An inspiring encounter in Kazakhstan

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…

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Ghana for the World Cup! (and Divine Chocolate)


We're big Divine Chocolate fans over here at SSE, and Sophi Tranchell came to speak to some of the social entrepreneurs we support a few months back, which was hugely well-received.

Today, Divine are putting this ad in the Metro newspaper (with readership of well over 1m all told) to support Ghana in the World Cup. As you may well know, not only do the Ghanaian cocoa farmers get a fair price through supplying Divine, but also own (through their Kuapa Kokoo co-operative) 45% of the company; so they have a big say in how the company is run, and they share in its profits.

So here's to a Ghana victory over Uruguay tonight; one that will be celebrated by our Office Administrator Marta who pulled them out in the sweepstake…and what better way to celebrate than with a large bar of chocolate.

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Intelligent Kicking and Campaigning for Nurses.

Not content with feeling the wrath of Terry Wogan, SSE Fellow Dave Pitchford and Intelligent Giving are now busy riling Mourinho and Abramovich. See Chelsea play hard off the pitch as well.

That also reminded me, in a "footballers can be nice as well as nasty" way, that Noreena Hertz is running a campaign to get Premiership footballers to donate one day’s wages for nurses around the UK called Mayday for Nurses. The money raised will go into a hardship fund and, although it’s not going to change the situation in the long-term, it’s useful awareness and fund-raising work. Thierry Henry, David James, Ryan Giggs, Jermaine Defoe and the whole of the Fulham squad are already on board, amongst a total of 44 players.

Impressed that someone renowned as a writer and academic can also be such an effective campaigner and social entrepreneur.

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