TATA Social Enterprise Conference – 7th December 2013

On Saturday I had the opportunity to travel to London for TATAs Social Enterprise Conference, hosted by NACUE (National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs) held at City University.

The hardest bit of the event was setting my alarm for 05:20, as our train was booked for 06:25 to ensure that we were ready for the 10:00 start in the capital.

Upon arrival at City University it was great to see the Balloon Kenya team who were exhibiting at the event, who welcomed guests with balloon shaped cookies. It was great to see Maxine too, who was another Fellow on my programme over the summer.

Image

The event started at ten with a welcome from NACUEs Head of Community, Amy Watson. The welcome was followed by Jaguar Land Rovers, Director for Corporate and Social Responsibility, Jonathan Garrett who spoke about the importance of preparing for 2050. The population will reach 9 billion and he spoke of how there is plenty of opportunities for social entrepreneurs to exploit the rise in population.

Arthur Kay of Bio-Bean, a company that recycles coffee grounds into biodiesel and biomass pellets introduced the keynote speaker, Robin Shelley. Robin who is regarded as a ‘Global Shaper’ by the World Economic Forum has worked as Chief of Staff to former President of Costa Rica Jose Maria Figueres, supporting international initiatives in climate change and energy. He currently works in investment banking and is interested in how finance can create economic development and social change. Robin spoke about ‘Social Intrapreneurs’, people working within large organisations that push for social good.

Image

Following the morning keynote was a panel of social enterprise experts taking questions from the delegates in regards to ‘Working towards a greater social impact’.

Coffee and networking concluded the morning sessions in which I was asked to speak to The Guardian in regards to the conference and about the work I did in Kenya, which I look forward to seeing.

Breakout sessions followed the networking break, with a selection of different topics being discussed in different rooms across the University. I chose ‘The Naked Debate’ hosted by Solitaire Townsend, the founder of Futerra, a sustainable development communications agency. Solitaire looked at making social enterprise sexy, how to win the status fight of social media and why you have power to change the world.

Lunch followed, allowing everybody to get some food and visit the varying stall that were available to view in the Social Enterprise Marketplace. I stayed with the Balloon Kenya team and shared my experiences with students who were interested in joining the project next summer.

After lunch was the presentation that I’d been looking forward too, with Rob Forkan the founder of Gandys Flip Flops and their investor Dominic List, a former Secret Millionaire. Rob went through Gandys interesting story, talking about how a family tragedy encouraged them to set up a business with social good – check out their story http://www.gandysflipflops.com/our-journey

Image

Unfortunately we didn’t have time for the last set of talks as we had to get back to Sheffield, however I did have an attempt at running into a wall.

Image

I thoroughly enjoyed the day out in the capital and thanks to Hallam Union for allowing me to represent them.

BLOG – Ethiopian Hatricks, Two Page Articles, Boot Camps and a Man Named Chimbonda

Yesterday was a busy day of meetings looking into how we are going to approach the launch of Balloon Kenya in partnership with Hallam Union.

After the success of my trip over the summer Hallam Union would like to fund two places next summer to join the programme in June 2014.

We shall be looking for the Universities top talent and launching the campaign in the first week of November. Lots of people have shown an interest already which is really exciting!

I met the President of the Union in a bar in Sheffield in the week and he was fully aware of the project and gave me his number if I needed any assistance, which was nice!

As the leaves mount up on the pavements of Sheffield, as does the work load. Corporate Finance being today’s reading topic.

Last Thursday I spent the day in Manchester at a careers fair of 3,000 students and 50 graduate employers. One of Next’s HR Officers described me as the ‘sharpest’ student at the event in my light grey suit with navy tie. I had some great chats with some of the employers there, but also some of the students too.

Last Saturday I got the opportunity to watch my beloved Carlisle United play in Manchester. Despite the loss it was a nice day out! I also saw Pascal Chimbonda make his début for the club.

Leicester Mercury

I appeared in the Business Magazine of the Leicester Mercury on Tuesday. An article that I wrote about a month ago appeared over two pages of their monthly magazine. Thanks to their Business Editor, Ian for sorting it!

Garlick scored a hat trick in an Ethiopian shirt this week and it was nice to get my football boots back on and escape university for an hour with friends. The decision on the next African nation I shall represent is difficult after the haul of football shirts I bought back from Kenya (Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Nakuru Allstars, South Sudan and Ethiopia).

This week shall see me represent Sheffield Business Schools Enterprise Society in Birmingham at NACUE’s (National Association of College & University Entrepreneurs) boot camp. It’ll be great to join fellow Enterprise Committee members from across the country to share some ideas. I may have a cheeky stop of in Leicester to see the family too!