Howell’s alumna helps the homeless get back to work

In September this year, Howell’s School, Llandaff alumna Chloe Smith was shortlisted for Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Wales Start Up Awards for her social enterprise, the Bigmoose Coffee Co. 

In 2016, Chloe was part-way though her degree course when she realised that she wasn’t enjoying university life and wanted to do something different. Chloe began volunteering with the homeless people of Cardiff, working at a homeless shelter and encouraging local businesses to donate food, clothing, bedding and toiletries, but she wanted to make more of a difference to the lives of people living on the city’s streets, to encourage them to re-enter work and then society.

Starting small, but dreaming big, the Bigmoose Coffee Co was launched with the help of a Kickstarter campaign to raise £20,000. The coffee shop, in the centre of Cardiff, employs and trains homeless people as baristas and servers to give them a chance to get into full-time employment, and all the profits from the business are used to provide training, mentoring and guidance to homeless people in conjunction with local street charity Llamau, which supports young people at risk of homelessness.