David Murray to row Atlantic for social entrepreneurs

david murrayDavid Murray, the former Software Bureau, Occam, and Wood for Trees sales director, is taking to the high seas to row the Atlantic – and even break a world record – in order to support social entrepreneurialism.

Murray will be joined by Guy Rigby, who founded the Entrepreneurial Services Group at Smith & Williamson, for the endeavour which was first completed in 1896 by Norwegian duo Frank Samuelsen and George Harbo.

Murray and Rigby are aiming to become the oldest pair to row any ocean, with a combined age of 124 at the start of the race. The two-man team will row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in their 24-foot rowing boat, The Entrepreneur Ship, in December 2021 and hope to arrive in Antigua sometime in February 2022.

They are now seeking sponsors from the marketing sector to support them to raise money for UnLtd, the charity that finds, funds and supports social entrepreneurs – enterprising people with solutions that change society for the better.

Last year the charity backed 662 social entrepreneurs 42% of whom identified as being from Black, Asian, or minority ethnic backgrounds, and/or having a disability.

Economists believe that entrepreneurs, and more particularly social entrepreneurs, will be critical for post-pandemic economic recovery. With unemployment rising and redundancies at their highest rate in over a decade the number of start-ups is expected to soar, with many new businesses looking to create enterprises that help change society for the better.

The need for more socially responsible business is becoming increasingly engrained in national consciousness and 88% of consumers now want businesses to be more pro-social.

The latest figures reveal that social enterprises are currently worth £60bn, equating to 3% of UK GDP and 5% of employment. This firmly illustrates the importance of these organisations to the UK economy.

Organisations have a wide range of sponsorship options from the Platinum Package through to sponsoring specific requirements such as Guy and David’s oars for £3,000. Alternatively, businesses can become part of the £250 Club donating £250 directly to UnLtd or to David and Guy’s rowing costs.

Nick Travis, head of entrepreneurial services at principal sponsor Smith & Williamson said: “Entrepreneurship is, at its easiest, a hard slog and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Our own experience, as well as the statistics, tell us it is even more difficult for those from disadvantaged economic backgrounds and for businesses led by female or BAME founders.

“Guy and David have identified UnLtd as an organisation that backs these underserved entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges they face and have decided to take on their own Guinness World Record beating challenge to help them. Rowing the Atlantic will be a truly momentous feat and we couldn’t be happier to support Guy, David, UnLtd and all of the entrepreneurs they help by becoming the principal sponsor.”

Already seemingly joined at the hip, Murray and Rigby issued a joint statement that reads: “What started as a throwaway comment, has now become a very real and daunting prospect! No more daunting, however, than taking the plunge and setting up a business – so the parallels are there.

“By the end of the year, we’ll be in the middle of the Atlantic knowing that, with every stroke, we are raising money for businesses that are helping to change the world for the better. The impact in local communities can be profound.

“To all those businesses out there who are well established, albeit facing tough economic conditions, please help us maximise our funding for this incredible cause.”

UnLtd chief executive Mark Norbury added: “We are delighted that David and Guy have chosen to support us with their inspiring row. Every penny of additional funding will be used to help social entrepreneurs establish and build businesses that promote social mobility, create meaningful jobs and bring benefits to local communities.”

For more details on how you can support the initiative, visit the scheme’s website>

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