The latest press releases and news from Purposeful Group.
October 2022 Kay Kukoyi CSM FITOL was delighted to contribute a 3-page article to the special Womxn in Tech issue of Startups Magazine, which shines a light on inspirational female founders.
Inside, you'll find everything from startup stories, to articles about delivering pitches, imposter syndrome, raising finance, mentorship, sustainability, clean tech, and more!
The article explores the current economic climate, the progress made since the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship was published, along with insights from her experiences of reviewing pitch decks and competition entries, and watching founders pitch face-to-face.
Kay says: "I hope the article will help founders to hone their pitches - especially as we navigate the "bumpy" times that we're currently experiencing."
You can find the article inside the Womxn in Tech issue here.
Purposeful Group is Winning Plaudits for its Services & Support of Tech-Driven Entrepreneurs and Digital Learner
LONDON – May 4, 2022 –Purposeful Group has been winning accolades for its entrepreneurship, technology and digital skills-focused training, including a recent BTA Lifetime Award win for founder Kay Kukoyi, CSM FITOL, and shortlistings for five further business awards. Kukoyi, who launched Purposeful Group in its format as a training company in 2019, received the Lifetime Award in March 2022, granted to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the technology profession. The annual BTA Awards celebrate Black role models and innovators and are sponsored by J.P. Morgan.
April and May have also been great months for Kukoyi. Despite receiving a record number of applications, Purposeful Group was also selected as a finalist for two Small Awards. Organised annually by Small Business Britain, which champions, inspires and accelerates the nation’s 6 million small firms, the Small Awards is a nationwide search for the greatest small firms in the United Kingdom across all sectors. The first nomination is for the At Your Service Award, which recognises the best small service businesses in the UK with a track record of serving their target customer set.
The second nomination is for the Sole to Sole Award for best self-employed small business owner, recognising sole traders and celebrating the tenacity and drive it takes to go it alone.
During the same month, Kukoyi was named as a finalist for Digital Women's most prestigious and competitive award: Digital Woman of the Year, and is featured in their e-book of finalists, entitled 50 Digital Women to Watch, 2022.
She was also shortlisted to have her story featured in a book of role models for school-age children.
In May 2022, Kukoyi was named as a finalist for the Digital Women Awards: Digital Entrepreneur of the Year, and Role Model of the Year.
“I’m proud that Purposeful Group is receiving recognition for educating entrepreneurs, working with young people to develop their digital skills and embark on their first careers, and for supporting and preparing adults trying to get back into work,” Kukoyi said. “Our recent award win and nominations also highlight our specialist ability to help non-technical people to start and launch tech startups, freelance businesses or digitally driven businesses from scratch.”
Purposeful Group helps founders who wish to build web or mobile apps. “Having done this for household-name companies ourselves, we are able to provide a level of practical detail that is invaluable to our clients,” Kukoyi said.
“We work with people from incredibly diverse backgrounds, and we’re committed to doing quarterly volunteer work. We’re also passionate about doing our part to deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 4, 8, 9 and 10, which focus on improving quality education; increasing decent work, economic growth and innovation; and reducing inequalities. We’re here to be a force for good that champions upward mobility andhelps people to pursue their goals and maximise their potential, and we take the fear and complexity out of doing this. We empower the first-timers, the people without connections, the non-stereotypical entrepreneurs, and those with a valid idea who may find it difficult to get funding. We believe in professionalism and are also able to offer diplomas to entrepreneurs who choose our accredited programmes,” she added.
Kukoyi is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, software delivery specialist and global startup mentor. In 2019, she was recognised on the #IB100, the Financial Times and Inclusive Boards list of the 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in the UK technology sector. Additionally, she is a qualified marketer and the author of five business books, including four Amazon bestsellers available via Amazon, iTunes, Audible and Barnes & Noble.
Kukoyi has more than a decade of experience in corporate tech, leading and working in teams delivering on high-profile, multi-million-pound technology projects and transforming concepts into digital products and services for household-name companies, including Sky News and Barclays Bank.
About Purposeful Group Purposeful Group delivers entrepreneurship, technology and digital skills training to people around the world. Whether you’re an entrepreneur starting a new tech or digitally driven business, or you’re seeking to learn new digital skills to pursue your career or employment goals, our international online centre for learning offers books, mentoring, workshops and programmes to help you get started the SMART way, make progress and get rapid results!
May 2022 On 5th May, our founder (Kay) K.N. Kukoyi CSM FITOL spent the day alongside an impressive group of entrepreneurs and specialists discussing who should win the the 2022 Hustle Awards. This year's categories are: /// FOUNDER OF THE YEAR /// MENTOR OF THE MOMENT /// TOP PERFORMING TEAM /// INSPIRATIONAL WOMXN OF THE INDUSTRY /// MOST INNOVATIVE TECH /// SOCIAL IMPACT HERO /// GREEN AWARD /// OUTSTANDING STARTUPS SUPPORTER /// WORKSPACE OF THE YEAR /// MOST SUCCESSFUL SCALE-UP /// EARLY-STAGE INNOVATION AWARD /// BEST BIG BUSINESS
The Awards were created by Startups Magazine, and the big reveal will happen in July at the awards ceremony!
Hustle Awards night. (July, 2022) Awards night, Hustle Awards 2022. Our founder Kay announced and presented the Mentor of the Moment award.
April 2022 LONDON’S PURPOSEFUL GROUP SHORTLISTED FOR TWO “SMALL AWARDS”
Purposeful Group has been selected as a finalist in two award categories for the UK’s top Self-employed Small Business Owner and the UK's top Small Business Service, following a record number of applications.
11th April 2022: Purposeful Group based in London has been shortlisted for the Sole to Sole Award and the At your Service Award at this year’s Small Awards.
Now in its sixth year, The Small Awards is a nationwide search for the smallest and greatest firms in the UK across all sectors. It is organised annually by Small Business Britain, which champions, inspires and accelerates the nation’s 6 million small firms.
Purposeful Group, an international centre for learning focused on entrepreneurship, technology and digital skills training launched in 2019. It is led by award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker, software delivery specialist and global startup mentor, Kay Kukoyi CSM FITOL, who has been recognised on the #IB100, the Financial Times and Inclusive Boards list of the 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in the UK Technology Sector.
Following a record-breaking number of applications, Purposeful Group has been chosen as one of eight finalists in two categories, the:
At your Service Award for best small service business, recognising the best small service businesses in the UK, with a track record of serving their target customer set.
Sole to Sole Award for best self-employed small business owner, recognising sole traders and celebrating the tenacity and drive it takes to go it alone.
With eleven unique categories in total, the Small Awards celebrate the dynamism and resilience of the UK’s small business sector, across everything from mission-led start-ups, to long standing family firms, to the nation’s leading sole traders.
“The Small Awards is an opportunity to applaud all the inspiring, positive things that these fabulous, finalist entrepreneurs have achieved over the last year, particularly as we start to move forwards once again,” said Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain.
“The phenomenal number of applications, and their incredibly high standard, has been fantastic to see. Purposeful Group should be extremely proud of being shortlisted for this award. The Small Awards is all about championing and spotlighting the nation’s small firms, and we’re so excited to finally be able to celebrate with them again in person this year.”
Kay Kukoyi, CSM FITOL of Purposeful Group says: “The year has started with a bang for Purposeful Group, having been shortlisted as a finalist for two Small Awards and for me, having personally won the 2022 BTA Lifetime Award, awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the technology profession. It's incredibly exciting to be recognised for the combination of love and labour that has gone into building Purposeful Group and for my work with early-stage entrepreneurs and digital learners around the UK and beyond!”
Judged by a panel of enterprise experts, the winners of all categories, along with the overall winner of Small Business of the Year, will be announced on 19 May 2022.
After being held online for two years due to the pandemic, the awards ceremony will return in person this year to take place at St John’s Church in London. Plans are underway for a fun-filled night of celebrations, with small business owners and industry leaders coming together for an evening of inspiring speeches, entertainment, dinner and more!
About The Small Awards The Small Awards, launched in 2017 and targets the whole small business sector. It is run by Small Business Britain, the UK’s leading champion of small businesses, supporting all 6 million small businesses in the UK.
Through a series of reports, events and campaigns, Small Business Britain champions, inspires and accelerates small businesses in the UK to foster growth and increased confidence.
About Purposeful Group Purposeful Group is an online centre for learning focused on entrepreneurship, technology and digital skills training. We are on a mission to help early stage tech founders, service-based entrepreneurs, career builders, and digital upskillers to get started and achieve their goals the SMART way.
March 2022 Awards season has started, and our founder Kay is going to be judging at several pitch competitions, including those below.
Where applicable, why not apply yourself, or join as a guest? It can be a great learning experience to observe how different startups and SMEs deliver their pitches, the kinds of questions the judging panel ask them, and how they handle them!
The CEO and founder of Purposeful Group, Kay Kukoyi CSM FITOL has been announced as one of the four finalists for the BTA Lifetime Achievement Award, 2022.
Summer 2021 Zinc Venture Builder Programme 2021/22 The Zinc Accelerator supports entrepreneurs who are interested in solving BIG societal problems.
This year, the cohort's mission is: "To ensure that every child and young person can develop and maintain good mental and emotional health."
Due to COVID-19 young people have experienced disruptions to their social development, and to their access to services, education, and employment opportunities. In some cases this has had a significant impact on their emotional, mental, physical, and financial well-being.
Kay Kukoyi, founder of Purposeful Group says: "Purposeful Group is delighted to contribute to such an important mission by offering coaching, mentoring, and entrepreneurial support to the founders who will be fighting back against these difficult challenges in order to help children and young people. This is the second time we have worked with Zinc on their mission-led programmes for entrepreneurs, and we look forward to continuing this relationship."
Summer 2020 The Talent Incubator Powered By Purposeful Group. Purposeful Group has successfully designed and delivered a hugely impactful 12-week online programme on behalf of OneTech to teach a diverse cohort of more than 30 students and graduates the fundamental skills required to start a business and to increase their employability.
Many of the cohort members had never heard of the tools they were introduced to, yet each week they used these new platforms, following a fast-paced schedule of weekly assignments which tested their ability to problem solve, adapt, and learn quickly, working with unfamiliar tech to produce high-quality work.
A staggering 96% of the UK’s businesses are classed as “microbusinesses” employing nine or less employees, yet students typically focus on the 0.1% of businesses that have over 250 staff. Whilst the 0.1%, can undoubtedly afford to pay higher salaries and offer the career advancement that graduates dream of, there is a win-win opportunity for young people with the right training to support startups and small business owners through internships, work placements, and part-time work. Students would gain vital work experience, whilst providing much-needed support for time-pressed SME’s that are not always aware of the latest labour-saving tools and tech.
Kukoyi, who has been recognized by the Financial Times as one of the 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in the UK Technology Sector says: “With the range of technologies and business skills we have taught them, these young people could support smaller businesses and help them get online, or set-up with tools that would boost their efficiency.”
Kukoyi goes on to add: “We encourage young people to start thinking about specializing very early on. Maybe the answer is to start broad during one’s early career to producing more commercially well-rounded young people who are all competent in the use of a range of popular business tools and software before they commit to specialist areas of work. Tech is the new universal language. All young people should be fluent in it."
The amount of positive feedback received from the first Talent Incubator cohort has exceeded expectations. The exit survey had a 73.5% response rate, with 100% of respondents rating their confidence in their newfound skills at a level between 7/10 and 10/10, with a massive 40% of the cohort rating their skills at 9/10.
In stark contrast, the cohort rated their confidence in their own skills at between 2/10 to 8/10 before participating in the Talent Incubator powered by Purposeful Group, with 32% rating their skills as 5/10. Comments from members of the cohort include the following: "The incubator made me realize just how much we limit ourselves to our degree or current work and skills. I would have never thought as a Biomedical Engineer I would obtain the skills for beginning a start-up, or creating code-free websites!” "Thank you very much for creating this course and allowing us to be a part of it because I am so sure that it will impact how I develop as a person and the career I am able to build from it."
We also received feedback from several cohort members who been rejected at interview stage on multiple occasions, who had used the interview skills and strategies learned through the Talent Incubator, and been hired as a direct result. One cohort member shared their experience: "I had an interview after the interview session (week 8) on the incubator. I learned about different ways to approach interview questions and was able to practice with a fellow student on the incubator before I attended the interview. I can proudly say that I successfully completed the interview and I am now working for a Biotech startup.”
13th NOVEMBER 2019 The founder of Purposeful Group (formerly Purposeful Products) and Tech Startup Academy™, Kay Kukoyi CSM FITOL has been named in the official Financial Times List of the Top 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in UK Tech.
Kay Kukoyi has today been announced as part of the #IB100 - a list of the top 100 most influential Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders in the Tech Sector.
Now in its second year, the list has been produced by board appointments firm Inclusive Boards in partnership with the Financial Times.
The list will be published online, and in print in the UK and Europe as part of an FT special report into Diversity in Tech. In 2018, Inclusive Boards research found that 74.5% of Boards in the tech sector had no BAME members and that BAME people made up just 8.5% of senior leaders (Directors and Executives) in the sector.
As part of their Inclusive Tech Alliance (ITA) campaign, Inclusive Boards is calling on tech companies to implement inclusive working practices to fix the progression challenges currently facing BAME individuals from moving to senior leadership positions.
This year's #IB100 list showcases role models to encourage and inspire tech's future BAME senior leaders.
Elizabeth Oni-Iyiola, Development Director at Inclusive Boards, said: ‘Technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK and beyond. It's crucial that as these sectors expand, so too does the level of representation within them. Kay, and those featured today are ground breakers, change makers and role models within the industry and we are proud to include them in this years #IB100.’
Kay said: "I'm delighted to have been included on the #IB100 list, and honoured to be named amongst such an illustrious group of individuals. I hope that this recognition will further inspire the amazing young entrepreneurs, tech startup founders, and students that I work with."
Those featured in the list include the most influential leaders from tech companies such as DeepMind, Google, IBM, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, Microsoft, Monzo, Rolls-Royce, Twitter and Seedcamp.
Inclusive Boards is the UK's leading executive search agency, specialising in attracting high calibre diverse talent through their network of over 60,000 senior professionals. The services include Executive Search, Advisory and Training, Leadership Programmes and Conferences. Inclusive Boards operate across sectors including sport, social investment, third and private sectors. Inclusive Boards’ cutting-edge research has been featured in the Independent, Guardian, Daily Mail and others.
The Inclusive Tech Alliance (ITA) is an initiative developed by Inclusive Boards. Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is a part of who we are and not simply an added value. The Inclusive Tech Alliance is a laser-focused initiative to bring more diversity to the UK tech sector with over 30 members.
PURPOSEFUL GROUP'S CEO & FOUNDER K.N. KUKOYI TO JUDGE AT THE 2019 TATA VARSITY PITCH FINALS
Purposeful Group's founder Kay Kukoyi will join Tim Jones CBE - Executive Director of Tata Ltd, and Angelica Malin Editor-in-Chief of About Time Magazine and Founder of the About Time Academy as a Grand Finals judges at the 2019 TATA Varsity Pitch competition.
The competition celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and the the judges will deliberate on who will gain access to a £15,000 equity-free prize.
Kay has also judged at the grand finals of The Big Idea and Idea Factory annual pitch competitions.
JUNE 2019 Purposeful Products’ Tech Startup Academy™ Programme is now available to the public.
Purposeful Products offers business and consulting services to small business owners and software entrepreneurs in 12 countries. Having delivered its workshops as an external service provider for startup accelerators and other organisations that support entrepreneurship, Tech Startup Academy’s workshops will be accessible to the general public from June 12th in London, and internationally (Europe, the US, and Canada) from August 2019.
The Tech Startup Academy™ is a new breed of flexible incubator for the founders of tech startups. It is modular, will run both on and offline, and prepares entrepreneurs for the practicalities of running a tech focused business, offering access to its specialist content to all entrepreneurs, whether or not they apply, or succeed in “making it” onto a traditional incubator or accelerator programme.
The Academy not only offers entrepreneurs clarity, and a stronger sense of direction, it offers the security of professionalism too. It is recognised as a centre for adult learning by the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP) and has received approval to offer an accredited Diploma to individuals that complete the Tech Startup Academy™ Programme successfully.
Startups joining the Academy have access to workshops, and group mentoring, and benefit from our "featured founders" promotion service, and introductions to our network of experts and specialists.
Tech Startup Academy run workshops for accelerators and entrepreneurs
Kay Kukoyi, author, software delivery specialist, and the founder of Purposeful Products says: “Our offering is focused on the education of tech startup founders, and it is both inclusive and accessible. Our clients represent a wide range of ethnicities, and their ages range from late teens, to early 50s. We want this trend to continue, with people from all walks of life attending our workshops, joining the programme, accessing our mentoring and consulting services and achieving a diploma in addition to this if they would like to do so.”
The company is on a mission to help new tech founders get from “idea to product launch” the SMART way, ensuring that ambitious entrepreneurs are clued up about what they need to know, and do at each stage of the process as they bring their ideas to life. The emphasis is on increasing entrepreneurs’ chances of success, and helping them to avoid pitfalls, delays, and wasted time, money and energy – common pain points experienced by newcomers to the tech industry. The business is led by Kay Kukoyi, a software delivery specialist with more than a decade of experience in tech, and taking multiple multi-million-pound software projects from concept to launch for corporates. Kukoyi is the author of 5 books for SMEs and entrepreneurs, including the international Amazon bestseller, “Don't Hire a Software Developer Until You Read this Book.”
Kukoyi spent more than 3 years talking to early stage tech entrepreneurs from around the world about the challenges they faced in starting up. From this research, she developed the App Map™ model, with 7 modules, which has translated into 6 core workshops offered by Tech Startup Academy™ – all designed to educate, shorten learning curves, and propel savvy entrepreneurs forward along a clear and structured pathway.
Kay Kukoyi running a workshop on how to launch a tech product
K.N. Kukoyi running a workshop on how to hire and manage developers
Kay speaker and panellist at the Unlocking Women & Technology event sponsored by Afford, iSpace and Comic Relief
K.N. Kukoyi, Unlocking Women and Technology event
Entrepreneurs at a Marketing for Tech Startups workshop led by K.N. Kukoyi
Kay speaking at an Afro Hair & Technology event
The OneTech Founders Weekend for 18-24 year olds with a business idea, or interested in starting a business
3rd party services: Kay mentors newly formed businesses at OneTech Founders Weekend, June 2019
Speed mentoring at the OneTech Founders Weekend
Kay Kukoyi runs a Uhubs workshop
K.N. Kukoyi Uhubs Expert
“When you're trying to achieve a challenging task with blind spots and gaps in your knowledge it's going to be a bumpy road, with pitfalls along the way, which is exactly what I observed, and still see.” Says Kukoyi.
She adds: “The information that we provide is difficult to find elsewhere - even via traditional tech startup accelerators. Unless you’ve created different types of commercial software, been formally trained, and worked on tech projects day-in and day-out for many years, you just can’t replicate the deep insights that we offer. We provide an efficient and strategic approach to starting a tech driven business, which means that progress is rapid, risks are reduced, and entrepreneurs can wave goodbye to the slow, confusing, and often painful journey that comes with learning through trial-and-error.”
K.N. Kukoyi CSM FITOL is a bestselling author and software delivery specialist. Kay has written 5 books for SMEs and entrepreneurs, including the international Amazon bestseller,Don't Hire a Software Developer Until You Read this Bookand has spent more than a decade leading, and working in technical teams on high-profile, multi-million-pound web and mobile projects for companies including Sky News, Barclays Bank, and the SThree Group.
Kay works with tech entrepreneurs around the world, and is an Enterprise Nation small business advisor, and a tech startup mentor for Zinc VC, Seedcamp,WeWork Labs, the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator, and the We in Social Tech Accelerator. She has also mentored young founders aged from 18-24 for the OneTech Founders Weekend event, and student entrepreneurs from Launch Lab,City University's startup incubator.
Kay has a diploma (DiP IM) in Internet Marketing, is a Certified ScrumMaster®, qualified coach, and is a Fellow of The Institute of Training and Occupational Learning.
Kay also spent a number of years working as an IT recruiter, reviewing the CVs of 1000s of developers, and has a social research background, which involved interviewing members of the public, prisoners, journalists, business leaders, and MPs. She has brought together this diverse, yet complementary set of skills in order to create the Tech Startup Academy™ Programme.