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Arm leads fan base as Kickstart Coffee funds Ugandan school’s pupils and teachers





A non-profit coffee company started by a former Addenbrooke’s Hospital children’s nurse is now supporting 160 children and 11 full-time teachers in a school in Uganda – thanks to coffee drinkers at Arm and other Cambridge companies.

Kickstart Coffee beans are grown on the side of Uganda’s Mount Elgon. Picture: Keith Heppell
Kickstart Coffee beans are grown on the side of Uganda’s Mount Elgon. Picture: Keith Heppell

Hannah Nunn runs Kickstart Coffee, which sources coffee from the slopes of Mount Elgon in Uganda, has it roasted at Coffee World in Milton, sorts out the packaging herself and delivers the finished product around Cambridge in her electric car.

The story began she was a student nurse in 2002 and went on a placement in Uganda.

“That’s when I was introduced to the Early Learning School in Entebbe,” she says, “and ever since I’ve been supporting them any way I can. I’ve been visiting twice a year ever since and then, in 2009, I had the idea of setting up the coffee company.”

Was it an ‘a-ha’ moment?

“Yes, I was in Kampala shopping in a craft market and I saw a bag of coffee, it was very beautiful in a fabric bag and I thought ‘surely it’s not hard to make coffee’... I wanted to create a product to support the school rather than just asking for money..”

Hannah Nunn, founder of Kickstart Coffee, left, with Gabriella Inverso, catering supervisor at Arm. Picture: Keith Heppell
Hannah Nunn, founder of Kickstart Coffee, left, with Gabriella Inverso, catering supervisor at Arm. Picture: Keith Heppell

Kickstart now has 12 local clients and online sales.

“It’s probably 60 per cent local businesses and 40 per cent online, so for instance Arm could order 50kg a month, and I have other clients like Microsoft and The Bradfield Centre.

“It’s a lot of coffee – next year it’s going to be about 10 tonnes.”

Eventually, Hannah is hopes to add another school to the mix.

She says: “I’d like to build a secondary school long-term and these children have no means, they’re all single mums or orphans. We set up charity to help the mums, to get back into employment, and for the children, so the impact goes way beyond the school.”

Earlier this year, a member of Arm’s staff in Cambridge made TNS, the on-site catering services team, aware of Kickstart Coffee. TNS’s head barista then began working closely with Kickstart to create a bespoke Arm coffee roast which is used in the company’s restaurant and coffee bar, and also sold to take home.

Arm employees have been extremely positive about the partnership, which is currently funding three full time teachers at the Early Learning School in Entebbe every month.

A proportion of the profits have also provided emergency food bundles to others in need in Entebbe, and Arm has been able to connect Kickstart with other businesses across Cambridge as they look to gain additional support for their vision.

Hannah Nunn with Ruth in Uganda. Now at university, Ruth started with the Early Learning School in Entebbe at the age of four and is one of its brightest success stories
Hannah Nunn with Ruth in Uganda. Now at university, Ruth started with the Early Learning School in Entebbe at the age of four and is one of its brightest success stories

“At Arm we believe in the power of technology to build a better world for everyone, driving positive change as we look to advance the Global Goals,” said Kirsty Gill, Arm’s chief people officer. “Beyond the platforms and products we design, this ethos extends to how we run our day-to-day business around the world.

“When making purchasing decisions across our global offices, we aim to source the most ethically sustainable items, and when an Arm employee introduced our catering team to Kickstart Coffee, we saw the opportunity to build a strong partnership that would truly make a difference.”

Hannah concludes: “It’s purely companies like Arm and The Bradfield Centre that are making this possible – it’s amazing really to think that they use our coffee.”

Mark Watson, general manager, The Bradfield Centre, adds: “Kickstart Coffee is an awesome company to work with. The effort Hannah goes to support the farmers and children in Uganda is commendable.

“Having worked with many different coffee companies in my career the product and service we receive is second to none. It’s an exciting time for Kickstart Coffee and we look forward to continuing to support their growth.”



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