‘Do well by doing good’ that’s the InspirEngage message. It’s such a pleasure when we can work with young people to train them to do exactly that. This year marked the 4 year of our involvement and partnership with Mosaic and the National Enterprise Challenge. Once again, we brought all the finalists of the challenge together and delivered a tailored InspirEngage Social Enterprise Bootcamp – helping the 13-15 year-olds to develop their aspirations of future careers, deepen their life skills as well as learn how they can take their social enterprise ideas to the next level.

A quote from a teacher at the Bootcamp

Here’s the summary from the Mosaic article (see original source here)

Some of the finalists from May’s Grand Final of Mosaic’s Enterprise Challenge recently took part in an Enterprise Bootcamp run by businesswoman and trainer Melody Hossaini of InspirEngage.

Throughout the day, Melody built on the impressive skills that the young people had already demonstrated in the Enterprise Challenge competition and led workshops for them designed to hone and extend their business acumen and further raise their confidence. The feedback from the pupils at the end of the busy was very positive. Nathan Gage from Rivers Academy in Hounslow said: “I enjoyed today very much and I learnt a lot of valuable skills about communication in business.”

Kajal Parekh from Dixons Kings Academy in Yorkshire, said: “This was hugely beneficial for me, not just in terms of business but I’ve also learnt a lot of skills that will helpful in everyday life.”

Hamzah Khan, Head of Year 9 at Dixons Kings Academy, said: “Today’s Enterprise Bootcamp has been fantastic. Melody engaged the students in a really fun and interactive way whilst also helping them to understand some important business concepts and develop the skills needed to be a successful social entrepreneur. The students have had a great day and I’m sure it will give them the confidence and know-how to be able to achieve great things in business in the future.”

Jack, a student from Rivers Academy added: “Today has really helped in terms of bring able to use new skills in daily life. We have leant how to understand how people can notice how you feel based on how you act through body language.”

Abusafian from Dixons Kings added: “Today has helped with our confidence and has taught us what to do and what not to do when presenting. I have enjoyed looking at feedback and learning about evaluations.”

Mosaic’s West Midlands Regional Manager, Becky Mitchell said: “The Bootcamp was a really inspiring and interesting day where the students gain many skills that will not only aid them in the future careers but day to day lives as well. The students went on a journey throughout the day which was fascinating to watch and you could clearly see, in the space of a few hours, the confidence and learning that they had gained. An excellent day and thoroughly recommended! Thank you!”

——–

Further statements on how students and teachers found the Bootcamp:

“It’s been very interesting and very useful. In our lives we will be able to use what we have learnt, as well as in business.” Zulkarnain, Dixons Kings.

“Today had been a very interesting experience. We have leant new skills and will be able to develop our future careers. Introducing us to proma development will really help us in our futures.” Abdurrahim, Dixons Kings

“The InspirEngage Bootcamp was wonderful experience and opportunity for the students. A fun and exciting day that encouraged, not pushed, them out of their comfort zones with brilliant results.” – Winchester Wilmot, Business Teacher at Rivers Academy West London.

“I think that the InspirEngage workshop was very beneficial for me as I have learnt skills that I can use n everyday life as well business skills. For example communication and meeting new people and working with them.” – Kajal Parekh, Dixons Kings

“The InspirEngage  workshop was a great experience and I learnt lots of useful skills that will help me in the future” Ruqayyah, 15, Dixons Kings

“It was very ‘inspiring’ and ‘Engaging’, but there was nothing fishy but the sandwiches.” – Nathan Patel, Dixons Kings Academy

“I learned loads of communication skills that will help me in life” Jack Shircore, 14, Rivers Academy

‘I enjoyed today very much as I learnt valuable skills about communication and roles in a business’ Nathan Gage, Rivers Academy

“I have a had a great and positive experience, met new people and learnt more about business” Darren Clarke, Rivers Academy

 

When people ask us what we do, we say ‘help people to do well by doing good’. Over the past couple of years, we’ve been working with Boston College through our ‘Social Enterprise Revolution’ programme, starting with hosting their first ever social enterprise conference, to delivering several social enterprise Bootcamps and facilitating their social enterprise market day- all with the objective of increasing the number of social enterprises in the community. On 27 April 2016, we delivered a very special Bootcamp.

Back in February, a group of students and community members came together where we helped them develop their skills to and project development tools to take their social enterprise ideas to fruition. With pots of seed-funding up from grabs in partnership with Unltd, the Bootcamp had great outcome with several securing what they needed. At the end of the Bootcamp, I offered the group (mostly consisting of Plumbing students) the opportunity to do a ‘Train the Trainer’ with us in order to co-deliver the next Bootcamp. A few of them signed up.

Fast forward to 27 April, the 4 students spent the morning with Melody, learning the techniques of a trainer, breaking down the modules and practicing delivering it. We encouraged them to push through their comfort zone and to try to lead a session on their own. We rolled up our papers and ran for the afternoon Bootcamp!

The afternoon Bootcamp was for a group of A-level students. We walked in and I asked them why they were there (always important to gauge expectation). Comments like “to learn how to make a difference”, “do something new” and “to learn new skills” were offered. Perfect. We were off! Although the atmosphere was laden with anxiety over the imminent end of year exams, the students pushed through. Their chosen theme for their group social enterprise was chosen by themselves; The social inclusion of the elderly and intergeneration with young people.

Our ‘train the trainer’ Milika delivered the first segment and was professional and enthusiastic and on it went, each doing a great job and pushing through the nerves they felt. This was as much about them, as the Bootcamp participants we were training.

We looked at the community and different aspects of it as relating to their project, we helped them break the project down through an interactive module called PROMA© as well as set them an unexpected creativity social enterprise task! Here’s the interesting thing. Usually, people get participants to pitch to a panel of experts (we’ve sat on our fair share of those!), but I wanted them to pitch to a panel of their peers (the train the trainer students). This had a powerful effect and interesting dynamic on both sides.

The A-level students walked in with a desire to create change and knew their theme- but had no idea of what project they wanted to run or how to do it. Despite it being just a half a day Bootcamp, it’s important to us to support them to feel like they can go to the next stage (wherever they started from). We’re pleased that the A-level students were able to walk out with a solid concept, a name for it and a plan as to what they were going to do next. We won’t ruin the surprise, but it’s an absolutely brilliant idea and we look forward to keeping you updated on what happens next!

As for the Train the Trainer students – one of the participants who put himself forward, at his Bootcamp was extremely shy to say his own name, and yet stood up to co-deliver with us! At the end he said; “I don’t feel shy anymore”

 

For all enquiries about Bootcamps and social enterprise programmes, email: info@inspirEngage.com. Tweet us @inspirEngage / @Melody_Hossaini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is InspirEngage Intrenational’s 7th birthday. I found myself reflecting on the journey thus far and why we do what we do. I often tell this story as something which puts the work of @inspirengage into perspective for me… it’s about a boy called Ashley…

A few years ago, I was doing a piece of work for Barclays bank on improving financial systems to help the homeless- in partnership with Centrepoint UK. I walk into the room & the young people are shouting, being disrespectful & rowdy. They were there mostly as they were getting a voucher. But very quickly, we had an understanding. I made it clear that I can’t possibly understand what they’re going through, but that this is an opportunity to create change. A change which would help future young people in their situation. I promised to do all I could personally to take it back to Barclays. All of a sudden when we cut the bs, they felt valued. They started putting their hands up to speak & began sharing their incredible stories. I listened & typed as quickly as I could whilst also trying to hold the tears back. They were stories you could barely imagine. These young people had witnessed scenes which a young person should not even see in films- never mind call their life.

There was this one boy- Ashley, who at the start was the most badly behaved. He admitted he goes to lengths he’s ashamed of for a piece of bread. This guy literally had nothing. Desperate. Had no one. His honesty showed his vulnerability and cry for help.

At the end of the session, Ashley came up to me. He said; “you know the community work you mentioned you do- how can I get involved to give back?” That moment changed everything for me. Here’s a guy who doesn’t have bread- has nothing but wants to GIVE BACK. (it still makes me emotional after all these years.)

I put him in touch with local @UKYP (who I was working with at the time) and he got involved in creating change by volunteering. Ashley will never know how much of an impact he made on me. It’s moments like that, which make us do what we do at @inspirEngage.

Thank you to everyone who inspires us- and who shares our mission as a social enterprise, to do well by doing good.

 

Melody Hossaini

Founder, InspirEngage International

 

 

InspirEngage Bootcamp on Social Enterprise at JWEF by Melody Hossaini

During the week of 15th February, The InspirEngage team carried out a tour of activities in Bahrain, including Skills Bootcamps at Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum (JWEF), our Business Masterclass for SMEs as well as a stop on the international speaking tour ‘How to Change The World’. It was our second time in Bahrain, having previously delivered the InspirEngage Bootcamp training young professionals from across the MENA region to launch their own social enterprises relating to the environment, in partnership with the British Council. Here’s a breakdown of what we got up to and what we learned.

InspirEngage Skills Bootcamp

InspirEngage Bootcamp Day2

The JWEF brought together hundreds of young aspiring entrepreneurs. On the programme were a range of panels and speakers. But our stance was – magic happens when you take inspiration and turn it into action in that moment when a window of opportunity opens in your mind. This is what the Bootcamp was for. Covering the practical aspects of building an actionable plan from an idea. We delivered the Bootcamp in 2 parts- the first focusing on setting the foundation by training the participants to use our tool called ‘Career Map’ to define their goal, their identity and strengths as well as setting the right mindset for impact. The second part was hands-on and high energy including helping participants to understand social enterprise as well as putting it all in practice with our social enterprise task. They amazed us with their concepts and proved that although at the start, none of them really knew what social enterprise was- by the end of it, so many were aspiring social entrepreneurs- helping people to turn passion into profit.

‘How to Change the World’ – Speaking to Students

As Melody Hossaini’s signature speaking tour – we made a stop at Al Rajaa School in Bahrain to speak to hundreds of excited students! The presentation focuses on provoking thought in students about success and impact as well as share actionable tools and methods for ensuring their individual potential being fulfilled. The students and teachers were blown away by Melody’s interactive style – including having students up to take part in a shock-exercise. The students were eager, energised and stayed around for a long time to ask lots of questions sparked by ideas they had!

Business Masterclass for SMEs

InspirEngage Business Masterclass for SMEs

As part of supporting the growth of the eco-system as a whole in Bahrain, it’s vital to engage SMEs. For this reason, we designed an interactive ‘Business Masterclass’ hosted by Bahrain SMEs Society and the British Council. Participants were taken through a range of exercises to consider their place in the market, their social impact models and how to adopt a mindset shift leading to organisational transformation. What struck us was the fear that exists amongst people to share their ideas for risk of someone stealing their concept and replicating it. We had a fascinating dialogue on this, with us sharing the network models and changing face of business to be much more transparent.

 

Facilitating Panel on Success Stories of Local Entrepreneurs

Success Stories of Local Young Social Entrepreneurs

On day 1 of the Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum, Melody was invited to chair a panel of 4 young entrepreneurs from the region- Wafa Obaidat, Faisal Sherraif, Aysha Al Oraifi and Abdulrazag Al-Mutawa. We started with each panelist giving an overview of who they are and what they do. Melody then prompted them to tell tales of how they went from having an idea all the way to making it a success. Topics of discussion included whether starting when you’re young is a barrier or strength (most of the panelists felt that there young age worked in their favour although a couple of them did mention that sometimes they had to work hard to be taken seriously), the exact step-by-step of how they got started and got their first clients as well as their top tips for success for the aspiring entrepreneurs. Melody fielded questions from young people including from a 13-year-old who wanted to know if he was too young to get started. The panel’s advice – you’re not too young – go for it! Melody had some added words as someone who began in her sector aged 13 also. “Of course you can begin when you’re 13- but like anyone else starting a venture; do your research, speak to people who know that industry and be committed.”

It was a pleasure for us to be back in Bahrain and working to shape a strong eco-system of entrepreneurship – but one which is also socially responsible and allows young people to thrive. We wish all the young people and SMEs the best and look forward to their continued impact!

For all enquiries, email: info@inspirEngage.com

Stats have shown that social enterprises are outperforming the mainstream business model (see full stats here). Watch this uncut interview with me at the National Social Enterprise Festival held at Greenwich University. Questions include what qualities young people need to go into social enterprise, what educational institutions can do to help and main lesson I have learned as a social entrepreneur.

Tweet: @Melody_Hossaini

You are your greatest asset & opportunity, just like you can also be your greatest limit. I always say that your circumstances don’t define you- your mindset does. In this blog, I wanted to share a little story with you on how to turn failure into your advantage.

I remember at GCSE maths mock exams, I got an E (maths was never my strength). For my report predictions my teacher predicted me a E/D for the final GCSE. I begged her not to write that in my permanent documented report and that I promise I’ll do better. She said there’s nothing she can do since I got an E. I refused to accept this.

I went home and spent months re-learning everything from that year- I even asked for the syllabus and went over everything myself. When the exams came (I had to take 2 or 3 exams for the intermediate level), I remember turning the page in the actual exam and being shocked as nothing made sense. I sat there for about 7 minutes (which is an eternity in exams!) just frozen to the spot.

Then I put my hand up, asked for a hair tie (the teacher gave me an elastic band) and I put my hair up, rolled the sleeves up on my school shirt & focused my mind with a persistence that I can do this. I scored one of the highest in my class in that exam. In fact, I got a GCSE B (the highest you can get on an intermediate paper) overall. That meant so much to me and it will always be a testament to the fact that your attitude to something can combat your lack of natural ability. It’s also worth mentioning that, had it not been for the ‘failure’ of getting an E in the mocks, I may not have worked as hard. You have to allow even your ‘failures’ to inspire you to do better, not be your reason to give up.

Mindset isn’t an abstract ‘magic’ that transforms your reality – no! But it’s the factor which determines your behaviour in a situation and what you do about it. And that’s what transforms your reality. It takes hard work but healthy attitude is what makes the difference. This is something which you can learn over time and train your mind to do.

That became the central aim of how I designed our InspirEngage Bootcamp and courses. Drop me a line on info@inspirEngage.com to be added to our list to be sent exclusive info on upcoming courses and opportunities.

Tweet me your thoughts @Melody_Hossaini. Sending you all my warmest wishes.

 

As the social enterprise world grows, a lot of conversations are taking place on what really makes them unique and what is it that defines them. I touched on this recently at the Social Enterprise Festival- see this > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3GVlWN-nj4

A new business contact of mine, Peter, sent me the following article from Stanford Social Innovation Review which I find extremely thought-provoking and insightful (although I must say, I don’t necessarily share the perspective fully, yet the article is poignant).

Doing Less, Better

Call me a natural skeptic. As the social enterprise movement has gained momentum over the past decade, launching new conferences and awards, I have found myself continually puzzling over what makes the enterprise approach different from traditional charities and nonprofits.

The typical definition of a social enterprise—an organization that combines revenue-generation with a social mission—fails to line up with the reality of how we use the term. Many organizations carrying that label lack any form of customer or client revenue.

At one end of the spectrum are businesses that use some portion of profits for charitable work, such as TOMS Shoes and Newman’s Own Foundation, which could just as easily be called corporate philanthropy. At the other end are mostly donation-funded organizations. For example, Shining Hope for Communities is a great organization working with girls in Nairobi’s undeveloped areas, but its business model is not so different from traditional charities.

In between, there are organizations such as Sanergy, a sanitation company also in Nairobi, that has leveraged grant funding and innovation prizes to subsidize the development of a revenue-generating model for urban toilet franchises. Adding to the diversity, there are also product companies focused on creating ethical value-chains, such as Divine Chocolate.

It’s clear that, despite the alleged importance of revenue-generation, the social enterprise movement contains a variety of financing models. And while definitions of social enterprise have used the broader, vaguer criteria of applying “commercial strategies” to social issues, this translation of management practices across sectors is an old practice.

Meanwhile, there is something new about the fervor attached to social enterprises. Something about them attracts attention and excitement in a way that other nonprofits, charities, and NGOs fail to do.

Focus, Focus, Focus

My conversations with professionals at various organizations have suggested a subtler and largely unrecognized difference: Today’s social enterprises have a relatively narrow focus.

Large NGOs work on multiple issues in dozens of countries. Plan International’s website, for example, shows that it works on eight broad issue areas—including education, emergencies, and child protection—and in about 50 countries. A former employer of mine, Mercy Corps, lists 12 similarly big issues and about 45 countries.

Balancing priorities across broad missions and locations leads to serious management challenges. How do you trade off between investing organizational resources in education or health projects, when they lack common metrics? Setting strategic direction becomes about competing values for the issues that matter most to the organization, which can turn analytical discussions into political ones. Too often, organizations resolve such questions based on the interests of donors, whether those are foundations, government agencies, or public appeals.

At the same time, new ideas struggle in large organizations. They frequently get caught in “innovation units”—silos that often lack the organizational footholds needed to influence broader practice. In this way, the innovation challenge facing large NGOs is not so different from the one facing corporate giants like GE or IBM.In contrast, most social enterprises do essentially one thing. Kiva, for example, connects lenders with borrowers via its field partners. Digital Divide Data provides business outsourcing that creates backend jobs for disadvantaged youth, military spouses, and veterans. These clear, straightforward missions guide strategic choices and management.

Another well-known example is One Acre Fund, which serves small-scale farmers in East Africa and views every decision through that lens. The primary service line is asset-based financing paired with agricultural training and market facilitation. Significant management attention goes to improving that service line. When the organization experiments with supplementary services like microinsurance or solar lamps, it evaluates each one based on whether it makes the farmer more prosperous. If not, then One Acre Fund cuts that service.

In short, for social enterprises, focus can be a competitive advantage when it comes to impact. Focus helps leadership drive better methods and operations. It creates incentives to innovate within a targeted scope. And when the business model requires external support, a focused goal leads to clearer appeals and more excitement from fans.

Keeping Perspective

Of course, a focus that’s too narrow also has drawbacks. For example, the buy-one-give-one models of TOMS and others have been rightly criticized for displacing local production, and ultimately making a greater impact on the company’s own marketing than on poverty. A narrow focus must be justified within a broader view. And we must keep in mind that larger, multi-sector organizations have a critical advantage in addressing complex problems at scale.

Ultimately, the social sector needs a combination of focus and diffusion to drive progress. Social enterprises play a special role by focusing energy and effort on a single problem. That role distinguishes them from other organizations far more than how they finance themselves. They can pioneer innovations that larger organizations absorb and scale, or they can grow into larger organizations themselves, bringing their improved management methods with them. They should just make sure they maintain focus along the way.

Original source here.

 

Commonwealth Secretariat

Climate change – one of the greatest threats facing our world. We’re not talking a slightly warmer Summer, we are talking a substantial shortage of resources, natural disasters triggered by causes of climate change and a threat to vulnerable species. This is an issue that’s been at the heart of

InspirEngage with the Young Experts

InspirEngage’s work which began in 2007 when Melody was invited to be trained by Al Gore on ‘The Inconvenient Truth’ which she adapted to suit young people. InspirEngage has since delivered programmes across the world training young people to develop the skills and projects to create change in their communities (we’ve even seen young people turn their projects with us into their current career), including working with British Council HQ on managing their climate youth programmes at the UN and COP talks.

On 10 June 2015, Melody Hossaini and the InspirEngage team were invited to the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, to present to young experts from across the Commonwealth nations. The topic: ‘How Social Enterprise Can Help Solve Climate Change’.

The evidence provided by Melody along with other expert speakers, was used to shape a recommendation by the young experts to be presented to COP UN talk in Paris 2015 and can be read here.

Watch a snapshot of Melody’s presentation at Commonwealth Secretariat:

 

For all enquiries, email: info@inspirEngage.com / tweet: @inspirEngage/ @Melody_Hossaini

Yesterday, Unltd announced that the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has today approved a bid to develop an apprenticeship for entrepreneurs, including a specific pathway for social entrepreneurs. Due to the significant number of young people who want to start a business, entrepreneurship has now been recognised as a viable career route, and therefore apprenticeships have been created that allow individuals to learn skills to go into business, whilst working. The exciting thing for organisations like InspirEngage, is that there are also particular pathways for social enterprise.

The new apprenticeship for entrepreneurs standard is backed by a ‘trailblazer’ group of around 50 employers, chaired by Alberto Masetti-Zannini from Impact Hub King’s Cross and is supported by UnLtd, the UK’s foundation for social entrepreneurs, along with the Federation of Small Businesses and the Centre for Entrepreneurs. Employers backing the bid include Deutsche Bank and a number of SMEs and social enterprises including Reason Digital, Talentino Careers, Super Being Labs and Simply Do StartUp.

Unltd share stats showing that half of people aged 18-30 want to start their own business. There’s also growing appetite among young people to make a positive impact on the world. Seven in ten (70%) prospective start-ups are influenced by social causes, while 27% would choose to form a social enterprise.

This is a great move and will finally support the individuals who have a passion for business but need support to develop skills before launching.

Infographic - Entreprentice

 

Participants of Startup & Stilettos

Social Enterprise allows individuals to make money whilst making a difference! People call those who have been through adversity, ‘disadvantaged’ but when it comes to social enterprise, they are actually advantaged. Who better to solve domestic violence than someone who has experienced it? In 2013, InspirEngage International saw a gap in support for adult vulnerable women so be able to become economically active. You could argue it’s more important to help young people, as they can make a change earlier on. But training the women has a triple bottom line: Them as individuals, their community through their social enterprise and their children.

Startup and Stilettos is a unique and focused programme, supporting vulnerable adult women to develop the skills, confidence and business plan to launch their own social enterprise and becoming economically independent. The unique element is our approach and style of delivery! From drama to Persian dance to core personal and business development. A programme which has received much attention and had huge impact through the 10 we have delivered since 2013. Watch it come to life in the video below.

 

To find out more, to book a Startup & Stilettos Bootcamp or to become a sponsor, email info@inspirEngage.com

 

InspirEngage Skills Bootcamp - interactive & exploratory

Mosaic supporter Melody Hossaini and CEO of InspirEngage International got down to serious business with budding entrepreneurs recently at the Enterprise Challenge Entrepreneurs’ Workshop.

Melody, a former contestant on BBC’s The Apprentice, took this year’s winning and second placed Enterprise Challenge finalists to a special InspirEngage Skills Bootcamp. The Bootcamp, held at the offices of KPMG in Canary Wharf, was part of a series of follow-up prizes to the Enterprise Challenge. The business-focussed workshop gave the students a taste of InspirEngage’s Skills Bootcamp with a focus on social enterprise. Students from winning school Skinners’ Academy in Hackney and runners-up Langley Academy in Slough took part.

The students heard from Melody about her experience in setting up her social enterprise, and were given an opportunity to develop their own knowledge and skills across a range of areas linked to setting up and running their own social enterprise. During the first half of the Bootcamp, the students were able to take part in confidence building, self-awareness and communications skills.

Students with InspirEngage Mentor, Oscar Evans

The second half of the InspirEngage Bootcamp involved the students developing their business plans further that they produced at the Enterprise Challenge Grand Final in London 2015. InspirEngage had even invited two of their high-profile mentors, Gareth Narinesingh and Oscar Evans who delivered thought-provoking personal accounts as well as sat with the students to offer advice and feedback on their business plans.

On the Bootcamp, Melody said: “Really enjoyed being a judge in the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge Finals and see the students’ business concepts. Following this and for the third year now, InspirEngage International has delivered our Skills Bootcamp for the finalist teams in bringing their concepts to life. We trained them to develop their skills and mindset to turn their concept into a real social enterprise. Great progress and so glad the students took a lot from it. Thank you also to KPMG for hosting.”

‘Our purpose at KPMG is to inspire confidence and empower change. Mosaic seeks to inspire young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential, they partnered with InspirEngage to deliver a skills Bootcamp for student finalists in the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge in our new SPRING space. SPRING is KPMG UK’s fresh new approach to Corporate Responsibility and our employee volunteering offer.’ Roisin Murphy, Head of Corporate Responsibility, KPMG

(Written by Mosaic, edited by InspirEngage. Photography by Sophie Allen)

 

 

UNESCO Paris 2013

Do you consider yourself wealthy? When thinking about it, how do you measure it? This Vlog is inspired by a conversation I had with a young person in my community, who carries herself with dignity and poise despite not having the material things her other friends have. This Vlog is about how to increase your value, 1.37min.

 

Tweet us your thoughts on @Melody_Hossaini


Social Enterprise Presentation at Startup 2015, by Melody Hossaini

Is social enterprise our mainstream business model? Why are consumers more likely to buy from a social enterprise than any other business? What are the measures of success for social enterprises? All this and more in this latest video, sharing a snapshot of my presentation at Startup 2015 conference, hosted by Enterprise Nation at the beautiful Somerset House, London.


 
(For all enquiries or bookings, email info@inspirEngage.com)



Thank you to our friends at Onerion for making this video.

 

Great example of women turning to social enterprise to make a difference!

One of our Startup and Stiletto graduates, Patricia Bidi, running her social mission to give children in her community something to do through Art!

Last year I trained a lovely and vibrant lady called Patricia Bidi for an InspirEngage International programme called ‘Startup & Stilettos- The Future is Female’ in partnership with Hillcroft College, where we help women to make money whilst making a difference through social enterprise. She recently sent me these photos of a community painting session she held for 10 children on her council estate to give them something to do and learn new skills, through fun Art sessions. She bought her own materials and tools and the local church gave her access to their space. The children loved it! Although her resources are limited, Patricia ploughs on to help, saying “children deserve the best.” So great to see this progress Patricia- you’re wonderful!

Startup and Stilettos is an InspirEngage programme, helping women to become economically active through social enterprise. We train participants to be confident (often the greatest barrier), to adopt vital life skills to be able to come up with their own social concept to create change but also provide an income. For all enquiries, email info@inspirEngage.com

 
Want to know what Social Enterprise is? Watch the InspirEngage definition in this 39 second film! > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuOhwPEiXPw

The Social Enterprise Revolution is here! Boston.

On 21 April 2015, InspirEngage International jointly hosted the first ever Social Enterprise Conference at Boston College. The overall aim was to open students’ and community members’ eyes up to the possibility of social enterprise. Melody and InspirEngage team, Janne Geurts and Rakhee Shah brought the ‘Social Enterprise Revolution’ programme to Boston, forming a great foundation for what’s to come, in partnership with Unltd’d ‘Lead The Change’.

“Big thanks to Melody and her team at InspirEngage for delivering sessions at our first Social Enterprise conference, Revolutionise Enterprise – GO SOCIAL! I think that the feedback says it all, truly inspiring, engaging and motivating. The energy in the room was tangible! We truly look forward to future working and Leading the Change in Boston.” Amanda Mosek – Principal, Boston College

How To Change The World by Melody

In the morning, Melody Hossaini delivered a signature presentation on ‘How To Change The World‘. Not believer in 1way speeches, Melody instead interacted with the students and carefully pushed them out of their comfort zone. One student, Sonja, was so nervous about coming up that she was shaking, but like a pro, she persevered and did an excellent job on a selling task! The presentation covered examples of how young people have improved their communities, the opportunities and why it’s important to be socially conscious as well as practical tips to make it happen.

Afterwards, these lovely students, Marcia and Bobby, spoke of the impact on them and how they had come up with a social enterprise concept they wanted to launch as a result!

In the afternoon, community members made up of social entrepreneurs and those interested in community development (old and young) joined us for a special social enterprise quiz by InspirEngage! They were also invited to write on the creativity wall, completing the sentence ‘Social Enterprise is When…’. InspirEngage selected its top 3, which were:

Social Enterprise is when… everybody profits… (by Neil Armstrong)

Social Enterprise is.. Giving back to keep giving! (by Stephan Genovese)

Social Enterprise is when… business works for people… (Richard Tory)

Thank you so much to our social enterprise friends who donated the prizes, One Brand, Elvis & Kresse, Tea People Ltd and Harry Specter Chocolates.

“It was an honour for InspirEngage International to have partnered with Boston College to host the first ever Social Enterprise Conference at the college. We designed the ‘Social Enterprise Revolution’ to help offer a wonderful opportunity for the community to both create jobs as well as make lives better, with the educational institution at the heart of it. I’m particularly moved by 2 students, Marcia and Bobby who came up with a social enterprise concept during our ‘How to Change the World’ session and have decided to take it forward! We look forward to working with the college and the Boston community in the future.” Melody Hossaini, Founder & CEO, InspirEngage International

What the community & learners thought….

Thank you for today, I found your presentation about InspirEngage awe inspiring. Educationalists are currently asking for schools to become more community-centred rather than being in competition with each other. But you have placed children and young people at the centre of their communities. Brilliant!” Alan Gurbutt, Social Entrepreneur and School Governor

“We are all so grateful for the time you took to share your thoughts and experience with us. Thanks very much for your stimulating speech! It was truly memorable and inspiring, In other words you are AMAZING!” Mara, Student, Boston College

“Just been to a great Social Enterprise event at Boston College with ‪@Melody_Hossaini & her ‪@InspirEngage team – Feeling empowered!” Josh Goodfellow, Social Entrepreneur.

“The fact that someone can inspire teenagers so much in an hour speech and give you so many ideas, is crazy! We were aspirational people already, but now I feel enlightened. We’re going to make a difference to people’s lives!” Marcia and Bobby, students, Boston College

 
Read more about event on the Boston College blog > https://enterprisezoneboston.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/revolutionise-enterprise-go-social-what-happened/.
Want to join the Social Revolution? All enquiries, please email; info@inspirEngage.com. Tweet @inspirEngage / @SocEnt_Rev


 

54 countries. 1.2 billion young people. 1 special celebration. 9th March is Commonwealth Day. For us at InspirEngage International, the focus is on the young people who will be leading change. In this blog we look back on attending Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad & Tabago in 2009- our work there even featured on the Queen’s Christmas Day Speech that year.

Melody with delegates-Commonwealth Youth

It’s not often you attend a conference onboard a beautiful cruise ship. Every year CHOGM is held in various locations around the world. In 2009 we were invited to attend the gathering in Trinidad & Tobago. World leaders and young people came together to discuss solving the most imminent threats facing our planet.

Parallell to the main CHOGM meeting, was a youth gathering of some 200 people, and InspirEngage International, in partnership with other organisations, was tasked with training and facilitating the young people to prepare their contribution to be presented to Kamalesh Sharma – the Secretary General of the United Nations. I was honoured to deliver a keynote address (then aged 24) on the main stage. As a, then. recent graduate with Al Gore of the Inconvenient Truth training in Cambridge, my stage was focused on climate change and how young people can create change in their communities.

Watch a short snippet of the start of my keynote address at CHOGM 2009

 

To continue the outcome-focused approach, I also delivered an InspirEngage Skills Bootcamp for the young people coming from all over the Commonwealth. The Bootcamp covered our core modules in equipping the participants with skills needed to go back to their countries and achieve their social mission. The young people were enthusiastic, innovative and eager to develop their plans. As with all our Bootcamps- we got them up and moving around doing exploratory learning in an interactive way.

Delivering InspirEngage Skills Bootcamp-CHOGM

As part of the trip, we also attended a session in Parliament with their Prime Minister and Kamalesh Sharma himself (pictured), as well as a ceremony to welcome the Queen. InspirEngage has worked with the Commonwealth Secretariat throughout the years, including me filming an impact video with them to mobilise action in young people across the Commonwealth (in fact, tomorrow we shall be attending the Commonwealth Youth Awards at the Princess Alexandra Hall). We are always struck by the sheer force of the young people- that’s the power of the Commonwealth for us. This leads to growing business, trade and understanding.

Secretary General of the UN, Kamalesh Sharma

Melody

@Melody_Hossaini

 

 

Social Enterprise = Business with a Good Cause. Makes money as well as improves communities and helps its people. Here’s why social enterprise is the best business model.

Business where you can make money as well as make a difference? Sounds perfect. And it is for those going into business. In 2011, I predicted that social enterprise would be the business model of the future and so far it’s looking like we are definitely headed that way, and perhaps even, ahead of schedule. 2014 was the year that truly cemented social enterprise. Despite the recession social enterprises are overtaking mainstream businesses – 58% of social enterprises grew their business last year compared to 28% of SMEs.

In 2015 it looks set to be the year that social enterprise makes its way from the sidelines to the mainstream of business. Too right and here’s why social enterprise is the best business model.

  • Consumers: Within a very saturated market, consumers now want to buy something with narrative. Social enterprise offers that narrative. We are seeing a shift in consumer approach towards asking where their product comes from and what impact it has. Now more than ever, we’re more likely to buy products which we know will help people and are sourced fairly (like Divine chocolate). On this point it’s also important to say that social enterprises won’t and can’t achieve their aim unless people buy social. It’s on all of us to choose to buy from sources that can have a positive social impact!
  • Investors and Supporters: Not only do consumers want to buy ethically and have impact with their spending- but so do investors. ‘Angel News’ who are an organisation that have a network of Angel Investors, stated that one of the reasons investors invest once they’ve reached a certain level of success, is so that they can give back (as well as make a return on their investment). Social enterprise fits this notion. There’s never been a greater appetite amongst investors. In the last budget announcement by the Chancellor, we saw the introduction of tax relief in investment in social enterprises. It’s not only attractive for investors, but also gaining support of mentors, who similarly to investors, want to give back, and have a growing appetite to support those with a social mission.
  • Solving Social Issues: Perhaps, most importantly, social enterprises aren’t just contributing to UK’s economy, but also improving our communities, helping vulnerable groups of society and allowing people to make passion their career! From reusing wasted items to providing relief for the hungry to creating jobs for our young people – social enterprises are working hard to help solve the imminent social problems facing us. This will also save us money- money that it would have cost the Government to try to solve it later. Young people, who form a large part of social enterprise founders, are seeing a natural progression from volunteering within their communities, into social enterprise (how I got started myself).

Read the next blog: ‘How To Set Up Your Social Enterprise’http://www.melodyhossaini.com/2015/02/how-to-launch-a-social-enterprise/

Here at InspirEngage International, we are passionate about supporting young people and women to start their social enterprises by way of delivering our Bootcamps, as well as supporting corporates to adopt a socially enterprising approach. Join the Social Enterprise Revolution!

Melody Hossaini.

For all enquiries, email info@inspirEngage.com. Tweet us @inspirEngage / @Melody_Hossaini / @SocEnt_Rev

 

 

‘The Social Enterprise Revolution’ by Melody Hossaini at TEDx