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: Monroe Vincent, Led By Dreams
What does Led By Dreams do?
Led By Dreams is a community organisation based in Devon. as a group we support people experiencing domestic violence and abuse we provide workshops and information to encourage positive steps in their journey to freedom. providing these opportunities to victims to learn new skills will enable them to have better chances in life.
What was the motivation for founding your organisation?
My motivation for founding the organisation was suffering domestic violence and abuse from the age of 14 for 7 years. I left and found money to support myself to help pay for food and I referred myself to services to get support such as a safe house, furniture and support to help me deal with what I had suffered. After finding gaps in the services that exist, I decided to start ‘Led by dreams’ to help women and help fill some of those gaps.
What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made as a social entrepreneur?
The hardest decision I’ve had to make as a social entrepreneur is probably my legal structure. Whilst doing my research and meeting people that were making the same decisions and had their own opinions on what they thought I should set up as, but at the end of the day I had to just go with what I thought was right for Led By Dreams.
I would also say, at the time, make the decision you want to make what you think is right for your project. Usually no one knows better then you do and if you make a decision that’s wrong, don’t worry. Take it as a lesson and move on.
Am I ever tempted to stop being a social entrepreneur and get a normal job?
I would say at the very start yes as being a social entrepreneur has its ups and downs like any job, but trying to work for someone else makes you realise how strong your passion is for the cause you are working for.
My top tips on measuring social impact?
Trial the things that you think will work to show the most impact and also have a tool for everything you offer, so even my website measures impact on people that visit with a sneaky questionnaire.
My social change idol and why?
This would be Emily Pankhurst. I know I was not around in her time but her passion inspires me and the amount of people she had following her. That she inspired others to believe women had equal rights. I just love it and would love to inspire women as much a she did, especially when it comes to women having the right to be loved and respected within relationships.
What would I say to my 18 year old self?
This might sound strange as I was in a violent relationship, but I wouldn’t say anything as my life experience has got me to where I am now. I can help women and I know that I can go through something so tough and come out the other side stronger and turn it into a positive.
If you could go to a music concert, which artist would you see? (living or dead)
My last music concert to see artist living or dead would be PINK as I love her attitude and confidence- I listen to her a lot whilst working.
What do I get out of witnessing for SSE?
I get to network and talk about Led by dreams. I get feedback, experience public speaking and I love the fact that I can still be a part of SSE after graduation. Being a part of SSE has been one of the highlights for me. Since starting my project the support you receive is amazing its over way to soon but I’m glad I applied.