Cyber Security Company Training Vulnerable Young People Receives Investment
BluescreenIT has received £150,000 of investment from the Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund (South West) (H&WCF) managed by social investment company Resonance. The £150k unsecured loan will help BluescreenIT to build capacity, take on larger contracts and expand their delivery of training to more young people, initially across the South West and then nationally.
Primarily a cyber skills and security company, BluescreenIT is providing positive pathways for vulnerable young people and adults through training programmes and apprenticeships, to develop skills to work in the cyber industry. The opportunities are particularly beneficial to those who display emotional and social difficulties such as ADHD or autism, and who may find it hard to engage in mainstream education.
This is an exciting first-time investment from the H&WCF into a cyber organisation – not perhaps a business that might first be associated to health and wellbeing. However, the way BluescreenIT supports vulnerable people, clearly shows an intent to improve the health and wellbeing of peoples’ lives and as a result, has a significant positive impact on the whole of society. BluescreenIT’s aim is to capture people who may be dabbling in hacking and might be tempted into crime (average age of hackers is 17 years) and seek to steer them into careers in IT. They provide classroom training and work experience to gain a greater understanding of the industry, which is suffering a serious skills shortage. This innovative approach sets them apart.
The Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund is an impact investment fund established with investment from the Growth Fund and South West Academic Health Science Network (SWAHSN). The Growth Fund is managed by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, and is funded from the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.
The Fund seeks to make social impact investment more accessible and relevant to smaller social enterprises looking to expand their impact by improving Health & Wellbeing for communities in the South West. BluescreenIT is an ideal social investment opportunity, as it is a limited company operating with a social mission. Organisations such as these are exactly those that the H&WCF can help and BluescreenIT’s collaborative approach, sharing learning with partners and stakeholders such as universities, councils and manufacturing groups is something Resonance really likes to see.
Michael Dieroff, Managing Director at BluescreenIT said of the investment: “Watching our young learners and apprentices turning into Information Security professionals has been a really rewarding experience for the whole team. We are making a real difference in our industry and the community, which is desperately short of these skills.
We were delighted to have the support from Resonance, Tom and Leila both fantastic throughout the process. Their support has allowed us to focus more effectively on strategy and delivery – and we are incredibly excited to move things forward!”
Tom Crook, Investment Analyst at Resonance describes the deal: “This was a really exciting deal for me because BlusescreenIT is operating as a social enterprise without really knowing it. We were able to use this investment to help them put their social mission at the forefront of the business. We held an impact on track workshop which really helped them review the data they are already collecting (which was a vast amount) and how this could feed into an impact framework to help them make strategic decisions and communicate their social impact more clearly.”
Bluescreenit (BIT Training and BIT security) are a specialist training and security company located in Plymouth, Devon. We are a dedicated team that have worked within the community, schools, colleges, universities, local councils and national groups aiming to integrate community, skills and information security! Providing Cyber Security services and technical training including Cyber, Microsoft, Cisco and other vendor related qualifications, we have made a mission of integrating with the community and building employable people for the future of our digital economy. With courses included in our delivery certified by GCHQ, BluescreenIT are seen as a leader in the security skills and services community!