April 09, 2020 2 min read


There are an abundance of innovative businesses based in The Engine House and over the coming weeks we're going to be shining a spotlight on them to showcase just how fantastic they are. First up, introducing Ji Li from Plum Innovations.....


  • Could you tell us a little bit more about Plum Innovations?

Plum is a London based IT consulting and service provider for schools. Our vision is to assist teachers succeeding in their professional fields with an efficient and solid IT platform by providing a stress-free IT experience. We work tirelessly towards helping reinforce the positive impact of EdTech on students’ learning outcomes and assisting schools to employ the ideal technology, in the most cost-effective way.

  • What has been one of the biggest challenges you've faced?

Plum is doing very well in the education sector and maintains a high level of quality of service, but we remain as a very small business. One of our biggest challenges currently is: do we want to scale up or remain as a “small giant”?

  • And your proudest moment?

Plum has won multiple awards including Bett Awards, (like an Oscar in the Education Technology Sector) and highly commended by Bexley Awards 

  • Is there anyone you look to as an inspiration? 

I’m very lucky to be able to work closely with many great headteachers and sector business leaders. I have learnt a lot from them and I’m still learning.

  • Have you had to adapt your business at all to deal with the current situation?

Due to the nature of our business, both onsite and remote support are always the core services we are providing. Since school closures started, we have managed to switch the focus on remote support for home learning and for school staff who are working from home. We also managed to help our supported schools prepared once closure was announced by DfE.

  • What would your advice be for anyone hoping to start their own business? 

Starting a business is like playing “Football Manager” games in real life. If you enjoy working long hours and looking after the team and stake holders, then go for it. But make sure the business model is realistic. Also there is really no work-life balance, once the journey starts, so you need to prepare for it both mentally and physically.