From a car park in Uddingston to a Social Enterprise supporting young entrepreneurs across the planet.
Our incubator programme was launched in 2015 and our first intake supported thirteen Orbiteers from schools around Glasgow, Scotland. We’ve constantly refined and improved our programme which has since supported 500 students to launch businesses.
Orbit’s founder, Kieran, launches his first business at the tender age of fifteen. Milestone provided car and van detailing services to commercial and domestic clients with prices starting at £25 per month. The business was started for £150 and grew to generate £100,000 in revenue by the time Kieran turned 18.
On the 18th May 2015, Kieran was in the waiting room of a factory in Glasgow. While waiting to meet the factory owner, a phone-call went off between the receptionist and billionaire entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter’s assistant. Kieran overheard the call and learned that Sir Tom was due to visit the same factory two days later. Kieran went there that day, hid behind Sir Tom’s car, and pitched the idea of Orbit to him in the car park.
With the backing of Sir Tom Hunter and The Royal Bank of Scotland, Orbit was incorporated in 2015. We gathered some of the best business experts that we could find to integrate their wisdom, techniques and experience to create the programme’s “secret sauce.”
Our first programme was launched in Glasgow, Scotland, and supported thirteen students from three secondary schools. The first programme gave us the opportunity to test our secret sauce, and we learned from our mistakes. Some of the businesses launched by our first cohort are still in existence to this day!
Sir Tom Hunter and the CEO of the Hunter Foundation, Ewan Hunter, shared their words of wisdom with our first cohort of Orbiteers. The first intake created thirteen new businesses with a combined turnover of over £30,000 just four months after the programme’s launch.
We welcomed an additional 100 Orbiteers to our Glasgow programme in late 2016. Some of the businesses included barber shops, marketing agencies, hardware products, e-commerce businesses and cosmetic businesses.
Scotland’s business and finance minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, visited our Orbiteers in Glasgow to inspect their progress. He praised Orbit as a “fantastic and unique initiative” that is changing lives, contributing to economic growth, and bettering society.
We welcomed Lord Haughey OBE – one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs – to our Glasgow programme. Lord Haughey shared his story, his advice, and his “words of wisdom” to over 120 of Scotland’s brightest young entrepreneurs.
We received £10,000 from a funding agency called Scottish EDGE. It’s a difficult competition to win and we were delighted with the award. We invested the money into expanding our team and programme across Scotland.
Our team grew rapidly and we attracted some talented people to help us move Orbit forward. We hired programme administrators, finance managers, non executive directors, and administration assistants.
Orbit’s programme launched in Edinburgh and in Manchester, and we welcomed over 100 Orbiteers from over 25 schools and colleges. 2017 also saw Orbit enter partnership arrangements with RBS, Natwest, Ernst and Young, and The Prince’s Trust.
We welcomed one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, billionaire Jim McColl OBE, to share his life story and advice with over 120 of our Orbiteers. By the close of 2017, Orbit had supported over 300 new businesses to launch and had programmes running across the United Kingdom.
We opened our London programme which supported thirty Orbiteers from schools and colleges across London. Orbit was supporting over 200 Orbiteers per month as of December 2018.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, announces that he’ll be visiting Orbit’s London programme in 2019. John Bercow is one of the UK’s best known politicians and is keen to share his words of wisdom with our Orbiteers.