A North-West entrepreneur has become this year’s leading fundraiser for a Manchester charity event after rallying thousands of pounds for a sleepout to combat homelessness.
Craig Cornick, founder of IQUOTE Limited, took part in the CEO Sleepout initiative, raising more than £10,000 in just a few weeks for the campaign that aims to support those living on the streets.
Craig joined other North-West business leaders as part of the Manchester event at Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground on October 23rd.
Having seen others face challenges when launching businesses and dealing with the financial pressures that come with it, the cause was particularly personal to Craig who understands the struggles many individuals experience when maintaining bills and housing.
He even found himself relying on his sister’s couch for accommodation due to the high costs of renting back in 2010.
Speaking about his efforts, he said: “It’s incredibly fulfilling to know that we can make a real difference in the lives of those in need and I want to thank everyone who contributed. This cause is close to my heart, having faced my own challenges in the past.
“Every pound raised brings us one step closer to alleviating the suffering of those experiencing homelessness.
“Participating in the CEO Sleepout was a humbling experience. It’s easy to underestimate the harsh realities of being homeless until you’re exposed to them, even in a small way.
“Spending a night outdoors, despite the camaraderie of fellow business leaders, gave me a glimpse into the struggles many individuals face every day and reinforced my commitment to this cause.”
Craig has always been committed to engaging with the homeless population in Manchester and has previously taken to the streets to give out sleeping bags to those in need.
The entrepreneur said that hearing people’s stories has given him an alternate view on their plight, recognising the dire situations many find themselves in.
“The lack of support for many to get life’s basics needs including a warm bed and access to sanitation, is difficult to fathom,” he added.
“Before actually making time to speak to homeless people, many assume they’re just on drugs, but that’s not always the case.
“I recently spoke to a lady living with her two dogs, whose predicament was a stark reminder of the multifaceted nature of this problem. Her situation revolved around a landlord’s refusal to allow her beloved animals into her flat, resulting in her eviction. This issue truly affects people from all walks of life.”
Having founded IQUOTE Limited in 2016 which specialises in legal asset and Opex capital loans, Craig’s entrepreneurial journey began humbly with a single truck in 2010 but swiftly evolved into a multimillion-pound car rental business boasting 186 vehicles.
The businessman who founded companies all around the world, has consistently focussed on leveraging technology to disrupt traditional industries, with a particular emphasis on litigation funding and enhancing access to justice for society’s most vulnerable.
Craig’s commitment extends beyond business success. He actively supports the rehabilitation of young recovering addicts, providing them with opportunities for personal and professional growth. His investments have played a pivotal role in the success stories of individuals who have gone on to manage large companies.
He has also become a passionate supporter of the Get Fit 4 Mental Wellness charity, whose founder successfully turned his life around after experiencing homelessness.
Craig added: “The issue of homelessness goes beyond statistics; it’s about real people with real struggles. Their stories are often hidden from view, and it is up to us, as a society, to shine a light on their difficulties.
“The problem is not confined to just one demographic; it affects individuals from all walks of life. We must recognise that homelessness is often a consequence of systemic issues, and addressing it requires a comprehensive approach, from affordable housing and mental health support to employment opportunities.”
The CEO Sleepout initiative organises events in cities across the UK and has raised £4 million to fight homelessness to date.
Bianca Robinson, CEO of CEO Sleepout UK, said: “It was fantastic to see Craig’s fundraising. For him to raise over £10,000 was an extraordinary achievement and puts him in our exclusive £10,000+ club.
“It was a pleasure to meet Craig, who, alongside 70 other leaders from Manchester’s business community braved rain and wind to spend an uncomfortable night outdoors.
“CEO Sleepout aims to unlock compassion and understanding around some of the bigger issues our society has created, inspiring the business leadership community to step into their power as change-agents and strengthen the fabric of society.”
To donate, please visit Craig’s JustGiving page by clicking here.