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Understanding social enterprise

Watch this video of Rosie Ginday, founder of Miss Macaroon, a social enterprise in the UK, describing the work they do.
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I’m Rosie Ginday and I’m the founder and CEO of Miss Macaroon which is a social enterprise. We make French macaroons and then we we reinvest 100% of the profits in providing training and jobs for young people with multiple and complex needs. So people with mental health issues, lone parents, ex-offenders, care leavers and on the autistic spectrum and we build their skills and confidence and help them to get back into work.
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I think it’s really important in using all sectors of society to address the issues we face, so government and business can work together. But businesses just have such a huge amount of spending power and a great resource of its people to be able to tackle some of the worst issues affecting us as a society at the moment. I think the procurement parts of even small businesses can create huge social change. And when you have businesses that focus actually on addressing particular social issues, that’s where the real transformative impact happens.
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So at Miss Macaroon we are a Community Interest Company and we reinvest 100% of our profits in providing training and jobs for long-term unemployed young people. So we sell to a huge amount of different segments. So we we sell to large corporates, multinational corporations like Instagram, Facebook, Google and also to small and local businesses. We also sell to the catering trades but also direct to consumer through our online shop. And also we’ve got some retail spaces in and around our area in Birmingham in the Midlands, in the UK. And what we do is we invest all of our profits
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in our flagship programme: The Macaroons That Make a Difference training course. It’s a 10-week programme with a real focus on mental health and young people’s wellbeing. So we try and provide a safe working environment that we address people’s barriers to work. And we work with them holistically in a trauma informed way and we support them to overcome those barriers and work in a professional environment. We also provide lots of mentoring, links to grow their network and actually get into work.
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I think what’s important for us as well is to be able to show that we can create a beautiful premium product that is desired by large corporates, people for their wedding, people giving just a birthday gift and that can actually create transformational change for young people and help them to get into work.
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So when we started 10 years ago, some of the ideas around social enterprise, if people did know what they were in the UK, it was more of a kind of lower grade charitable organisation that wouldn’t necessarily have the quality, so over the last decade we’ve seen some fantastic luxury product organisations that have really high quality produce or services and also create amazing change for the community or the environment.
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So at Miss Macaroon we work towards the Sustainable Development Goals through five of the goals. So we focus on ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing at all ages. So through the MacsMAD programme we provide wellbeing to work sessions delivered by a psychotherapist and counsellor and we pull that through all of the training programme that we do. So looking at really practical ways that people can look after their mental health and wellbeing in pressurised environments. We also ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. So although we focus on providing opportunities for 18 to 35 year olds, we actually promote lifelong learning.
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So we do have programmes for older people as well and we try and encourage mentoring across all of the ages. So we also have a focus on achieving gender equality, education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. So we’re really focused on achieving equity of outcomes. So really understanding what’s holding people back and that’s not just in terms of gender that might be due to class or disability, and putting additional support in place and extra connections and training opportunities so that young people that we work with feel more able to access all the opportunities that they have available. We also promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and full productive employment and decent work for all.
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So it’s really important for us that the work opportunities that we provide and also the partners that we work with to move our MacsMAD trainees and graduates onto are providing meaningful work. And that’s really a huge part of our quality control process in working with external partners. And it’s really important that we also reduce inequality within our communities. So whether that is building the skills and confidence of the young people that come across from all different backgrounds, or whether that’s addressing issues that keep people in poverty or whether that’s increasing their education so that they can feel more confident to apply for roles. It’s really important that we do whatever we can to reduce that inequality.
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We are really ambitious social enterprise, so we feel the need to grow at quite a pace and at certain points it has been difficult to get the business support that we’ve needed. For the past few years we’ve we’ve definitely addressed that by having an amazing, non-executive board of directors, but also an advisory board of special advisers that focus on particular areas that we’re looking to grow within. There’s also been some fantastic support in terms of courses that local enterprise partnerships, growth hubs, the government and also local universities in conjunction with large corporates have delivered and we’ve taken part in. And it’s really helped to kind of transform our growth.

Watch this video of Rosie Ginday, founder of Miss Macaroon, a social enterprise in the UK, describing the work they do, the impact they make and their contribution towards the SDGs.

Miss Macaroon sells small biscuits called ‘macaroons’ and uses 100% of the profits to provide employment training opportunities for young people who are long-term unemployed. “Creating a brighter future not just for macaroon lovers, but for everyone!”

Discussion

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • What inspires you from this video?

  • How important do you feel it is for social enterprises to consciously keep the SDGs and their intended impact at the core of their decision making?

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