It's late on Friday but I have to briefly write about yesterday's London graduation event, which was a huge success. I'll post more photos and reports next week, but I wanted to add my congratulations to the 40-odd social entrepreneurs who completed the programme yesterday and joined the SSE Fellowship. In two rooms at Coin Street's Neighbourhood Centre (thanks to Iain Tuckett and his team for all their assistance), the students gave 4 minute presentations about their project, themselves and their time at SSE. This could, of course, be a recipe for death by powerpoint, but it was a great and inspiring afternoon.
Thanks especially to all those who came along: this was officially the first SSE event where it was standing room only at the end! And thanks also to Kevin Brennan MP, the Minister for the Third Sector (pictured), who gave his time to welcome the Fellows and hand them their certificates (which was something of a marathon effort!), as well as announce the starting of two new SSE franchises (in Yorkshire and the South East) as a result of the recent OTS investment. More on this soon. Special thanks also to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP who supported the event, as well as our team throughout the year.
There was a great mix in the room of funders, policymakers, practitioners, friends and family, board members and others, and a really great vibe for the whole 3 hours or so. We've been inundated with positive feedback all day ("the love was bouncing off the walls"; "we were bowled over" etc), so the smiles are wide in the office and, I hope, on the faces of the social entrepreneurs.
You can find details of them all via this article, but you can also (thanks to the brilliant and generous David Wilcox) see some short videos on his Social Reporter site: Grassroots inspiration from graduating social entrepreneurs
A great end to a great week, and a great year for all those involved.