I had the pleasure this afternoon of spending time with the soon-to-be-graduating cohort of the School for Social Entrepreneurs North West’s #scaleup programme — over the last year, this group of social entrepreneurs and social enterprise leaders have been exploring how they might best grow their respective ventures to create even more transformative impact in their local communities.
I’d structured my session with them to be largely open so as to offer anything that they might still need to learn with regards to specific pieces of information, contacts, and suggesting approaches to issues that they might not have considered before (including encouraging them all to watch Yes, Minister!). But principally I wanted to help them to formally reflect with each other on what they’d got out of being part of #scaleup, and what they’d be taking from it as they entered the next stages of their respective journeys, both personally and as an enterprise.
Many took the time to personally thank me as they left the session (always a good sign!), but what I felt was most useful from the session from my perspective was asking them all to share what one thing they’d now learnt that they didn’t know when they woke up this morning, or one thing that they’d now do as a result of the day. This helps me understand the impact I’ve had, and while some of their responses were encouraging, I can’t help wondering if I may have (accidentally) gone too far with some of them…
- we’re going to find a social investor
- we’re going to apply to Power to Change
- I’m going to start claiming more allowable expenses from HMRC (specially in relation to mileage rates for bicycles)
- we’re going to change our accountant
- we’re going to apply for Social Enterprise Investment Scheme tax relief
- we’re going to apply for membership of Locality
- we’re going to make changes to our financial management
- I’m going to eat more salad
- I’m going to go ‘back to basics’
- I’m going to swear more