Startup Showcase: Beam – Crowdfunding Training for Homeless People

2 mins read

Beam is a social innovation company based in London, UK, that is transforming the way disadvantaged people access training, support and employment opportunities. It is an online platform that operates on the principles of crowdfunding to raise money for career training for people experiencing homelessness, thus empowering them to become financially independent.

With Beam, homeless individuals can access professional training, courses and qualifications that will help them acquire the skills and knowledge they need to find and sustain permanent employment. Through collaborative partnerships with leading UK charities including Shelter and St Mungo’s, Beam provides ongoing support and mentoring that is tailored to the individual’s needs.

Beam has only been in operation for a few years, but it is already making a significant impact on the lives of homeless people. It has been recognised by the London Homelessness Award, received the Best Tech for Good Award in Europe, and was named one of the 100 most innovative organisations in Europe by the Financial Times in 2018.

The Beam Model of Crowdfunding Training

Beam is a charity that runs on social crowdfunding principles. When a homeless person joins Beam, they are matched with a support team comprising of a caseworker and support specialist. This team provides personalised support to the member to help them identify a career path that matches their skills and interests.

Once the Beam member has identified their course of study, they will be helped to develop a crowdfunding campaign. This will include an overview of the training they need, the associated costs, and the timeline for completion. Once their campaign is live, Beam supporters from all over the world can donate to the campaign.

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Beam provides regular progress updates to everyone who donates to the campaign, making it possible to track how the homeless person is faring every step of the way. Once the funds are raised, the Beam team pays for the training, and the individual begins the study. Beam liaises with training providers to ensure that the course is relevant, high quality, and provides a clear pathway to employment.

The Beam Results and Future Ambitions

Beam has already helped to transform the lives of over 200 homeless people in London. More than 75% of Beam graduates have moved into permanent employment and are now able to support themselves.

The platform has set ambitious targets for the future. By 2023, it hopes to allocate £10 million in funds for career training for homeless people across the UK. It is also committed to providing on-going support to help homeless alumni sustain long-term financial independence.


Beam is a groundbreaking concept in social enterprise that harnesses the power of crowdfunding to provide career training and support to those experiencing homelessness. Through a unique model of personalised case management and social crowdfunding, Beam has already demonstrated its ability to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Beam is building a pathway to stable employment one person at a time.


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