Moments that mattered: Alice Moxley, Pivot

Moments that mattered: Alice Moxley, Pivot

At this year’s NatWest WISE100 awards event, we tasked four leading women with choosing just one moment that mattered in their career so far. Architect-turned-social entrepreneur Alice Moxley shares the pivotal moments in her career: from a stint in a carpet factory in Armenia, to the conversations that sparked a new venture.

"I didn't expect to be running a social enterprise." Alice Moxley trained as an architect, but now runs Pivot, a social enterprise that teaches people experiencing homelessness to design, make and sell jewellery.

Before a live audience in London at last month’s WISE100 awards ceremony, she shared the turning points that have shaped her career – including a dramatic decision to quit architecture after a period of depression. "Screw this, I'm going to Armenia," she said, and uprooted her life to explore the home country of her grandmother where she worked in a carpet factory. 

When she returned to London, she made another big change and joined the Year Here programme – working with well-established social enterprise Fat Macy’s based in a YMCA hostel.  

We have proven we can create sustainable employment opportunities within the business

Through conversations with people living at the hostel, Moxley began to build a picture of why many of them were not able to get jobs – often because they could not get into workplaces. “Can we take work directly to you, so you don’t have to leave your bedroom?” she asked herself. This inspired Moxley to set up Pivot in November 2019, a social enterprise that overcomes many of the challenges that people living in hostels face in getting employment. Today, the social enterprise is thriving. "We have proven we can create sustainable employment opportunities within the business," she says.

Moxley was one of the 100 women named on this year’s NatWest WISE100 list. Watch her moment that mattered above, and see below for more stories from the WISE100 network.