This is a guest blog from Elodie Draperi, Community Developer at MakeSense. Elodie is an optimistic changemaker and practical facilitator who truly believes in the power of social business and social entrepreneurship to tackle the biggest issues of our society. She joined the MakeSense community three years ago to create positive impact through collective intelligence and design thinking methods. She now works fulltime on developing Makesense in the UK and is currently touring around 10 cities.
Last Friday I had the chance to animate the first RSA Social Entrepreneurs’ Breakfast of 2015. The RSA is running a series of 6 events this year called ‘The stories of the Social Enterprise Journey’ in which guest facilitators will be coming in to share their knowledge and help both Fellows and non-Fellows at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey. With my MakeSense hat on I wanted to show the power of peer-to-peer support in a collaborative and creative way, to help those with new ideas or early stage enterprises get off to a good start on their journey!
For this first breakfast, the objective was to allow early stage social entrepreneurs to pitch their project and source feedback, contacts and advice around it. We started the breakfast with an ice breaker, to energise the participants and break down any initial barriers – I think it was probably the first time the vaults space at the RSA had been taken over by 30 Fellows imitating Samurai warriors!
Then, pitch time! Each social entrepreneur had one minute to pitch, with 10 entrepreneurs pitching their ideas in total. No two ideas were the same, each had different purposes and beneficiaries: Stay Brave UK, supporting male victims of abuses; Handmade Alliance, working with ex-offenders to teach them new skills; Portfolio Space, a free co-working space aiming at empowering disabled people; Feed Back, a rescue remedy for democracy and many others, and even a few embryotic ideas without a name yet!
We then played an interactive game I call trial of ideas. This splits the audience in two; one part the demons, sharing what they didn't understand or like about each project, and the other part the angels, sharing the positive aspects of the projects. After this activity, the social entrepreneur received a map and everyone was invited to fill their map in with a useful contact, a similar project they might know, a tool that could make their life easier, and some advice about the next steps.
There were lots of suggestions for every project andhopefully the new entrepreneurs took away some valuable tips and advice to help them on their journey (if you did, please let us know in the comments!).
At MakeSense we support any kind of social entrepreneur in more than 100 cities across the globe. Social Entrepreneurs can post their challenges on our website and we will help mobilise a crowd to solve their challenge.
You can connect with Elodie on LinkedIn or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about more about this session or future events. You can also find out more about the RSA’s Social Entrepreneurs’ Network and sign up to the next session.