Cultivate London: a CAN Invest case study


Cultivate London is a charity focused on creating new green spaces to be enjoyed by residents and others, with the aim of ease of access, increasing social opportunities for all, reducing anti-social behaviour, and generally improving the local environment. It also offers work-based opportunities to disadvantaged young people as trainee and apprentice horticulturists.



CAN Invest and Cultivate London won a grant from Big Potential in 2017 to help them understand how to expand their garden services enterprise in order to both increase their social impact and to reduce reliance on grant funding.

CL considered there to be potential for growth in their gardening enterprises, particularly through commercial contracts, however, needed some guidance to most effectively make this transition.

  1. Business plan:
  • CAN & CL jointly developed an up-to-date business plan, considering the current environment and the organisation's strategic and impact objectives.

The document focused on providing CL with a tangible plan across the next 12 months (with short-term 'quick-win' changes, medium-term plans and longer-term items for review).


  1. Financial model:
  • CL benefited from the development of a bespoke financial and human resource model.

This enables staff members to plan future projects in terms of staff required, costs and margin generated and the impact of the organisation's cash flow. The model includes editable assumptions in case of projects/approach changes.


  1. Market potential & planning:
  • CAN provided CL with a bespoke framework to develop a marketing strategy and plan to enable them to more effectively reach more commissioners of their services.
  • CAN also fed in relevant market research, including an assessment of their market position vs. competitors, to help CL prioritise their marketing activities.


  1. Social Impact:

  • CAN supported CL to develop a robust Theory of Change, and measurement framework to give staff and trustees an improved understanding of the impact created for different stakeholders. In addition, providing guidance was given on how to use such evaluation to further enhance CL's marketing materials.


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Category: Invest