Pitch perfect Reneta wows investors

August 2016

Enterprising UCB student Reneta Wallen is a step closer to realising her dream of launching a youth club after wowing investors at Birmingham’s answer to the Dragon’s Den.

The 19-year-old from Aston was one of four people pitching ideas at the latest Birmingham SOUP event.

The monthly fundraiser sees people paying £5 to enjoy a meal, listen to pitches, and then vote for the community project they want to receive the money taken on the door.

Reneta, who is studying for a degree in Youth, Community and Families at UCB, walked away with £150 after persuading supporters her project was the most credible.

The former Harborne Academy pupil already runs an initiative called Lift Matters, which aims to empower vulnerable 14-25 year-olds living in Birmingham through workshops and experiences.

Her next step is to launch a youth club, with a permanent base, where she can host regular events.

Reneta, who also works as a student ambassador at UCB, said: “If you can sit down and make a difference to one person’s life, that person can then influence others. My organisation is called Lift Matters because we want to show how together young people in Birmingham can give each other a lift. It’s hard work but I am determined to make a change in society.”

Her winning pitch has earned Reneta three months use of Impact Hub Birmingham – a community space based in Digbeth.

The SOUP revolution has swept across the UK. It originated in Detroit where it has raised more than $100,000 for community projects. The only rules are that pitches must last no longer than five minutes and cannot include a PowerPoint presentation.