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…
It has often been the subject of conversation at SSE about how what the organisation does, and what the effect is on social entrepreneurs, is best communicated through their stories, their journeys and their words. Fortunately, with thanks to a great Media Trust initiative and the amazing production skills and efforts of the team at Project Monster, we were able to make a new promotional video which goes some way to doing just that; via Andre, Junior, Tom, Charles and more.
The video will be shown on the Community Channel tonight (April 12th) at 6.30pm; or you can watch it now below :0)
We've known for a while that SSE students build relationships and contacts and networks that are practically useful on the programme: indeed, that's a key outcome (our most recent data shows that 90% have kept in touch with contacts made during the course, and that these have helped in tangible ways; i.e. not networks for networks sake, but joint work, funding, volunteering, advice, introductions etc).We also know that partnerships form on the programme in different ways. Sometimes, though, it's difficult to track those outcomes and demonstrate the good work that emerges.
Three SSE Yorkshire Fellows, Jay, John and Justine, have partnered to work on an intergenerational project. They don't appear in this video themselves. But the results of their partnership and collaboration do; enjoy:
OK, so it's completely freezing, travel is chaotic, and the economic picture is gloomy for many. But there are beacons of light amidst the gloom; some of our SSE students are just that, and that's why we're proud and delighted that Andre Hackett, who's on our London programme currently, and his co-founders have been surprised by a TV programme with free billboards to promote his business (London Mobile Studios)…and sustain his brilliant youth work. A well-deserved Christmas present, and a welcome bit of warmth and light. Enjoy:
It seems to have been one of the busiest periods of activity I can remember here at SSE. Barely time to get the head up from the various Big Society initiatives, new forthcoming evaluation or social franchising programme that I've been immersed in.
One of the worst bits about that is that you miss out on some events and SSE Fellow-related things you would normally go to. I was particularly gutted to miss Catch 22 Magazine's reception the other night over at ITN to celebrate the second anniversary of their Academy programme.
Tokunbo (that's him on the left in the photo) and his team do a stellar job, have genuine credibility, and really deliver on their promises; something which is at times too rare in the social enterprise space. Read the annual report for more info on their achievements (and their honesty about the challenges), and to admire their design work too. Or, watch this short video: 6 minutes very well spent. Congrats from all here.