It has been a hard, challenging and sometimes painful journey over the last 27 years holding on to a vision that, all too often it seemed no one else around me could see, let alone demonstrate as a “Social Entrepreneur”.
Social Entrepreneur is a relatively new term that now exists to describe people who find themselves starting a business, not with the sole purpose of making money but as a vehicle through which they can operate and execute their vision of solving one or more of society’s problems whilst also creating social benefits which improve the quality of life for individuals. The term didn’t exist 27 years ago sadly so I literally did not know what to call myself or what I was doing, but my Soul knew so I kept on.
Through empowering marginalised sections of society, namely creatives and members of the BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) community I was able to demonstrate that this unique type of entrepreneurship would lead me onto a path that would allow me to support, invest and nurture incredible talent from up and down the country.
That’s the power that having a vision and striving towards it brings. At the time many, including members of my own family, thought I was crazy for not putting my degree in Architecture to use. But finally they and even the UK Government have come to recognise that this was not such a crazy notion after all.
In a recent government report published August 2018 Civil Society Strategy: building a future that works for everyone (for executive summary – CLICK HERE) it seems the government has come to recognise that “Social Entrepreneurs” and their enterprises have a very important role to play in creating a better society and future for us all.
“A supportive policy environment creates the opportunity for social investment to support civil society, but that opportunity can only be realised if there are sustainable social business models in which it is possible to invest. Existing social organisations and new social entrepreneurs often need help to develop and grow these models, through some combination of national and local support”
To read the full report CLICK HERE
This is a far cry from government position when back in 2007 I met with senior staff at the Mayor’s Office and presented a very successful accredited entrepreneurial programme that was delivering great results through my not for profit organisation, with the view of seeking longer term funding past our 3-year funding period. Despite over-delivering on all targets, the support was not forthcoming.
As well as Government, big banks like NatWest are also taking note of Social Entrepreneurs particularly from the BAME community. In July 2018 NatWest bank sponsored the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2017 UK Report which is the largest and most comprehensive study on entrepreneurship globally, collecting data on entrepreneurial activity in 54 countries covering two-thirds of the world’s populations.
Earlier this month I along with a few Social Entrepreneurs working with NatWest met with the CEO of RBS Ross McEwan. The discussion centred around the diverse organisations and entrepreneurs the bank has supported and ideas about what more can be done to further develop the entrepreneurial talent within London’s African-Caribbean community.
One of the surprising highlights that emerged from the study showed that women, people from ethnic minority communities and migrants are more likely to be motivated by creating ‘meaning’ – rather than just making money – when starting a business than white British men.
Two-thirds (66%) of women said they started a business to contribute to society, while just two-fifths of men (39%) had the same motivation. There was also a 20 percentage-point gap in the share of men and women who were motivated to start a business to help others in need (38% compared to 58%).
To read more highlights CLICK HERE
Finally, even Business men are becoming Social Entrepreneurs. Take Errol Abramson, a name you may not be familiar with. Errol is a successful entrepreneur who has run 47 successful businesses over a period spanning over 50 years. A feat that is rare to say the least. He took four of those companies to a billion-dollar turnover. Earlier this year he featured in the remaking of the Think and Grow Rich book, as “Think and Grow Rich The Legacy”.
Errol has a new mission now and that is simply to empower people through showing them the path to independence through starting and running their own business.
I am truly blessed as Errol has recently become my business mentor and offered the DADA Success Academy 50 scholarship places for anyone, particularly conscious, creative and social entrepreneurs who want to learn and grow their business by attending his event on Sat October 27th in London.
News & Announcements
Boosting BAME Business for Black History Month – Thursday 18th October
Following on from our round table discussion last month with the CEO of RBS Ross Mcewan about ways to improve the business banking experience for the BAME community. To celebrate Black History Month. RBS is staging an event on 18th October with the aim to not only offer inspiring role models and best practice when it comes to business but also provide a great opportunity to meet with like minded business owners.
CLICK HERE for ticket information
The event is free for all to attend.
Errol Abramson and Derek Redman – Live in London Saturday 27th October 2018
Errol will be coming to London to share some of his knowledge, experience and wisdom with people who want to learn how he was able to run 47 successful companies and how to start and successfully grow a business.
Courtesy of EDI & The DADA Success Academy 50 scholarship places are available for members of our R.I.C.H Society as well as conscious, creative and social entrepreneurs who want to learn and grow their business.
Simply book any one of the tickets available for yourself by CLICKING HERE and then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org providing your name as well as the full name, email address and mobile number of your nominated scholarship recipient and we will inform them of their secured place.
If you are an organisation or have a group that you would like to receive scholarships for, please send an email to email@example.com.
We only have 50 scholarship places which will be allocated on a first come first served basis so don’t delay.
Your Success Is Our Reward