Start-ups supporting diversity and first-time renters secure ME100 Awards

4th June 2021

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    Adrian Owen
    Partner, Commercial Agency and Advisory
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We Rise In and HYBR, two start-ups focused on diversity in real estate and support for first-time renters, have been named as winners of The ME100 Awards, part of planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans’ centenary celebrations running throughout 2021.

The initiative launched earlier this year to invest in two budding property sector entrepreneurs, giving them the partnership’s sponsorship and support for one year as they build their ideas and develop their business.

London-based We Rise In’s mission is to: ‘inspire, elevate, and develop the careers of black professionals whilst promoting inclusion, equality, and diversity in the real estate industry’. It works with individuals to hone the tools and skillsets they need to achieve positions of seniority in their career, and with companies to inform and educate – including career support, mentoring and leadership programmes for black employees.

Faith Locken, Founder of We Rise In said: “I am honestly so glad I applied for the ME100 Awards. The process was clear and easy to follow, and I felt informed and supported at every stage. Those who interviewed me were genuinely interested in hearing about my business which allowed me to relax and focus on presenting and answering questions. It’s great to know that one of the leading firms in the real estate industry believes in and wholly supports the We Rise In’s vision.”

HYBR, launched in Bristol, is a student accommodation platform that supports first-time renters offering a more personalised and tailored service than typical rental platforms while maintaining a competitive price point for landlords.

Hannah Chappatte, Chief Executive Officer of HYBR, said: “We’re at such a crucial and exciting part of our journey at HYBR and it’s so important to get backing, mentorship and funding from an organisation like Montagu Evans to future-proof the business. Together we’re going to transform the student accommodation landscape for the better.”

Each start-up is now set to receive initial financial funding of £10,000 as well as mentoring with the firm’s industry experts and core business functions (Finance, BD & Marketing and HR) and access to industry meetings, events and the firm’s business network. They are also set to have access to Montagu Evans’ new HQ in the City of London and its resources.

Adrian Owen, Partner at Montagu Evans, who sat on the Judging Panel along with five others from across the business, said: “These are two strong start-ups, with huge potential to transform the property sector in very different and positive ways. Their people were engaging, credible and passionate about what they do, and their specialist areas align closely to our business meaning we can add value beyond financial support.

“Above all, their focus on inclusion, diversity and financial accessibility has never been more important and we’re pleased to be able to support them in scaling up to the next level, particularly as a focus of our centenary celebrations is legacy and how the next generation can build their own.”

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