Encompass Education is a business created by three University of Birmingham medicine students, Amar Bhogal, Jack Martin and Luke Cutts.
Read about their journey and some valuable advice.
Amar, Jack and Luke's story
Encompass Education is a social enterprise which aims to provide high quality educational support to GCSE and A-Level pupils in order to reduce the attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their classmates. We want to support local Birmingham pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds in order to increase academic attainment and encourage pupils to consider further and higher education that they may not previously have thought possible.
The project started late 2019, with us officially registering the company in January 2020. With experience in private teaching and tutoring, we noticed a common theme among our clients. Students from wealthy backgrounds are far more likely to seek and receive educational support than students from more disadvantaged backgrounds. We strongly believe that this support should not be solely available to those who can afford to pay.
The best aspect for sure is having the independence and autonomy to do what you want, when you want. Running a business can be really rewarding, especially when you see how far the business has come and what the future can hold.
Start-Up life in 2020
The hardest aspect is all the uncertainties that come with running a business. When we started this project, we had never heard of COVID-19 and no one had really prepared for a pandemic. The unpredictable nature of the virus, and lockdown, meant all our plans were disrupted and that we had to rethink our strategy. Annoying, but looking back, it helped us develop our model even more.
Always plan for the unpredictable. It sounds obvious looking back, but when you first start a business you get caught up in the current moment and you try predict what will happen in a few months time based on how things are going. But, I think the key is to always have one eye looking forward to see how you can optimise your situation if things happened to not go your way. For us, that was wanting to be able to provide online tuition sooner once we realised the situation with COVID 19.