Today the little startup I conceptualised in Cyprus, launched from the UK and now lead globally from the US turns 5.
included.co delivers business perks right onto the desks (and into the pockets) of members of 545 multi-business communities. In this post I dive into my long-term vision for included and our potential to positively impact millions of lives.
Let’s start with our audacious mission statement.
At included.co, we believe that by truly democratizing access to business-supporting solutions, entrepreneurship can sustainably improve millions more lives around the globe.
“Which is great, but what does that actually mean?”, I can hear you thinking.
(Well I can’t actually hear your thoughts, but I did feel your eyes roll back in their sockets, a litt… OK, a lot.)
What our mission statement means in simplest terms is this…
If we get everything right, people who are building important businesses will never have to have to leave their local communities in order to get access to the products, services and pricing that will really enable them to grow their businesses sustainably.
In turn, these businesses would support their local economies, create jobs, up-skill passionate locals and in turn create and sustain even more local businesses.
I totally understand the immense challenge we’ve set ourselves and are truly grateful for the 100s and 100s of community operators, solution providers and ambassadors who continue to work with and entrust us to implement the world’s first global business perks infrastructure.
“Why business ‘perks’ though?”, you’re thinking to yourself.
(See, it’s like magic.)
In order to implement the foundations that would enable us to build towards achieving our audacious goal, we needed to build a mechanism that would reward all of our early stakeholders as soon as possible; whether they’re our community partners, their members or the business solution providers themselves.
As of today, 545 community operators have signed up to included.co, giving their members access to discounted services and products on-demand as ‘perks’, regardless of where in the world they are based, or the number of members within their immediate local community.
The communities benefit from being able to offer valuable business perks, their members benefit from larger discounts and solution discovery, and the vendors benefit from distribution at unprecedented efficiency.
“But what about non-coworking communities though!?”… is probably not what you’re thinking at all.
(But it is a great question so I’ll answer it for you.)
Over the last 18 months we’ve begun providing our perks platform to both coworking alliances (sort of business associations for the operators of coworking spaces) and freelancer-focussed communities, building upon the powerful networks we’ve built across and in between participating coworking spaces.
As we learn from these pilot programmes, and invite more new partners to leverage the platform, we are excited to be reaching more and more businesses who may not have access to a physical community space just yet.
So in short, whilst we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us, we are continuously inspired by the amazing people, organizations and businesses who continue to step up to help us build something completely new, important and quite honestly, a little bit audacious.
Here’s to the next 5 years of sustainably enabling entrepreneurship around the world, together. 🎉