We first heard about Generosity Bank via the Small Business Saturday #smallbiz100 2020 and absolutely loved the purpose of this business that launched in the pandemic. Shana Doherty, founder of Generosity Bank kindly shares her story with us. Thanks Shana, you are an inspiration!
Generosity Bank - Shana Doherty
Tell us a little bit about your business.
Generosity Bank is a self-service online platform that enables small business owners to ask questions and get help from professionals and other small business owners in their community.
What inspired you to set up your business?
Over the years, I have been involved in several voluntary initiatives whether that’s been through my work in the marketing and advertising industry, or getting involved in community initiatives. I’ve always found great pleasure in helping where I can and contributing to make a difference.
However, there were times I found it difficult juggling my day job, voluntary initiatives, commuting to London every day, parenting, running a home etc. I wanted to create a platform where people, like myself, could volunteer their time to do something good in their community, but not worry about time constraints or long term, ongoing commitments that would be difficult to manage. This is when the idea for Generosity Bank was born.
There are lots of ways that people can volunteer their time in person, but I wanted something that would combat time issues, allow people to use their professional skills and help remotely. I also wanted to create something that spoke specifically to small business owners. Small businesses are vital to the British economy. They create 48% of jobs in the UK and made a turnover of £1.5trillion in 2019.
The Generosity Bank platform provides another way to support these small businesses. The platform allows small business owners ask for help and advice directly through the platform. Volunteers can search through the businesses looking for help, and will get in touch if they have the necessary knowledge required.
What gave you the final nudge/ push to go for it?
The platform was built over the course of two years. I was working full time so I was working on the platform in the evenings and at the weekends. The final push to hit the ‘live’ button was when the Coronavirus pandemic hit. It gave a sense of urgency to get Generosity Bank up and running. Small businesses were really struggling and I knew that Generosity Bank could be a way for people to get the help they needed. I pushed hard to finalise the last elements and on 1 May 2020 the platform went live.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Due to launching in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic I had to completely change the business model so that the site can remain free to use for as long as possible. This was a tough decision but I knew it was the right thing to do.
Describe your greatest success/ the thing you are most proud of?
My greatest success is seeing a vision and following through with it. I’m proud to have created something that as a concept is so simple but as an executed platform is completely unique.
My hope is that Generosity Bank is the beginnings of a network of people that help each other and make lasting and meaningful connections within their communities.
I have lots of big plans for Generosity Bank’s future so watch this space!
What motivates you to keep forging ahead with your business?
Knowing that Generosity Bank is a business with a strong sense of purpose and is closely connected to my own values keeps me motivated. When you are passionate about something, there is no question whether you will continue to forge ahead.
Doing good things for our community, helping people, enabling people to help each other and themselves, creating supportive networks, sharing knowledge and lifting one another up – these are all things that Generosity Bank is all about and is the motivation needed.
Thank you so much to Shana for sharing her story with us here at Cat's Pajamas. We always feel inspired hearing about the journeys of others.
If you would like to find out more about Generosity Bank you can visit:
Instagram - @generositybank_
Facebook - @generositybank
Twitter - @generositybank