Pizza Hut extends ‘New Founder Programme’ in response to revealing UK data

The franchise invites its own employees to join successful entrepreneurial initiative which is run in partnership with the charity Hatch.

Pizza Hut extends ‘New Founder Programme’ in response to revealing UK data

According to research undertaken by Pizza Hut, the franchise discovered that a sizeable percentage of adults in the UK would like to give up their ‘day job’ and run their own business. Those consulted for the survey are members of the general public who already earn extra money from small, additional businesses.

And around two-thirds (65%) of those contacted indicated they would like to turn this ‘side hustle’ into a full-time operation. However, the majority feared they would struggle to earn enough money to pay the mortgage and feed their family.

Almost one-third (23%) admitted they were uncertain about the demand in the market, for their product or service, while a similar percentage said they had enquired about scaling-up but were unable to locate adequate funding. As many as 37% of those who attempted to scale-up – but were denied access to funds – came from what Pizza Hut describe as ‘underrepresented communities’.

Following this research, when Pizza Hut commissioned the interviewing of 1,500 adults, the company has decided to re-launch its previously successful ‘New Founder Programme’.

The ‘New Founder Programme’, which is run in partnership with the charity Hatch, provides entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds with the tools and skills needed to start their own businesses. The programme is a two-stage initiative: First, the ‘Launchpad’ phase is a 13-week programme for early-stage entrepreneurs who want to turn an idea into a business.

Second, is the ‘Incubator’ stage: This is a 16-week programme for those who have already started making money from projects. They will already have customers or clients, and perhaps one part-time member of staff.

Emily Curtis, Head of People, Operations & Social Purpose at Pizza Hut UK & Ireland, said: “Britain is full of would-be entrepreneurs who just need a helping hand. But there are many barriers impacting entrepreneurs, and we know from our work in this area that some groups continue to be overlooked by investors.

“With this in mind, our programme has now been extended to include our own employees, offering them the chance to receive help to start or grow their own side hustles. It is so important that everyone has the same opportunities to pursue ventures they are passionate about.

“Despite beginning this journey back in 2021, the issue today remains as prevalent, if not more so, as it was back then. Therefore, we have broadened the scope of our initial programme to include even more people who are not being considered for support, education or investment. This means they are not being provided with the tools and skills needed to start their businesses. 

“Inspired by the stories of our own franchise community, we originally launched the ‘New Founder Programme’ as a way to give back to the local community and support budding entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds.”

To date, almost £2.5m has been invested into the ‘New Founder Programme’, which has benefitted 1,025 entrepreneurs across the UK. It has helped to start 97 new businesses, and create 220 new jobs. One person who has profited from the ‘New Founder Programme’ is Khalia Ismain.

Khalia runs an online business that offers discount cards for consumers interested in buying products created by Afro-Caribbean entrepreneurs in the UK. She said: “The programme introduced me to incredible founders, stories and perspectives which I would never have found alone. It got me thinking seriously about parts of the business I was running on autopilot – or not addressing at all.”

As for Hatch, the charity supports underrepresented entrepreneurs from across the UK who wish to launch and grow sustainable businesses. The organisation is committed to building a fairer society by helping to develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, through its many programmes.

Although Hatch is a charity, it thinks and acts like a business. Since 2014, Hatch has supported more than 6,700 UK entrepreneurs to flourish, through its network of partners, funders and investors who all share its vision.

Deryl Thatcher, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Hatch Enterprise, said: “We know first-hand from working alongside founders in the UK, how hard it is to get any business or social enterprise off the ground. And it’s even harder to make it stick, given all the hurdles and challenges modern founders face. 

“That’s why partnerships, such as the ‘New Founder Programme’, have been so important over the past few years and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. These founders bring tangible ideas and solutions to societal issues. And when you see their confidence grow, as their ideas develop and take shape, you get a real buzz. Over the years we have supported a diverse range of people across the UK.”

Pizza Hut and Hatch continue to help budding entrepreneurs bridge the knowledge gap between dreams and reality. The research showed that nine out of 10 people who signed up to this programme have said they now possess ‘stronger business management skills’. And, on average, the scheme has increased turnover in their businesses by 35%.

About the study: The research consulted 1,500 adults (with side hustles) between February 26th and March 1st, 2024. It was carried out in partnership with 72Point, which is a London-based public relations company that conducts market research.

About Pizza Hut UK & Ireland: The franchise operates more than 500 outlets in the UK and Ireland, employing over 14,000 people. Pizza Hut UK & Ireland forms part of Pizza Hut Europe which is run by managing director Nicolas Burquier. Pizza Hut is part of Yum! which owns a multitude of international fast-food outlets, namely Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill and KFC.

Anyone who wishes to apply to the ‘New Founder Programme’, please click here.

Andy Swales
Andy Swales