A passion for people and a love of education.
It’s been just over a year since I decided to fly solo and a brief moment of reflection and thanks is always a positive thing …..even if it does sound a little twee.
Having yammered on to 1,000s of young people over the years about enterprise and self-direction I decided in January 2011 that my little black book was thick enough and my ideas over-ambitious enough to go it alone and frankly it’s been fantastic. As I said at a school this week “I get to meet and work with amazing people, and run projects that aim to be a positive influence on peoples futures”, it’s pretty damn good.
I’ve had an amazing first year; I have spoken in lots of schools and colleges to some superb (and always hilarious) young people, helped successfully run Global Entrepreneurship Week UK and am in the process of setting up real social enterprises in schools and colleges with a couple of smooth lads from the North East. I’ve given advice (hopefully useful) to inspirational charities like Teach a Man to Fish, Wandsworth Youth Enterprise and vInspired and have been privileged enough to experience enterprise approaches in several other countries.
Outside the paid work some of the students that I support in Bootle, Liverpool deservedly won the Observer Ethical Awards this year and continue to use their guile, cheek and enterprise skills to generate revenue for the ladies they support in the Kenyan slums and develop a bright future for themselves – here’s their video if you’re interested.
Working for myself in 2011 gave me opportunities to speak in Kuwait, the Caribbean and Bangladesh and I’m off to Morocco in June to add my enterprise influence to a youth leadership course – we shall see if enterprise education translates well from the classroom to the top of the Atlas Mountains. The British Council and Commonwealth Secretariat’spositive influence and ability to draw together really strong stake holders for the good of the host country is always impressive.
I’ve also had the pleasure of working in Scotland and Wales and seeing how enterprise education is delivered differently over the Severn Bridge as well as north of the border with the excellent Scotland’s Colleges ….I need a piece of work in Northern Ireland next so I can claim a truly balanced UK view J (feel free to get in touch with Northern Irish opportunities).
With my highly adept (and very patient) business partner Alex Ritchie we helped YBI, the new GEW UK hosts, deliver Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011. With their focus on delivering real practical help to individuals all across the UK managed to reach over 213,000 people; from a standing start in only 10 weeks we’re really proud of that reach – it was a pleasure to be part of it and the plans for GEW 2012 are simmering away nicely.
During the week itself I hosted the 4Entrepreneurs event at the Odeon Leicester Square and tested both my mettle and that of 4 entrepreneurs by engaging nearly 800 students for a full day – hardly any of them fell asleep! I was also asked by my friends at London Met Uni to judge their Rising Star competition at the House of Lords with Lord Wei; he and I did have a small disagreement about the final scores, he outranked me in both title and business knowledge and I conceded. I concluded GEW 2011 bookending Channel 4’syouth enterprise event working with some superbly motivated 16-21 year olds; if you’ll indulge me for a moment this little story represents all that is great about both GEW and the young people that I get to work with.
…I received a tweet at 8:30am on the final Saturday of GEW from a 19yr old girl and her friend telling me how much they were looking forward to the Channel 4 event. I had never met these girls before and was surprised to find two 19yr olds up at 8:30am on Saturday morning, in London and raring to go. It actually turns out that both these girls had caught a coach from Tyneside the night before, arrived in London at 6am for the Channel 4 day and would be getting a late night coach back that evening arriving into Tyneside at 5am the day after.
The next time someone tells you young people are lazy or unmotivated feel free to regurgitate this story and ask them if they’d sleep two consecutive nights on a coach to meet a few old hats and hear about enterprise in the media!
I am currently working on projects for NACUE and vInspired but if I tell you about them I’ll have to kill you.
There are lots of individuals who supported me, whose skills I couldn’t have delivered without and continue to be a very positive influence. To all of you that assisted and are still reading at this point ‘thank you’ for taking an interest; 2012 is going to be a stunner!
Tweet me @enterpriserich, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 07941 668 174 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 07941 668 174 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Have a fabulous 2012 and feel free to get in touch at anytime.