Introducing our new brand

Hi. We are Firstport, and we are looking (and feeling) refreshed.

We are very excited to introduce you to our new brand this week. A project that has been in the works for months, our new look is the result of a journey we embarked on to realign our brand with our new reality and values and bring out to the fore the elements that make us, well, us.

Why a rebrand?

A lot has changed in the world in the last few years, as it has at Firstport. Following the launch of our 2019 strategy, we established our sister company, Firstimpact. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we managed two emergency funds for the third sector, which had a profound impact on what we do at Firstport today. And in 2021, we opened the Catalyst Fund, our first social investment product.

On top of that, as a natural consequence of the pandemic, we started to think about what the ‘Future of Work’ would look like for Firstport and what kind of organisation we wanted to be. Out of these reflections emerged new values – not imposed from on high, stuck on the walls, and forgotten about, but the result of an inclusive, collaborative, and deeply introspective exercise. Our values define the behaviours that we aspire to and celebrate.

Altogether, we felt like our visual identity, proposition, and messaging had not kept up with the pace of the changes, and we wanted to rectify that.

The process

We teamed up with Korero Studio, a strategic design consultancy with a fantastic team of people who immediately got what we were trying to achieve- and why.

Over three months, they got under the bonnet of who we are, what we do and how we make a difference. They helped us articulate a new vision and mission, as well as design a visual identity that better reflects the journey of the people we support. Starting and growing a social enterprise is not a linear journey, and our new logo visualises that journey freshly and excitingly.

One thing that came loud and clear through the user research Korero undertook is that, for social entrepreneurs, we do so much more than just ‘support’ or ‘funding’. Time and time again, our clients told them that we were the first people to see the potential in them and their ideas, that we gave them the encouragement and validation they needed to take the leap and move their ideas forward, and that we helped them demystify the language of business and understand that to succeed, an idea needs the ‘enterprise’ as much as the ‘social’.

This made us realise that for people to really ‘get us’, we need to talk about not just what we do but how we do it. For example, that there’s no Firstport mould that you have to fit into. Whatever your personality, whatever your style, we structure our support around you and your idea. Whether you need a sounding board, a critical friend, some specialist advice, or a helpful introduction, we’re at your side to help in any way we can.

My experience with Firstport is that they believe in you, but also, I would say they help you believe in you. They’re really helping you believe in your own idea.

Social entrepreneur

Many of our current and previous clients have got to know the real ‘more-than-just’ Firstport through their interactions with us. And we want everyone who lands on our website, picks one of our leaflets or visits us at a stall to leave knowing that there is no better place to start their journey into social enterprise. And that we are working tirelessly to make social enterprise accessible, achievable and aspirational.

What’s coming

Over the next couple of months, you’ll start to see some changes, not only in how we look but also in how we sound.

While some website visuals and content are now updated, there is still more work to do. We will also roll out the new look across our presentations, printed materials, and more. Our new logo and its flow shapes (which we affectionately call the squiggles or Steves) are visual signifiers that we are helping our clients on the journey to starting and growing a social enterprise. You will see the shapes interacting with our imagery and text in an unapologetically optimistic way. If you’re looking for someone to believe in you, you’ve come to the right place.

You will also see more and different content from us in an encouraging and reassuring tone. We want to present ourselves fully and honestly, telling you who we are, how we do what we do and why. We will share not only the good bits but everything in between, too. It’s not about blowing our own trumpet but building trust and long-term relationships- those are the mainstays of our support.

Have we helped you along your journey of starting and growing a social enterprise? We would love to hear what you think we did that was more than just funding or business advice. Whether it was a year ago or ten, please share your thoughts and tag us on social media or email us.

They’re constantly offering you the support that you need to be successful. They’re setting you up for success, not failure. That’s what they’re doing.

Social entrepreneur