Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Social enterprise: Stop focusing on definitions and just do it!

Following the #futureofsocent hashtag on Twitter tonight, there's all the usual talk of definitions and how social enterprise needs to go mainstream. While those subjects generate debate, they also slow the sector down. Too much is focused on talking whereas what we need to do is act!

In my day job I run The Pitch, a pitching competition for small businesses. Today I discussed some of the entries with our judges and one of them has potentially huge benefits for the NHS. I can't go into detail as we've not yet revealed the shortlist publicly but the company in question isn't a social enterprise; it's a business. A business out to make the world a better place. That's what matters.

So while all the chat about 'what is social enterprise?' and 'when will social enterprise go mainstream?' generate pages and pages of copy for us bloggers, we need to move on and (excuse my French) just bloody do it!

Monday, 15 April 2013

A child reads for the first time: Goose bump moment from an African project [VIDEO]

Can you remember your parents' reaction when you first learnt to read? I'm sure they were delighted.

But I'm sure they weren't as delighted as the residents of one African village when a small boy read by himself for the first time.

The video of that moment, shown below, was played at last week's Skoll World Forum and when I saw it, I got goose bumps.

The young chap was a recipient of support from the Community Empowerment Program, an initiative of not-for-profit Senegal-based organisation Tostan. The scheme encourages parents and other community members to create an environment for children’s development in a country where research has shown that certain social norms and traditional practices can hinder the brain development of infants.

Teaching a child to read is a simple but hugely powerful achievement. It opens up a world of possibilities and the community's delight in the video below illustrates that.

Wonderful stuff.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Skoll World Forum 2013: Live video and blog

In association with (yes, I also run that site!), here's a live video stream and blog from the Skoll World Forum in Oxford which runs until Friday (12 April).

The schedule is:

April 11
14:00 - 15:00: From per capita to pro capita: Launch of the Social Progress Imperative
17:30 - 19:00: Awards ceremony

April 12
09:00 - 10:45: BBC Global Business: Financing social entrepreneurship
12:30 - 14:15: Developing the development model: Re-engineering aid for the 21st century
15:00 - 16:30: Closing plenary