Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds You need motivated people, to join your social enterprise. In this video, we interviewed people who work in social enterprises, to find out what drew them to this sector, and what keeps them there. I’m interested in entrepreneurship, especially in the social enterprise section and I came here because of that. Because I wanted that experience of working directly with a CEO firm of a social enterprise. To get to know the challenges, the opportunities, and how to tackle daily problems. And that is exactly what I’m learning. Because is very challenging, it’s not a very stable environment where you say ‘OK, today I do this, I do that’. Anything can happen and you have to be ready to meet that challenge.
Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds You have to be quick on your feet in thinking, in coming up with solutions because some of the challenges you meet require instant response and you have to be quick on your feet. And that’s what I think a successful entrepreneur needs, on how to evolve, every day. Just five months back I graduated from a business school, so when I came here, I was very strategic in my mind. However I lacked a very strong emotional connect. But when I came to Jaipur Rugs and became part of the story, there was this certain element of emotions and humanity that was awakened in me.
Skip to 1 minute and 33 seconds And now, instead of only focusing in bookish strategies, I am also trying to bring in emotions into my work. So that’s a very transformational change change that has come into my work. So that’s what I have learned. I have learned how to combine the best of ideas with my heart. So I might have some emotion I want to depict from my heart and I might now think of ways of doing it. So is that connection of brain with the heart. At the time I was doing a Masters at the University of Bristol in International Relations and I was finishing up and I was thinking of what I wanted to do.
Skip to 2 minutes and 10 seconds So Bristol Pound kind of came along, and I said ‘oh, I’d like to get involved’. I kind of had bit more of a chat about it and I thought it’s really good. I would really like to get behind this. It kind of does social and environmental things, as well as being relevant, very, very relevant for local businesses. So it kind of ticks all the different boxes
Skip to 2 minutes and 32 seconds that are out there. So I got a job in London, for about three days a week, but what I was doing didn’t feel like the thing I wanted to do. I didn’t really identify with it. And then on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I was coming back to Bristol and going and talking to businesses, strictly voluntarily, about getting involved with the Bristol Pound, and that felt really good! In about 2002 or ‘03 I started to feel that I wanted to do something to help disadvantaged children in Africa, because our business was going well. We were working in the fashion industry and it’s a very materialistic industry and I needed something to balance my life.
Skip to 3 minutes and 10 seconds Something that would justify me earning money on the one hand, if I could spend it in a good way on the other. So I went out to Uganda just on holiday in 2004 and I stumbled upon a little school in Bufuka, which was being supported by a Slovenian, and I thought this was something I could do to help. So with a combination of my funds and some fundraising that I did, we build our first nursery school, which opened in 2006. And from there, we just went from one thing to another.
Skip to 3 minutes and 43 seconds I thought education was the most important and then I decided clean water was also important, and health was important, and we grew from there and in four years we had 4 nursery schools, we had started a Special Needs Centre, we were fundraising for a clinic.
Social change and personal transformation
Being part of the social enterprise sector can have transformative effects not only on society but also on the individual founder, employee, or volunteer.
After hearing the perspectives in the video, please share in the comments below how past interactions you may have had with social enterprises – whether as an entrepreneur, an intern, a donor, or a supporter – shaped your own outlook.