Rising star: Everyclick.com

Polly Gowers is CEO and co-founder of search engine Everyclick.com, a “social business” that gives 50 per cent of its revenue to charity.

She founded the company in mid-2005 and it now generates turnover of over £1 million.

How does Everyclick.com work?
Revenue is generated by advertisers who pay for sponsored listings within the search results or banner advertising. Users select one of the 170,000 registered charities in the UK and each month half of Everyclick’s revenue is allocated to those charities.

Where did the idea come from?
I was working for a search marketing company and was aware of the huge amount of revenue being generated by search engine giants like Google. I wondered if that could be used to create a socially aware business.

You’re taking on some big players.
We’re competing against the most successful brands of our lifetime, but there’s room for ambitious businesses. Less than a decade ago nobody ‘Googled’ anything and a blackberry was just a fruit. You have to start somewhere and we’re already the eighth-largest search engine in the UK; people are increasingly looking for a way to make the world a better place.

What’s the next step?
It’s a challenging business model but we don’t want to bully people into using the search engine by making them feel guilty every time they use Google. Originally we were looking at giving 90 per cent of the revenue to charity, until our accountant went pale. We’re still a business, but that social element makes it very interesting.

See also: Property search engine gets VC backing

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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