Are you the person who when given half an opportunity, you take it and run with it? Or are you the person who shrugs their shoulders and says ‘I can’t be bothered?’ – that’s the difference between success and failure. Success truly starts with a willingness to put in, say yes and show up. Yesterday InspirEngage launched the #SUCCESStour in partnership with NCS giving young people an opportunity to shape their own success. Thank you Hagley Catholic School for hosting the first stop of the tour- it was a pleasure speaking with your students.

This project comes as a continuation of our work with NCS since 2011 in delivering the InspirEngage Bootcamps as part of the Summer programme, training young people to develop the skills to firstly shape a solid social action project, but also on how to turn their social action project into a social enterprise. This way continuing to make a difference whilst also earning an income.

We look forward to the coming stops on the #SUCCESStour- see live developments on twitter: @InspirEngage / @Melody_Hossaini


Are you a school who wishes to host the #SUCCESStour for your students? Drop us a line on:

Are you 15-17 and want to find out more and sign up to NCS? Check out

Are you a provider and interested in the InspirEngage Social Enterprise Bootcamps for phase 2 of the Summer programme? Email

The difference between success & failure is the student who wants to put in & the student who shrugs their shoulders and says ‘I don’t know’. It doesn’t make the second student any less talented who lack potential. They just don’t know why they should bother- and it’s something, sadly, we see too often when we first walk into delivering an InspirEngage Bootcamp.

The moment when they realise WHY they should try- that’s the moment you get to witness what they’re truly capable of. This picture was one of those moments. Delivering an InspirEngage Bootcamp at Harrow College as part of Social Enterprise Revolution- helping the students develop their skills to ensure they’re happy, successful & giving back.

See this in action in this short video capturing some of their journey

Social Enterprise Revolution in the press:
‘UK’s first hands-on social enterprise programme embedded into the curriculum’, What a Mission, Jan 2016 here.

‘Education Secretary Michael Gove visits Harrow College’ and praises Social Enterprise Revolution, This is Local London, Oct 2013 here.

‘Apprentice star Melody Hossaini to coach Solihull business classes’ Birmingham Mail, 4 July 2013 here.

‘Gove on Social Enterprise’ by Melody Hossaini for The Guardian, 28 June 2013 here.

‘Why social enterprise should be at the heart of the BBC’s The Apprentice’, by Melody Hossaini for The Guardian, 5 June 2013 here.

‘Solihull College Become National Pioneers Of Social Enterprise’ September 2013, Business Report here.

‘Solihull College puts social enterprise into curriculum’ – FE News here.

‘Barnet and Southgate College joins the Social Enterprise Revolution’, March 2014 here.

For all Bootcamp enquiries, email

Ever wondered what the recipe for raising successful children is? Well- there isn’t one! But here is a list of 10 things which parents of successful children have in common. Here at InspirEngage International we train individuals as young as 4 years old to develop the social and life skills alongside mindset to fulfil their potential. As seen below, this is an important ingredient to maximising the potential of children’s success.

1. They make their kids do chores

“If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them,” Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of “How to Raise an Adult” said during a TED Talks Liveevent. “And so they’re absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the betterment of the whole,” she said. Lythcott-Haims believes kids raised on chores go on to become employees who collaborate well with their coworkers, are more empathetic because they know firsthand what struggling looks like, and are able to take on tasks independently. She bases this on the Harvard Grant Study, the longest longitudinal study ever conducted. “By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry —they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life.”

2. They teach their kids social skills

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Duke University tracked more than 700 children from across the US between kindergarten and age 25 and found a significant correlation between their social skills as kindergartners and their success as adults two decades later. The 20-year study showed that socially competent children who could cooperate with their peers without prompting, be helpful to others, understand their feelings, and resolve problems on their own, were far more likely to earn a college degree and have a full-time job by age 25 than those with limited social skills. Those with limited social skills also had a higher chance of getting arrested, binge drinking, and applying for public housing. “This study shows that helping children develop social and emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future,” said Kristin Schubert, program director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the research, in a release. “From an early age, these skills can determine whether a child goes to college or prison, and whether they end up employed or addicted.” Through the InspirEngage Bootcamps, we’ve seen the difference to children in developing their social skills.

3. They have high expectations

Using data from a national survey of 6,600 children born in 2001, University of California at Los Angeles professor Neal Halfon and his colleagues discovered that the expectations parents hold for their kids have a huge effect on attainment. “Parents who saw college in their child’s future seemed to manage their child toward that goal irrespective of their income and other assets,” he said in a statement. The finding came out in standardized tests: 57% of the kids who did the worst were expected to attend college by their parents, while 96% of the kids who did the best were expected to go to college. This falls in line with another psych finding: The Pygmalion effect, which states “that what one person expects of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy.”. In the case of kids, they live up to their parents’ expectations.

4. They have healthy relationships with each other

Children in high-conflict families, whether intact or divorced, tend to fare worse than children of parents that get along, according to a University of Illinois study review. Robert Hughes Jr., professor and head of the Department of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois and the study review author, also notes that some studies have found children in nonconflictual single-parent families fare better than children in conflictual two-parent families. The conflict between parents prior to divorce also affects children negatively, while post-divorce conflict has a strong influence on children’s adjustment, Hughes says. One study found that, after divorce, when a father without custody has frequent contact with his kids and there is minimal conflict, children fare better. But when there is conflict, frequent visits from the father are related to poorer adjustment of children. Yet another study found that 20-somethings who experienced divorce of their parents as children still report pain and distress over their parent’s divorce ten years later. Young people who reported high conflict between their parents were far more likely to have feelings of loss and regret.

5. They’ve attained higher educational levels

A 2014 study lead by University of Michigan psychologist Sandra Tang found that mothers who finished high school or college were more likely to raise kids that did the same. Pulling from a group of over 14,000 children who entered kindergarten in 1998 to 2007, the study found that children born to teen moms (18 years old or younger) were less likely to finish high school or go to college than their counterparts. Aspiration is at least partially responsible. In a 2009 longitudinal study of 856 people in semirural New York, Bowling Green State University psychologist Eric Dubow found that “parents’ educational level when the child was 8 years old significantly predicted educational and occupational success for the child 40 years later.”

6. They teach their kids maths early on

A 2007 meta-analysis of 35,000 preschoolers across the US, Canada, and England found that developing math skills early can turn into a huge advantage. “The paramount importance of early math skills — of beginning school with a knowledge of numbers, number order, and other rudimentary math concepts — is one of the puzzles coming out of the study,” coauthor and Northwestern University researcher Greg Duncan said in a press release. “Mastery of early math skills predicts not only future math achievement, it also predicts future reading achievement.”

7. They develop a relationship with their kids

A 2014 study of 243 people born into poverty found that children who received “sensitive caregiving” in their first three years not only did better in academic tests in childhood, but had healthier relationships and greater academic attainment in their 30s. As reported on PsyBlog, parents who are sensitive caregivers “respond to their child’s signals promptly and appropriately” and “provide a secure base” for children to explore the world. “This suggests that investments in early parent-child relationships may result in long-term returns that accumulate across individuals’ lives,” coauthor and University of Minnesota psychologist Lee Raby said in an interview.

8. They’re less stressed

According to recent research cited by Brigid Schulte at The Washington Post, the number of hours that moms spend with kids between ages 3 and 11 does little to predict the child’s behavior, well-being, or achievement. What’s more, the “intensive mothering” or “helicopter parenting” approach can backfire. “Mothers’ stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” study coauthor and Bowling Green State University sociologist Kei Nomaguchi told The Post. Emotional contagion — or the psychological phenomenon where people “catch” feelings from one another like they would a cold — helps explain why. Research shows that if your friend is happy, that brightness will infect you; if she’s sad, that gloominess will transfer as well. So if a parent is exhausted or frustrated, that emotional state could transfer to the kids.

9. They value effort over avoiding failure

Where kids think success comes from also predicts their attainment. Over decades, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has discovered that children (and adults) think about success in one of two ways. Over at the always-fantastic Brain Pickings, Maria Popova says they go a little something like this: A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens that we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled. A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of un-intelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. At the core is a distinction in the way you assume your will affects your ability, and it has a powerful effect on kids. If kids are told that they aced a test because of their innate intelligence, that creates a “fixed” mindset. If they succeeded because of effort, that teaches a “growth” mindset.

10. The mums work

According to research out of Harvard Business School, there are significant benefits for children growing up with mothers who work outside the home. The study found daughters of working mothers went to school longer, were more likely to have a job in a supervisory role, and earned more money — 23% more compared to their peers who were raised by stay-at-home mothers. The sons of working mothers also tended to pitch in more on household chores and childcare, the study found — they spent seven-and-a-half more hours a week on childcare and 25 more minutes on housework.”Role modeling is a way of signaling what’s appropriate in terms of how you behave, what you do, the activities you engage in, and what you believe,” the study’s lead author, Harvard Business School professor Kathleen L. McGinn, told Business Insider. “There are very few things, that we know of, that have such a clear effect on gender inequality as being raised by a working mother,” she told Working Knowledge.


Interested in finding out more about how we are training children and young people to develop the social skills & mindset to success through our Bootcamps? Contact

InspirEngage Bootcamp for 4-11 year-olds with ‘Primary Revolution’



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Have you ever had that feeling when you tick something off your bucket list? In this blog I want to share an insight into my first time delivering the #HowToChangeThe World tour and InspirEngage Bootcamp in a country I was born in and fled from when I was 2.

Melody Hossaini keynote JWEF Iran 20 Aug 2015

Intro and context

I’m writing this whilst on the plane on the way back from Iran. I spent just less than a week there, but in that time, gained a year’s worth of insight and experience into the culture and state of entrepreneurship in this complex and beautiful country.

Tehran, Iran

I was sat in an airport, waiting for a plane when I saw the email from the President of the Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum (JWEF), inviting me to be a keynote speaker. When I read the location as being my birth city, I could not believe it. I’ve lived in Europe now for 29 years and go back every few years, and whilst there, I speak to young Iranians and when I tell them what I do, they always say it’s so needed there. Yet, I’ve built a social enterprise that’s helped young people in some 100 countries, yet never Iran.

As many of you know, Iran has a complex political state of affairs- whether good or bad, it is what it is but explains why this was always a dream- up until now.

It’s been 4 years since I was in Iran last. A country with history dating back 8,000 years. I actually felt like doing that cliché thing and clapping when the airplane wheels touched the ground! It was a weird feeling…. Perhaps like coming home- especially since I felt I had a specific purpose.

At the Conference- My First Impressions

The JWEF is a global initiative that happens around the world with the aim to “Promote and Accelerate Junior Entrepreneurship as a way to create wealth and social justice, to prepare the world for 2050”. With 500 people in attendance I’d been given a 25 minute keynote. I thought a lot about what I wanted to say, a lot more than usual (my speeches are mostly spontaneous), but this was my first time presenting in my mother tongue Farsi, and although I speak it, the business vocabulary is less developed in me!

Myself and the InspirEngage team, made up of our Iranian associate as well as a young volunteer who connected with me on instagram made our way to the national library of Tehran where it was held. In my time, I’ve attended my fair share of conferences around the world and here are the things which struck me before my speech:

  • The level of professional hospitality. Last year the New York Times published an article on Iranian Hospitality as being exemplary to the world, and even in this professional setting, I can see why! From offering me drinks upon arrival, to ensuring I had refreshments, to bringing me a glass on a tray when they saw I was too busy speaking to young people, to ensuring I had lunch to acts of politeness in rising when a speaker got up and sat down.

    During break- watching the students debate

  • During break, speakers were invited to the VIP room. I never take this offer. I’m always interested in observing what goes on during breaks. That’s where the magic happens. I stood back and observed how Iranians had gathered in a very large group and engaged in a highly interesting and complex debate about human resource potential and solutions. In some conferences I have attended, students may not even move from their seats, but here they were, as passionate as ever, debating!
  • During any opportunity they had to ask questions of speakers, they shocked me with how courageous they were in getting to the heart of the issue! I had always known this of Iranians but to witness it in a professional setting was quite incredible. A young chap put his hand up and asked how in a society where sometimes people are forced to ‘con’ eachother, how can young entrepreneurs operate successfully to both guard and maximise on this. I was struck by the honesty of this question in such a large audience.

My speech

My aim was to share a little of my story and the story of InspirEngage, about social enterprise and my insight on how to find success and happiness in business.

  • One of my principles in speaking is that I always make it interactive. One of the ways in which I do that, is asking the participants a question which I then show the consequence of their answer to. In a big audience of 500, usually there’s at least a few moments of silence as people decide who should speak first. I had not even finished my questions fully, and so many already were getting involved and answering! The confidence level is high!

    The speaking tour, Tehran

  • Iranian culture has a polite version of language and behaviour and then a friendly version (it’s kind of the difference of you and you formal when learning German). It was important to me to connect with the young people- my style isn’t formal and as a speaker, I definitely can’t build that barrier between me and the people I want to connect with. For this reason also, I chose to stand in the middle of the stage, no podium, no table with fancy flower- just me and my guests.
  • In my speech I shared stories of why social enterprise is important and what opportunity it creates as well as stories of kindness, and why this should have a place in business. Afterall, aren’t we all simply working hard to be happy? So why is it underrated?
  • A central message was on why and how it’s so important for individuals to develop their sense of identity and personal brand.

Interacting with the participants

It was what happened after my speech which made it the best day of my life. I heard stories of social enterprises that until now weren’t aware of what they were. A project which profiles those needing urgent medical treatment who don’t have the fees and people donate- kind of like a medical crowd-funding who had saved 44 lives to date! I heard from a young girl who with tears in her eyes, explained to me that she had always been told that she was far too sympathetic and kind to make a good leader and that today she finally learned that it’s ok and fully possible to be both and be a strong leader, I met young people who said that for the first time in a long time, felt proud of being Iranian, and above all, to so many who said that they simply needed a boost in positive energy to feel inspired to achieve.

InspirEngage Bootcamp

I was honoured to deliver a taster InspirEngage Bootcamp for some of the participants. This was a chance to get a little more personal and to dig a little deeper. I covered some of the ‘InspirEngage PROMA’ (project management module) which supported the participants to uncover their traits and where they’re suited on the PROMA cycle in building efficient teams. At the end, we took an awesome group selfie to wrap up a fantastic day.

InspirEngage Bootcamp Selfie!

That evening, I left feeling energized (despite having been there from 11-9pm) and determined to further support young Iranians to find hope and means to prosper.

Look out for upcoming blogs, sharing insight on the enterprise world of Iran, as well as my visit to a social enterprise centre in Tehran.

Follow the journey on instagram on #AroundTehranWithMelody

Email: for all enquiries


Thank you to @aroundtehran and @_erfpics_ (Erfan Alaei) for the photographs. Thank you also to Bahar Business School for hosting and for JWEF Iran + supporters for organisation.

Happy Youth Day! An important day to celebrate the young people who work tirelessly to improve the world we live in. Supporting young people to feel better and acquire skills to create change in their communities, has formed a central focus for me which later turned into InspirEngage International. On this day, I think about the many young people we have met and trained in our InspirEngage Bootcamps across the world, who wanted to give back even when they had nothing, the young people who gave of their time and energy even when they were told they were crazy dreamers and the young people who showed kindness without agenda when adults couldn’t set the good example. You are the hope for our better world.

Here is an absolutely fascinating and inspiring short video sharing the stories of 3 young change makers, Eden Full, Zach Ingrasci and Amit Dodani on why they became such pioneers of social action. Video by our friends at Youth Venture and Ashoka.

Story of 3 young change makers.


All enquiries: Tweet: InspirEngage / @Melody_Hossaini



The Social Enterprise Revolution at Barnet and Southgate College – What Happened!

Barnet and Southgate wanted to bring social enterprise into their curriculum areas in a big way! We spread impact across college with successful Teacher Training, both in-person Bootcamps and online Tutorials for students, resulting in innovative social enterprise projects. Skills Bootcamp also helped student to secure job in interview!

“It’s a great to be working with Melody and InspirEngage as I see this partnership as a brilliant and unique way of embedding social enterprise opportunities within all our courses” David Byrne, Principle at Barnet and Southgate College

This Pioneer college opted for all of the components of the SER programme, including Carousel and Launch, Teacher Training, 8 Skills Bootcamps in person and the Bootcamp Tutorials (impact across college), Showcase day followed by the Graduation.

Teacher Training: Melody with the Curriculum Area Leads

Teachers: Following the launch of SER at the college, all heads of department were gathered for a Teacher Training day with CEO, Melody Hossaini. Through this, they became Social Enterprise Champions and importantly helped co-design what weaving in social enterprise into their curriculum area, would look like. What some of the teachers had to say:  “Thank you for a great trainer’s day. Very energetic and informative trainer.” and “Excellent training, lively and informative.”

Students: The Bootcamps covered all our core modules spread over 8 sessions- students learned what social enterprise looks like, examples of what young people their age have achieved, how you construct a social mission, how to work as a team, how to sharpen their communication skills in business and much more. By way of a taster and opportunity to apply skills gained, students were set a social enterprise sales task, working with our partners My Bnk. Students went away for a week and sold their social enterprise products: Seedbombs, Chocolate and Soap. They sold £432.50 – in just one week!

Projects: The students came up with a range of social enterprise projects, connected to their curriculum, which they presented on Showcase Day. The projects included:

‘Food for Thought’ – fighting homelessness. Students brought in their unwanted clothes, which they sold and raised over £100 in one day. Unsold clothes went to local homeless people and local charity. Now in phase 2 they’re investing their money into making a plaque bench for the community working cross-departmentally with construction students.

Social Enterprise Revolution

‘Rules of Web Design’ – designed a brand new platform, which gives information on how to create a website. It’s free to use so they can forums on there to help people. Selling advertising space to commercialise it. This project was assessed as part of the student’s curriculum area.

‘Diggy Dogs’ – hoody for college leavers so students still feel a part of the Barnet and Southgate community. They worked with other creative groups in the college to finalise the design. They used the showcase to do a feedback survey about what students wanted and managed to secure 50 pre-orders at £20 each without even having the product yet!

Impact: During the Showcase Day one student said, ‘The support I got from the course was great, it was a great experience to have and I will consider what I want to do in the future now’. On the Social Enterprise Revolution Graduation Day, one student said; ‘ I really enjoyed the Showcase Day! I gained a large variety of skills that I have applied to real life business situations which I can take forward in life.’

In the first Bootcamp, one of the female participants was so anxious about presenting in front of the group that she left the room. Our InspirEngage Trainers helped the student to develop her skills and confidence in presenting. By the end of the Social Enterprise Revolution, she presented her groups’ final social enterprise project to the class and she spoke on camera about her experiences!

When we covering the Communications module, one student said he had an Interview coming up and was really worried about his communication skills as he got really nervous. We showed him how to apply everything he had learned through the Bootcamp – listening, communicating yourself with clear words and reading the interviewers body language. The next week we saw him he told us he did really well, wasn’t too nervous and was offered the job!

Some of the students- skills for social enterprise!

“The support I got from the course was great, it was a great experience to have and I will consider what I want to do in the future now” Hasan Avci, Student

“I gained negotiation and planning skills, and how to find a target market.” Stephanie, Student

“The Social Enterprise Revolution was awesome! I found the teamwork aspect most useful and I learned to take more initiative” Siavash, Student

“I really enjoyed the Showcase Day! I gained a large variety of skills that I have applied to real life business situations which I can take forward in life.” Dominic Olive, Student

“I have gained confidence and knowledge of social enterprise – Thank you!” Rebecca McKeer, Student

“I really enjoyed the Social Enterprise Revolution. I’ve gained new skills, and it’s given me a list of ideas on how to communicate well” Alex Nonillo, Student

“I got first hand experience in selling – I’ve never had to sell products to people before!” Jamie, Student

Want to chat to us about The Social Enterprise Revolution? Drop us a line on and give us a follow on @SocEnt_Rev/ @InspirEngage

How do we create 1 billion jobs for young people?

Melody Hossaini answers at the Youth Job Creation Summit. In a nutshell: Through Social Enterprise!



Youth unemployment crisis

The youth unemployment crisis is an issue that has been ongoing for a while. Whilst it is easy to say the youth unemployment crisis needs to be solved, the question is does it need to be solved? Problems need to be solved however the youth unemployment crisis is NOT a problem. Despite the figures, stats, and constant negative perception about this issue, there are lots of opportunities to be taken here. If the youth crisis is looked at with a positive view, this perception will have a domino effect that will be passed through to the younger generations.

If one was to suggest the Youth crisis was in fact a problem, one could say a huge solution is required. The economy and the business world required change anyway, regardless of the youth unemployment crisis. It was heading towards destruction and needed to be directed onto the right path. The youth unemployment crisis triggered change and change is what was needed to head back onto the right path. Radical changes can only come from huge problems as huge challenges. The business world can only get better so the youth unemployment crisis is NOT a problem and definitely should not be perceived as one.

How to create a billion jobs for young people- through social enterprise

To be very clear and practical, there are many ways this can be done. One clear way this can be done is through social enterprise. This idea has already been talked about in the past how if businesses are doing well and creating employment opportunities for the youth of today they can create jobs for themselves.  However a business that has the potential to improve communities is surely much better. InspirEngage is very passionate about this, a social enterprise themselves wanting to create further social enterprises and naturally social entrepreneurs.

3 driving factors that explain why the world is heading towards social enterprise

1)    The first factor that explains why social enterprises are becoming more popular is the world is moving away from competitive models into collaborative models. At one time, every business was competing with each other however increasingly there is a shift for people/groups/businesses to work together.  Women and young people are in tune with these collaborative models and that is why they are leading social enterprise. In the UK social enterprise is the number 1 job creator for young people. This is a great opportunity that has come out of the youth unemployment crisis. If it wasn’t for the young people seeking new exciting opportunities, social enterprise wouldn’t be on the boom it is currently on.

2) The second thing is the ‘Passion Phenomenon’ as it is described by InspireEngage. Previously, it is fair to say that people were generally embarrassed to say what they were passionate about. Now, everyone is talking proudly of what they are passionate about and additionally, how they can turn their passion into a career. If one’s passion is to help others, younger people or communities- this is social enterprise and when this kind of passion is turned into a career this is how social enterprise is trending.

3) When the chips are down, social enterprises are born! This is the final factor that explains why social enterprise is on the up; if everything was good in the business world previously, would the younger generations have been as keen and energetic to look for new opportunities? It takes a trigger like the ongoing youth unemployment crisis to arrive at exciting opportunities such as social enterprises. What’s on the other side is a better world. We were getting too greedy.

Solution-How to create the jobs?

To answer this question simply, EDUCATION. The idea of embedding social enterprise into the curriculum could create many, many jobs. It is embedded into the curriculum, not in the traditional way where it is taught in a lecture/seminar but across the curriculum in all subjects. Imagine 3 things, firstly young people developing life skills where it is encouraged within the curriculum. Confidence, interpersonal skills and teamwork are a few examples of the skills that young people should develop whilst at school. Previously, these kind of skills were not taught in schools and many establishments encourage younger generations to seek work experience, extra curricular activities to gain these skills. It was never in the curriculum before though.

Secondly, imagine a curriculum that allows you to develop a job whilst still at school/ college/uni and finally imagine if that job also benefits your community.

This would mean that not only are younger generations gaining an education that will allow them to pursue a career in there chosen field, they are also gaining the skills that will allow them to go out and get that career. This is what InspireEnagage have allowed with there brilliant, innovative programme called Social Enterprise Revolution. It has been launched nationally and no doubt will be a roaring success.

All that remains to be said is the revolution is happening, when are you going to join?