CAN Invest and Football Beyond Borders

CAN Invest helped FBB understand how to scale their programme outside of London and develop an investment proposition to support the expansion

football beyond borders logo



Football Beyond Borders is an education charity which uses the power of football to inspire young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their goals and make their voices heard. Its project-based curriculum develops literacy, problem-solving skills and creativity through the prism of football.

CAN Invest and FBB won a grant from Big Potential in 2017 to help FBB understand how to scale their programme outside of London and develop an investment proposition to support this expansion.


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From Jack Reynolds (FBB Co-Director)
“I feel like I was supported to learn a lot of valuable financial and strategic skills which I will be able to use to continue the process independently. I feel like we got to a good place with the work we produced and that the products will be very helpful for helping us to scale. They were supportive and patient.”
The support was “more detailed, more supportive, [and gave] better final products” [when compared with other consultancy we have received].
“Thanks to CAN Invest for all their patience, intelligence, honesty and support.”

Growth strategy:

Delivery model: CAN Invest provided FBB with a template to carry out a detailed cost analysis of seven different FBB Schools delivery models. This template enabled FBB to consider the cost of different activities and the relative value that is created by these activities. FBB could then create different models and compare these in relation to cost, value created, value per £ spent and motivation for young people to attend. After reviewing those, CAN Invest completed a draft report setting out the strengths and weaknesses of different FBB Schools delivery models and FBB took forward potential delivery models. CAN then supported FBB to consider which model was most suitable for replication.

Strengthening financial modelling: FBB received training in financial modelling from the CAN team to enable the organisation to use the model as a management tool. This financial modelling work has enabled FBB to conduct a sensitivity analysis identifying the crucial variables in ensuring that it can scale effectively. The model shows costs, income and surplus and enables FBB to add on multiple delivery sites and models. It also illustrates resourcing requirements in terms of staffing.

Social investment funding model: The financial model enables FBB to see their likely margins and ramp up rate to show what level of social investment would be most appropriate for funding the expansion of the programme. 

Business planning to scale services: FBB has completed a business plan which CAN Invest has reviewed and provided feedback on. FBB are ready to share this with investors.

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Delivery model

The main changes that FBB has made are:

  1. Project leads to move from delivering six to eight sessions per week
  2. Schools to be provided with options for two delivery slots- early day: 8-10am or after school: 3-5pm
  3. Second member of staff to be one of an FBB apprentice, a university placement student (social work, PGCE, educational psychology), or a committed volunteer

These changes allow FBB to employ talented and experienced practitioners as project leads on a full time competitive salary while delivering for a cost that schools consider reasonable and affordable. It is currently testing this model across its 24 London programmes. Schools are happy with the model so far and initial Term 1 impact data suggests it is meeting targets. FBB intend to replicate this model outside of London in the 2018/19 school year.

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Financial model and business plan

The new financial model has formed a central part of the FBB business plan. FBB now has a template that it can use as it refines its scaling plan and a document underpinning its strategy which it can present to investors.

FBB now feel much more confident in its ability to independently:

Refining the model alongside the creation of the documents has enabled FBB to win significant new contracts and grant agreements. Over the last three months, the organisation has been successful in securing the following income:

FBB has used the resources produced to become one of Teach First’s national intervention partners, as an effective behaviour intervention. This partnership has led to FBB developing a waiting list of 20 schools in London that would like the organisation to deliver the programme at their school.

Ultimately, the work with CAN Invest has enabled FBB to develop a model which will be sustainable at scale whilst delivering impact and made its national expansion possible.

Social investment

Through working with the team, FBB has identified several target social investors. It now has a much better understanding of how social investment options- loan capital and grant funding, can scale its model.