are also available to men.

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth full and productive employment and decent work for all

Through our lending and self-reliant groups, we are creating “bottom up” economic growth which is rooted in local communities and based on the skills, knowledge and aspirations of the people who live in them. This is providing decent jobs and income generating opportunities, enabling people to engage in meaningful activities which are sustainable in the long term and which are transforming whole communities.

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.

We are proud to be funding innovative small businesses who are responding to needs and demands around them, thus contributing to a growing network of small entrepreneurs which is changing the economic base of communities.

10. Reduce Inequalities.

Reduce inequality within and amongst countries

We are reducing inequality in the areas where we work by supporting the most disadvantaged individuals and groups and enabling them to improve their circumstances.

11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Everything we do is aimed at building better communities in the long term. We seek to support people who are excluded from the economy so that they can become contributors and create lasting change.

16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

On a small scale, we will help borrowers and group members if they have suffered an injustice and on a slightly larger scale, we will lobby institutions on their behalf to try to bring about change in systems which are unjust. Our lending and self-reliant groups, in promoting community cohesion, help build peaceful and more inclusive communities.

The Well-being Goals of the Wales Future Generations Act

Purple Shoots meets these goals in the following way:

A Globally Responsible Wales –

We have developed a very specific partnership between our self-reliant groups and similar groups operating in Uganda. Our groups import and sell products made by the Ugandan groups in order to support their businesses and the groups interact with each creating an international network of support.

A Prosperous Wales –

The businesses we help create through our small business loans are small and locally based and the wealth generated remains in their communities. The businesses provide meaningful work for their owners, enabling them to reach their potential and fulfil dreams. Through our self-reliant groups, we reach people further away from employment and help them to discover and develop skills and move towards income generation, creating their own opportunities. These are grassroots methods of ensuring economic growth which builds on the people who are already there and what they have to create lasting change.

A Resilient Wales –

We create social and economic resilience through our loans and our self-reliant groups. Our clients have a more resilient base on which to build their lives and begin to move away from the precariousness into which poverty and the benefit system force them. This enables them to cope with change or problems as they arise.

A Healthier Wales –

The link between economic well-being and health has been widely demonstrated. Through our small business loans and our self-reliant groups, we are building pathways for people into greater economic security with related improvements in mental health and lifestyle choices. Our groups in particular provide a supportive environment in which members can together tackle all the issues they are facing in life.

A More Equal Wales –

Our work is focused on the most disadvantaged members of communities who would find it impossible to reach their potential without a hand up.

A Wales of Cohesive Communities –

Our self-reliant groups are rooted in the communities they are based in and focused on reaching out to those around them, making changes and improvements locally. Our borrowers start businesses based in their communities which helps enrich their local areas and builds vibrancy in individual communities.

A Wales of Vibrant Culture and Thriving Welsh Language –

Many of the businesses we fund relate to arts, crafts and culture and are promoting Wales in a positive way as they sell – including many food-based businesses. We have also funded numerous businesses promoting sport and well-being which are all locally based and focused on local communities.