Latest in the new ‘More Expert by Experience’ series by SSE Fellow Chris Lee
The Feed is a trading arm of Community Interest Company LEAP (www.norwichleap.co.uk) providing fine food, catering services and more, in and around Norwich. They’re passionate about food and people – well, that’s what it says on their website – and nothing The Feed’s founder Barry Allard, a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Ipswich, tells me makes me think otherwise.
I’m re-interviewing Barry 18 months on from our first chat about what starting a social enterprise demands and how he and his growing team have overcome the challenges.
If you run an organisation where creating social impact is your primary aim, you are inevitably going to have to make decisions that compromise financial returns in favour of your social impact.
Imagine this: You’ve signed up to being a social entrepreneur, you’re on a crusade for change and you’ve committed to the highs and lows that will come your way. Work life balance feels like a mythical utopia right now and you find yourself dreaming about overheads and cash flow. In addition to the stresses of being your own boss you also find yourself facing moral dilemmas.
On one occasion an opportunity to scale your organisation comes up. It would allow you to grow much faster than you ever dreamed, but to take advantage of the offer you are required to flex your organisational values and change your model.
What do you do? Continue reading
Sat at my desk at the beginning of December my colleague strolled over from the other side of the office, I was hoping they were going to offer me a cup of tea, instead the conversation went:
What are you doing at Christmas?
Erm, you know family stuff, the usual.
Do you want to go on a train round India?
What, why? YES.
SSE are venturing into the sub-continent for the first time this year and with the launch in Delhi just around the corner we need to get the word out far and wide so that we can find a great inaugural cohort of social entrepreneurs. To help us do this we have partnered with Jagriti Yatra who are ‘Building India through enterprise’. Continue reading
One of the things I love most about working with social entrepreneurs is their ability to surprise you. You think you’ve heard all the best ideas, or someone has moved you in a way you’ll never experience again but then someone comes along and leaves you in total awe. I just had this experience when I was in Almaty, Kazakhstan a few weeks ago. I was over there with the British Council and Chevron to share lessons from the UK social enterprise space and one of my meetings took me to meet a young social entrepreneur, Eldos.
I arrived at 5pm to meet Eldos in the lobby of his hotel. He’d traveled from his region of Kazakhstan to Almaty and was also due to speak at the conference the next day. He proceeded to tell me his story…
A key part of our programmes are ‘Witness sessions’ when students hear from inspirational speakers (witnesses) who have first-hand experience of the issues our students are facing. Like witnesses in a law court they give testimony about what it’s really like to start and grow social organisations. Our Witnesses are some of the most inspirational entrepreneurs around who take time out of their very busy lives to help our social entrepreneurs. We’d like you to meet them and be inspired!
Meet: Karen Lynch, CEO Belu Water