Social media recruitment startup gets UK govt finance

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Get fired? Virgin Mobile will eat your phone bill for 3 months, one of the slew of social media enabled graduate recruitment sites to launch this year, has had £102k in finance from RBS under the government’s new Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme that encourages business growth and staff expansion.

Like many social media takes on traditional approaches, flips the recruitment model, allowing graduate job seekers to interact with employers of choice directly via Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. The company has operations in the UK and India.

The idea is that companies can reduce their recruitment costs and use social networks for recruiting without themselves having to take the plunge and get to grips with the medium. The site is the brainchild of 25 year old Lucian Tarnowski, who in his student years ran Take Heart India, one of the UK’s only entirely student run charities.

Last month he picked up the gong for Global Enterprising Young Brit in the Make Your Mark awards backed by the British Chambers of Commerce, the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors.

Under the EFG scheme the government guarantees 75% of any loans made, with the bank covering the remaining 25%. It’s open to profitable businesses with an annual turnover of up to £25m, seeking loans from £1k to £1m.

  • john m howitt

    Again? This must be the umpteenth site that is going to “turn recruitment” on it’s head. The signal to noise ratio in these types of sites is too high to contemplate serious recruitment efforts. Still it is a 102k of money in circulation even if it is going nowhere.

  • Steven

    It is a great shame that folk in the web2.0 / startup sector are chasing government pork. It is understandable, sure, but still makes me sad. These difficult economic times are a necessary correction of previous misallocations of resources, and we must recognise that and learn some very important lessons. If the private sector do not think it wise to “encourage business growth and staff expansion” right now, then why is it any wiser for a government initiative to do so? Is it not a little absurd to think that a social media recruitment startup should need any government help?

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  • Scott

    As a second year university student, I find it reassuring that BraveNewTalent is getting help starting out. It’s a great idea and companies like Deliotte and Seimens have already committed. I find the site is one of few that are effective in communicating with potential employers. The best of luck to them!

  • Lucian Tarnowski

    There aren’t that many new social networks doing this…! Although our wording might come accross as punchy we do think we have the right team and business model in place to deliver. We are also delivering One Young World through our platform (check out the summary below).

    We are still in Alpha but any comments on our strategy and site as it stands would be most welcome.



    One Young World was launched in Davos and already has the support of Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu and Bob Geldof among others as counsellors. The initiative is aiming to use the internet as a way to mobilize young people together. is gathering together 1500 leaders of tomorrow born between 1984-1986 from 192 countries around the world for be a leadership summit in London on February 8th-10th 2010. One Young World should become a unified voice of the next generation for every sector, almost like a ‘Youth Kyoto’ or a ‘Young UN’., is managing the global social media outreach for One Young World; tapping into the major social networks and new media channels across the planet in order to mobilize this generation behind the initiative. The event is a world first in that 2 delegates are being selected from every country in the world and the remaining delegates in line with the spread of the world’s population. This means it will be the first time ever that countries such as India and China have their population fully represented at any global event. China will have 259 delegates, India 223 and US 61 (and so on)…

  • Joe W

    Sites like this would be so much better off if they attracted small firms – that’s where social networking can be useful.

    Small companies and graduates finding each other in a way that they otherwise couldn’t have.

    Big companies using social media for recruitment is just another way for HR depts to create noise. All the same content will be lifted from their own homepage.

    • Lucian Tarnowski

      I agree with Joe W that we could be used efficiently for small firms to engage their employer brand. However, it is necessary that we start by focusing on the big blue chip employer brands. We have companies such as Deloitte, BP, Deutche Bank, Logica and Ericsson (among others) are using the platform to make job search more social.

      As for Stephen’s comment on ‘Government Pork’ – debt funding is a lot cheaper to the business than equity funding… If you can get it then go for it. I think we should jump on all opportunities for support when in a start up – especially when cash is involved!

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  • Ernst

    it says that to qualify for this sort of govt funding the company has to be profitable. Lucian could you shed any light on whether bravenewtalent is making any profit at the moment. how many it employs, cash flow projections for the next few years etc

  • Funf

    I heard this site already has had over a million quid in funding from various sources, yet after over a year the site has no traffic and no content, let alone has it turned a profit. What does this site even do?! In ten year’s time when people look back to the second dot com crash, it will be sites like BNT that people think back to.

  • Crud

    I’ve met Lucian a number of times and still have NO clue what he’s trying to do here despite a number of explanations from the horses mouth. The fact that the government is pumping more money into this house of cards is a great shame. They might be good at hot air, I’ve yet to see much in the way of delivery in the 18 months they’ve been around.

  • Charlotte Ryan

    This site doesn’t even WORK?!!!

  • Finance Capitalism

    This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone

  • steve

    I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with everyone.
    Best Buy Finance

  • Personal Finance Bible

    The society is facing problems with such laws. This has to go legal and it’s needed to be sorted at the earlier.
    Personal Finance Bible
    Grace Johns

  • Accountancy Recruitment

    It’s a good job for these sites to help the job seekers. I hope this is the new beginning of the government support to social media sites.

  • Peter Wilkinson

    Dear Sir

    I have just launched this UK focused Social media | Marketing | Web ‘monster job board’ All are welcome to post CV, jobs and search CV for free until November 2010. Feedback is very welcome.



    PS If you have an interest in social media marketing you may like to join this buzzing LinkedIn group. Social Media Marketing UK (#SMMUK)

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