Tag Archives: social entrepreneurs

We Walk The Line, kickstarting employment opportunities

We Walk The Line supporters enjoying their ice cream and espresso delights!

We Walk The Line supporters, enjoying their ice cream and espresso delights, at Launch event.

We Walk the Line is a social enterprise that empowers tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, by providing the skills they need to sell great tasting artisanal coffee as their own boss.

The social enterprise provides employment and training opportunities for young people who need a break, or disadvantaged individuals who need a second chance. Continue reading

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Evergreening the elderly, the story of Rootless Garden

Pic: Frances. The Rootless Garden team; Daniela Cabral, Nadia Daghistani and Indie Shergill.

By Adrian Whyatt.

A day centre garden once in need of some fresh energy is now surrounded by a riot of colourful pots and plants in full bloom. And happy smiling members.

How did this come about?

A small group of gardeners from the centre joyously painted and planted them, with support, tuition and materials from Rootless Garden. The social enterprise goes into care homes, day centres, churches and other places where the elderly meet, such as social clubs and pubs. They bring gardening projects into these settings.

Rootless Garden are ‘micropreneurs’: a tiny entrepreneurial company. They registered last year as a company and have two directors and co-founders, Nadia Daghistani and Indie Shergill. Daniela Cabral, their Business Development Associate is working there for 3 months. Continue reading

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Year Here, developing the social stars of the future

Year Here's Michael Simpson

Pic: Ve. Michael Simpson, Year Here, Partnership Manager

By Patrick Chike

Year Here is about bringing brilliant graduates into the social sector to help tackle social problems.

The social enterprise was founded by Jack Graham in 2012, but was officially launched at 10 Downing Street a year later. His vision for this organisation is to get young men and women to address their mind to the most pressing social issues of our day with a view to finding alternative solutions. 

We had an interview with Michael Simpson, the Partnership Manager, who was very glad to tell us everything about the organisation; from its origins, purposes, how it operates and there future plans. Continue reading

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New grants for social entrepreneurs

School of Social Entrepreneurs Lloyds Bank

Thousands of pounds are up for grabs to help Social Entrepreneurs with new ideas, thanks to Lloyds bank and The School of Social Entrepreneurs.

The organisations have joined together to offer grants and necessary training to new and existing social enterprises, through  two separate programmes. The Start Up program provides support on how to set up a social enterprise and offers grants up to £4,000 and the Scale Up programme is offering ongoing support to expand and grow existing businesses with grants of up to £15,000.

The scheme will be delivered nationwide from October 2014 and for further information visit The School of Social Entrepreneurs website

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Generation Hackney, opening up the world of work to young people

Picture: Ian Aitken - The studio where Generation Hackney is based

Picture: Ian Aitken – The studio where Generation Hackney is based

By Samuel Hooper

The thirty-year-old founder of Generation Hackney rises eagerly to greet us as we arrive, picking his way forward through the studio he shares with an eclectic mix of social entrepreneurs earnestly tapping away on laptops, sipping coffee or mending bicycles in the corner.

From his hotdesk in Hackney, armed only with a MacBook, a mobile phone and his unshakeable optimism, Richard Hearn is trying to improve the lives of disaffected school-leavers struggling with the transition from education into work. “I left my job [working as a volunteer mentor coordinator for a large charity] in November and just went for it. And this is where I am now,” he explains. Continue reading

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Week 4 – Practicing Interview Skills and Writing Case Studies

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By Samuel Hooper

Week four of the Big Issue Online Journalism training saw the trainees learn interview techniques and recap key photography skills before going on location to interview three social enterprise directors about their work. Our efforts led to a series of case study articles profiling the work of these organizations.

We were first split into pairs and assigned a role either as interviewer or photographer. Your blogger today was selected to serve as photographer as we interviewed Eddie Bridgeman, the director of a community interest company (CIC) called Meanwhile Spaces.

The Big Issue Online Journalists also interviewed leaders from Hackney Pirates, an unconventional learning centre helping young people with literacy and academic support, and Chats Palace, a thriving community arts centre in Homerton.

The main objective of the exercise was to produce work that would meet the expectations of our audience – in this case, readers of the Answers From Big Issue publication. It was important to maintain focus and use our limited time to gather information, quotes and images that would work together to tell a positive story about social enterprises benefiting the community.

Preparation was key, and we spent Thursday morning researching the organizations, working out the right questions to ask and thinking of the best photo opportunities to look for once we were on location. The afternoon was then spent conducting the interviews and photographing the interviewees and the surroundings.

The interviewers had to contend with various challenges, including late-running subjects, temperamental voice recorders (the bane of every journalist) and distracting background noise. However, the application of our newfound interview skills yielded good results, with all of the interviewees displaying palpable enthusiasm for their projects and eagerness to increase public awareness of them.

Jan, one of the trainees on photographic duty, also had to be creative and rely on his training in order to overcome challenges while on location at Hackney Pirates. He said: “The lighting was very warm, and was not continuous throughout the room which presented a real challenge.”

Friday was devoted to transcribing the interviews, downloading the images and writing the articles for publication on this blog and consideration for Answers From Big Issue. The assignment was challenging but rewarding, and showed a big increase in our collective knowledge and skill compared to our humble beginnings in February.

Next week, the Big Issue Online Journalists will take on full length feature articles – stay tuned for the results of our work.

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Monique Villa, the heart behind Thomson Reuters Foundation

Monique Villa - Chief Executive of Thomson Reuters Foundation

Monique Villa – Chief Executive of Thomson Reuters Foundation. Photo by Danielle Aumord

By Nazira Ahmed

“We have today in 2013 the biggest number of slaves in history. You cannot stay indifferent, you have to take action” Monique Villa, Chief Executive of the Thomson Reuters Foundation passionately states.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation provides training for journalists in developing countries, media training for non-government organisations (NGOs) and runs Trust Law, which works with law firms to provide free legal advice to NGOs and social entrepreneurs. Continue reading

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