Uhubs: helping 1 billion people realise their full potential

WeWhoDo sat down with Matt Milligan, founder of Uhubs, and recent Forbes 30 Under 30 for Social Impact, to discuss Uhubs’ goal to upskill 1 billion people by 2030!

So, where did the idea for Uhubs come from? 

Matt: I’ve always been really passionate about becoming the best version of myself and realising my full potential. With the corporate upskilling market worth around £400 billion a year (not including the university and higher education market!), there is a huge opportunity to have a really sizable impact and help many others do the same and become the best versions of themselves.

Having been through university myself, I saw the gap that exists between education and practical skills. If I’m honest, the idea of being spoken to for 3 hours in a lecture theatre, and then sitting a memory test to get a piece of paper just to signal to the market that you’re ready for employment feels like a bit of a joke! A lot of the time, you start out in the real world and realise you have very little skills for actual work! And this is where Uhubs comes in…

Uhubs fills those gaps and actually aids people with practical and applicable skills for the workplace. Not only do we help people understand their skills, but we also shine a light on any gaps and help close them: connecting people to experts and providing an effective way for people to realise their potential.

How did you meet your co-founder, Ash Ali? 

Matt: I met Ash when I was running EY Startup Network, which was a community for the top scaleup founders in Europe . I used to run monthly founder-investor dinners and Ash and I hit it off. We gelled immediately and kept bumping into each other. A general rule of mine is that if something happens three times then you have to act on it; so when I bumped into him at a networking event, a public toilet and then at Boxpark Shoreditch, I knew we needed to keep chatting! We looked at the UN Sustainable Development Goals which helped reinforce the fact that the problem we cared about was important. we worked on the idea together from there. We are now a team of twelve and are super excited to keep growing!

Where did the passion for education and professional development come from? 

Matt: Unequal access to opportunity is what really inspired me. At the moment, your ability to be mentored or coached depends on a lot of externalities: where you were born, the school you went to, your job and ultimately how good your manager is at developing you. I’ve always felt it is really unfair that so many other factors outside of your control determine your success. We want to try and provide access no matter what your situation is: ultimately levelling the playing field. 

What makes Uhubs different? 

Matt:  The first niche we are helping are Salespeople. In the sales world, there is a lot of focus on hard metrics and using revenue intelligence to understand the pipeline. What we see is the value of the human side: What makes a good salesperson? What competencies do your salespople need?  How can you nurture skills? Uhubs is helping sales teams become human-led and human-centric and most importantly prove the value of any sales enablement spend taking place.

The best way to describe the product we are building is like the Playstation game, Fifa. We are ranking sales individuals like you rank players (e.g based on their speed, shot accuracy etc). This is looking not just at their skill sets but also at factors like motivation and growth mindset and recommending a path for improvement based on this data.

We are also super client-focused. We have just completed a big research piece with our clients on remote sales performance. As we all know, it has been a challenge for clients to continue growing sales remotely. So, we sat down with leaders in this space and asked them what they felt their teams were doing well, what could be improved and also analysed thousands of skillsets through our Pulse technology to look into the drivers of remote sales performance. This was really great learning for us and has been a pleasure to share the insights with the wider market.

What’s the dream for Uhubs?

Matt: The five year plan is to become the dominant brand in workforce development. We want to be the go-to place for any organization that wants to help their people understand their skills and how they can plug the gaps more effectively. 

The ten year vision is that we are working globally with end consumers and providing access and awareness to upskilling. In my mind, this could be working with inspiring entrepreneurs across less developed countries and providing access to modern skills that is currently missing for so many.

So, whilst the initial focus is still very much B2B for now, our ultimate goal is world domination and disruption of the global education space.

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