Getting To Know You: Polly Gowers OBE, CEO and founder of Everyclick

What do you currently do?
I am the CEO and founder of Everyclick ltd, the fundraising technology company behind Give as you Live.

Give as you Live is a new way for online shoppers to raise money for any UK charity, without spending a penny more. We are continuously signing up leading retailers to donate a percentage of every online purchase to the shoppers’ favourite charity. Currently backing Give as you Live are big names like Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Lastminute.com.

My team and I are passionate about unlocking the “hidden millions” for deserving UK causes by taking advantage of an existing revenue model and redirecting these funds to charity.

To date, Give as you Live technology has raised over £2.6m for UK charities and good causes.

What is your inspiration in business?
Early in my career, I was inspired by the power of the internet to do good. Despite the support the UK public offers, charities still unfortunately struggle to attract the same contributions they once did before the economic downturn. It is now more important than ever that charities look at new innovative ways to maintain a steady flow of funds by considering new channels that tap into the philanthropic British public.

I spearheaded Give as you Live for this very reason, having quickly realised that, through the clever use of technology, charities can have access to an additional £1.25bn per annum.

Who do you admire?
It would be hard to choose just one person to admire; I’ve been inspired by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the brains behind eBay, Pierre Omidyar as well as Zarine Kharas from JustGiving to name a few. What all these individuals have in common is that they have all built a business from a clear and simple idea and have stayed true to their message.

Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
I think anyone would, but that doesn’t mean you still wouldn’t be faced with new challenges. Through the journey with Give as you Live, I have constantly been learning what works and what doesn’t and with that, I have had to be flexible and willing to adapt. However, I have made a point of keeping a clear vision because if you loose that, you loose direction.

What defines your way of doing business?
Innovation, innovation, innovation.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
There are three key pieces of advice I would offer. First, don’t underestimate planning and ensure you take on board all feedback to your plan, even if you don’t want to hear it. Secondly, what ever it is that you do, you need to be able to describe it in five words or less. Any more than that and you’ve lost people’s attention. Thirdly, build a team of great people around you. A business is the team of people behind the product or service – without them you have nothing.

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