The Diary of a Social Entrepreneur

by Emmanuella Emovon

As the year 2012 has now drawn to a close,  it’s a great privilege to be able to reflect on the highs and lows, with a view to making things better in 2013. For Sarah, she started the year with a passion and burning desire to make a difference in her community. That was her Goal at the start of 2012. But it wasn’t until Sarah started what she described as the ‘SSE Boot camp’ that she realised, it would take more than passion and burning desire to turn her dream into reality.  Nevertheless Sarah embraced Boot Camp with Optimism…

The first few days of Boot Camp were great; she met some great people with great purpose and energy.  They helped build her confidence and clarify her vision. Over the months she was exposed to a number of practical and personal development tools that would start to shape her thinking and move her closer to her Social Goal. She enjoyed learning about the various legal structures available to Social Entrepreneurs, Engaging in Market Research and exploring the Business Model Canvas.   There were many other highlights for Sarah including a field visit to ‘Happy’ an organisation that offered IT training with a difference and the inspirational stories from existing Social Entrepreneurs on how they are changing lives through Enterprise.

But it was not always good news, half way through Boot Camp Sarah wanted to drop out and give up on her dream.  The realisation of what she was getting into became real and the pressure and challenges of balancing family, home and income streams was gradually getting the best of Sarah.  Have you been there?

I caught up with Sarah; this is what she had to say:

“The journey of a Social Entrepreneur is like running a marathon.  Beaming with excitement I started my project but half way through, exhaustion kicked in.  My knees gave way and I was on my way to collapsing when I heard my Mentor say “you can do it Sarah. You can do it”. That gave me momentum and I started to sprint.  It did not take long though, I was tired again.  I looked ahead and I could see my colleagues whom we started the race together ahead of me.  Darren, Joe and Naomi.  This time the pain in my legs were excruciating and I was burning like fire inside.  Why on earth did I embark on this journey?  I asked myself. Then I heard my tutor say “The race is not to the swift but he who endures the race receives the crown”.  So I picked up pace, I reached for water and  gulped it down like a thirsty camel – soon I started to see clearly again and could focus on my goal, this time my strides were measured and sensible and I feel great about my purpose and thankful for the mentors and tutor helping me through”.

Sarah’s story gives us a brief insight into the Diary of a Social Entrepreneur. Indeed the journey is not always smooth but with the right help and support network, it’s possible we can successfully navigate through.  So feel the fear and do it anyway but not without a mentor, coach or support network. If you can,  have all three in place.

“We come this way but once. We can either tiptoe through life and hope that we get to death without being too badly bruised or we can live a full, complete life achieving our goals and realising our wildest dreams”.



Emmanuella is a HR and Training Practitioner, writer and a Student of the School of Social Entrepreneurs.   Her project, Collaborate2Grow connects people for shared learning, skills development, support network and leverage opportunities. If you would like to contribute to the 2013 Social Entrepreneurs Inspirational Journal please contact her through [email protected].

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