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Ten of the best – our highlights of 2018

7 Dec 2018

At Octopus we see it as part of our mission to share stories from across the Group. We want to discuss the about topics that matter to us, like entrepreneurship and wellness at work, we want to champion the great charities we support. But above all, we want to inspire people of all ages to feel like they can make the world a better place. So, here’s a selection of some of our most popular insights in 2018.


Helping young people to change the world, one goal at a time

The Octopus Energy Investments team owns and operate renewable energy projects across the UK. But that’s not all they do. For example, the Wryde Croft wind farm in Peterborough is located just 10 miles from the Ken Stimpson Community School. So, members of the team spent a day talking with the students about the United Nations’ sustainability goals and discussing the challenges of creating work opportunities and economic growth in their own communities.

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Six reasons why resilience is your strongest superpower

At Octopus, we often talk about resilience as being part of our DNA. But what does that mean in practice? Here are six essential resilience traits that can help show your resilience. And if you can give examples in each category, then a career at Octopus might be right for you.

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World Cup Fever sweeps through Octopus Giving

Just before the World Cup started, Octopus Giving held its own internal mini shoot-out tournament. We wanted to raise awareness for MyBnk, one of our four charity partners, and as well as getting thousands of pounds in donations, we also got Octopus people to volunteer hundreds of hours of their time too.

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Introducing Octopus Springboard

This year saw the launch of a new initiative aimed at helping people who work at Octopus to become fully-fledged entrepreneurs. Over the next 12 months, Octopus will set aside a pot of money which will be made available to a handful of entrepreneurs who successfully pitch their new business ideas to us.

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Postcard from Monaco

Back in June, our co-founders Chris Hulatt and Simon Rogerson flew out to Monaco to take their spot as the UK representatives in EY’s World Entrepreneur Of The Year competition. They soon found themselves rubbing shoulders with entrepreneurs from 46 different countries. Each winner was representing their nation and competing for the world title. SPOILER ALERT: sadly Chris and Simon didn’t win, but they learned a huge amount from the experience, as Chris’s blog reveals.

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From London to Malawi: turning disadvantaged youth into entrepreneurs

Last year Octopus Giving introduced a new volunteering programme in partnership with The International Exchange (TIE), and asked for applications from people across all Octopus businesses. Chloe Allan, a Business Development Manager for Octopus Investments, was one of many applicants who showed an interest in volunteering in a developing country. TIE matched Chloe with Chance for Change, a charity based in Malawi, and the experience proved to be life-changing.

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Learning from failure: three valuable lessons for budding entrepreneurs

One of the first lessons that all budding entrepreneurs are taught is that failure is good. But what sounds simple in theory can be much harder in practice. In August we invited serial entrepreneur Jesse Shemen, formerly of Octopus Labs, to tell us about his experiences of starting out on his own, building businesses and learning from his mistakes. It was a fascinating event and gave plenty of people across Octopus the inspiration to start thinking about their own ventures into entrepreneurship.

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Digital mums: training the UK’s most flexible freelance workforce

For many mums, becoming a parent means making some stark career decisions. If going back to work full-time is not an option, the alternative can be taking on low paid work or deciding not to go back to work at all. And it’s quite common for mums looking to return to the world of work to lack confidence and worry that their careers and skills are falling behind. So, we were delighted in September to talk to Digital Mums, an inspiring organisation that is helping thousands of mums return to work by learning digital skills that lead to rewarding and flexible work opportunities.

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Turning the tables: the women building tomorrow’s global businesses

Why do so few women choose to launch their own businesses? Just one in five businesses in Britain are run by a woman, and there are twice as many male entrepreneurs than females in the UK. Here at Octopus, we’re hoping to change that, by giving women entrepreneurs a greater voice and keeping the issues firmly in the spotlight. Together with Octopus Ventures, we asked female entrepreneurs to tell us about the challenges women in leadership face on a daily basis.

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Entrepreneurs share their experiences of life as a co-founder

New research from Octopus revealed that more businesses would be launched if people could find the right business partner to work with. We asked a number of entrepreneurs with successful start-ups to tell us what having a co-founder has why their start-up has blossomed thanks to having a co-founder.

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