Last week myself and Kevin attended the latest event from the THRIVE forum in Birmingham. THRIVE is a group of Birmingham Businesses who have a cultural shared desire to contribute to CSR, (rather than feel they must). It is a great open group where good and bad initiatives are presented and discussed so that best practices are shared amongst the group. I have previously presented at this forum about our CSR activities (see previous post).
Kevin’s Summary of the Event is below:
On the agenda at this session was a presentation about Social Enterprise from the School for Social Entrepreneurs (http://www.sse.org.uk/). This is an organisation which was established by Michael Young, even on reading his obituary, you can see just how much he contributed to society http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2002/jan/16/guardianobituaries.books everything from the Open University, political strategy, Which Magazine, the Consumers Association amongst many other initiatives. All these were dreamt up by a poor boy orphan who was adopted by the 4th richest woman in America. The contrast between rich and poor didn’t fit well with him and he dedicated his live to improving the lot of the common person whose opportunities and financial resource were scarce.
It is this social spirit that the SSE embodies and attempts to develop in other people. They provide a forum and a 12 month learning environment (as opposed to a teaching environment) that takes the spark of inspiration from a maverick (in the good sense) and exposes it to other SSE Fellows experience and advice to put it into practice, everything from legal entity forming, finance raising, personal skills development etc. 80 % of all the initiatives that have started with the SSE are still in existence today.
A typical case study was presented last night by Charles Takawira, he was helped by SSE to form a not for profit organisation, http://www.healthcarelink.org/pages/2/Healthcare_Link/Home , his spark was ignited whilst training to be a nurse in the UK, he had lost both his parents in hospitals in Zambia (where the average male age life expectancy is 35 female 50) where they had very few medical supplies and he was working in a British hospital where tonnes of surplus equipment was being sent to landfill, he is saving the surplus and redirecting it from landfill to Zimbabwe, with help of course from the SSE mentors and the CSR community.
As always this was a really useful and informative session.
The SSE are looking to establish a school in the West Midlands – if you think you can help – please get in touch or visit www.sse.org.uk for more information.
The next thrive session is planned for Easter and the topic is on Volunteering opportunities. Really looking forward to learning about ways in which we can help the community using non financial methods.