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Raise a Hand for Social Enterprise!

Jenny Freeman of EY Foundation shares her thoughts on TFN and EY Foundation’s partner event -

We at the EY Foundation have worked with a range of social enterprises on our Accelerate programme, and we’ve noticed some common traits in the brilliant entrepreneurs we work with. They are focussed, resilient and dedicated to the cause of making the world a better place. During the twelve months on the programme, we embark on a journey with our cohort, learning a few lessons of our own along the way. One of the major ones being the importance of networking and working collaboratively for the greater good. Many hands make light work and we can create far greater impact and provide a more valuable programme by working with others. We’ve been blown away by people’s readiness to support and collaborate, most recently with our crowdfunding event with The Funding Network. 

Three of the enterprises in our Accelerate network – Bottles of Hope, Salford Red Devils Foundation and Renaissance Foundation – seized the opportunity and moved the audience with six minute pitches on their ventures. We didn’t want the evening solely to be about raising funds, as with the Accelerate programme we see that practical support is just as valuable, so pledges of expertise, shared networks and opening doors were also encouraged. From marketing advice, support on writing grant applications and even a pledge to take on physical fundraising challenges in aid of one social enterprise - our guests did not disappoint.

The event gave more of our supporters a chance to see the live impact of their donations and pro-bono support, encouraging more people to step forward and take the initiative in using their professional knowledge to support and grow smaller, profit-with-purpose enterprises.The night left our guests feeling not only inspired by the social enterprises that pitched, but also by the generosity shown by such a committed audience.

Who are the EY Foundation?
The EY Foundation works directly with young people, social entrepreneurs and employers to achieve our vision that every young person in the UK, regardless of their background or circumstances, can begin to realise their career ambitions and every employer in the UK, regardless of size or sector, plays an active role in supporting young people to realise their full work potential. 

We do this by working with young people who may have barriers to the labour market, by providing high quality work experience, mentoring and accredited employability training. We also support social entrepreneurs to scale sustainably - our Accelerate programme recognises the need to build a successful, profitable, purpose-driven business and has been designed to focus on professional and commercial resilience. 

Jenny Freeman, National Lead Social Enterprise Services, EY Foundation

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