WHAT WE DO
Our mission is to bring together talented professionals with grassroots entrpreneurs tackling issues in their communities - to share skills, solve problems, generate new ideas and provide a platform for cross cultural co-creation, knowledge sharing and long term impact.
We do this through volunteering; matching skilled professionals with talented social entrepreneurs in India, Sri Lanka, Brazil & the UK. We support our participants through workshops, training and coaching alongside their volunteer placement from as little as £650.00. We get good feedback too!
Working with individual volunteers as well as our corporate partners, we (see: Team) design and deliver unique career development experiences that provide new skills, change lives and drive sustainable impact.
Our 6-week Immersion Programme runs several times a year in either Sri Lanka, India and Brazil, and includes accommodation, excursions, matching, and in-country support & training.
_TheAssignment is our matching service for adventurous volunteers who want a specific, specialist assignment between 2-12 weeks, for a date/length that suits them, running anytime throughout the year.
We work with brands, businesses and social sector organisations to deliver employee engagement and CSR partnerships that develop teams whilst making an impact in the world through co-creative social entrepreneurship skill-sharing.
See our partners & supporters below.
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"I learned so much more than sitting in an office for years. The training gave me enough confidence to start my week with my client and I felt equipped to use the tools and methodology I've learned. I think I will benefit from this knowledge for the rest of my life."
Maudy Willeman, Branding, Comms & Change Management Specialist - Amsterdam
Sri Lanka, February 2016
PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS
The EY Foundation provides business support to social enterprises by offering access to skills capital from business coaches to workshops, networking and project support.
The Coaching Fellowship is an international community of coaches dedicated to helping young women reach their full potential. Their fellowship community is made up of nonprofit leaders, impact entrepreneurs, activists, rocket scientists, artists and more – all young women leaders of impact dedicating their lives to building the world of tomorrow today. The Coaching Fellowship begins with a three month professional coaching fellowship. Their fellows become part of a global women of impact network which stretches 80 countries. Co-Founder Andrea is one of their 2015 AW Fellows.
The British Council have been playing a key role in developing the entrepreneurship community in Sri Lanka. They run programmes in partnership with local and international organisations who provide expertise in areas such as youth and social entrepreneurship, equal opportunity and diversity, social inclusion and engagement, and active citizenship. We will be working with The British Council to support the growth of a new impactful enterprise economy in Sri Lanka.
Eixo Rio is our lead Industry Partner in Brazil and is a department within the State Secretariat of Culture in Rio. Their work involves developing and boosting cultural, creative and entrepreneurial projects & opportunities across Rio - and their decision to collaborate with us was an incredibly easy one for them to make! Supporting both our six week Immersion Programme and the two week Social Innovation Bootcamp in July, we're incredibly proud to be working with Rio's City Hall a year ahead of the olympic games.
We ran our first programme in Sri Lanka in partnership with Social Enterprise Lanka, a start-up support organisation that aims to build a network of social enterprises in Sri Lanka. We'll be working collaboratively with them in 2016 to support in the delivery of training to impact organisations, provide volunteers as well as help build their member network.
One of our strategic partners in Sri Lanka is the growing Good Market. Only 3 year's old, Good Market have been bringing the most desired organic, fair-trade and sustainable products and services to the Colombo community every Saturday morning. We're working with Good Market in some exciting ways in 2016.
Between us we have over 30 years professional experience in volunteering, international development,
social enterprise and business.
_Co-Founder // Global Programme Director
It was whilst on a volunteer programme in Peru that Anna had the profound realisation that she had the ability to make a positive impact in people's lives. Wanting to share this experience with other people, she set up and ran a two year volunteer programme in Peru whilst at The University of Leeds, for which she was nominated for Woman of The Future Voluntary Award. Since then she has racked up 7 years of experience in the Development sector in fundraising and volunteer management, ran youth volunteer programmes overseas for organisations such as VSO, Balloon Kenya and Project Peru and worked with nearly 200 volunteers around the world. During her time at Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) Anna managed the very first ICS volunteer programmes in Kenya and has been working in volunteer management ever since. Anna passionately believes that volunteering can develop, empower and educate people, but most importantly it's an opportunity to enable and inspire those to make change in their own communities. When she isn't working on _SocialStarters her favourite things to do are dance, travel, laugh and take photos.
_Co-Founder // Commercial Director
Andrea is a corporate escapee, with 15 years' experience developing & launching digital and above the line media projects for some of the world's largest brands, media and charities. Determined to do something more meaningful she started volunteering, mentoring offenders and young talent, travelling as much as she could to hard to reach places. The turning point came when South London’s youth-run magazine LiveMagUK lost funding and she joined youth communication specialists Livity (Queens Award for Enterprise 2013, 50 New Radicals 2012, E&Y Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2012), to turn LiveMagUK into a sustainable digital youth engagement project that saw official partnerships with Google & the Guardian. She has a passion for personal development and wants to help other people make the career moves they desire, learning more about themselves whilst building knowledge and confidence in the area of social enterpreneurship. When she's not working she’ll be experimenting in the kitchen (and totally prepared to fail) or reading the late great guru, Osho.
_Brazil Programme Director
Jiselle is a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow who confirmed her love for Brazil and working with young people and social enterprises during a 2 month research project exploring whether social enterprise could be a catalyst for change amongst young Brazilians. With over 9 years’ experience managing projects and working with organisations across the voluntary, public, private and social enterprise sectors, Jiselle is passionate about working with young people and empowering them to create access opportunities which develop them professionally and personally. Jiselle has led and worked in partnership with a range of creative, cultural and entrepreneurial programmes and organisations across the UK and Brazil and is driven by the potential for these initiatives to bring about change in communities. Alongside her role as in-country Programme Director for _Social Starters, Jiselle has recently joined the project committee for UM Rio, a rugby for development training programme aimed at children and young people from a favela community in Nitéroi to develop their educational offer.
As a young girl, Anna either wanted to be the first successful female F1 driver, or the first female chancellor of Germany. After Angela Merkel was elected and Anna realised that her driving skills are just as good as her knitting (terrible), she realised that all her aspirations had one thing in common: she wants to be a change maker. Receiving a Bachelor in Economics, and having plans to complete a masters degree in Development Studies, she is following her passion to make the world more equal economically and socially. She believes strongly that grassroot movements and entrepreneurship can provide solutions to local, national and international challenges. After working with _SocialStarters in Brazil, she is now running the programmes in India. Anna loves the immersion experience – talking to locals, trying new foods and discovering new places. If you can’t find her sweating in the gym, she will be eating carrot cake at the local bakery.