WHAT WE DO
_SocialStarters create the space and opportunities to nurture and ignite the social changer in you.
We do this through volunteering; matching career breakers with talented social entrepreneurs in India, Sri Lanka, Brazil & the Philippines.
We also work with freelancers & skilled professionals - these are aspiring social changers who are looking to get inspired and explore more meaningful work.
And we provide specialist career and leadership coaching for career changers who want to unearth their 'what next' through a transformation experience.
"During Training Week I learned so much more than sitting in an office for years. It gave me enough confidence to start my week with my client and to use the tools and methodology I've learned during training week. I think I will benefit from this knowledge for the rest of my life."
MAUDY WILLEMAN, BRANDING, COMMS & CHANGE MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST, AMSTERDAM.
SRI LANKA, FEB 2016.
There are now two ways you can volunteer with _SocialStarters:
Our Immersion Programme, a structured 6 week programme, is for career breakers and aspiring social changers who want to share their skills, meet a like-minded community, explore their career purpose and have an adventure.
_TheAssignment is going to be a new way to volunteer with social enterprises: offering a flexible experience based on a specific assignment that requires your specialist skills, enabling you to travel with purpose.
Immersion Programme: 3+ years professional experience in core business skills such as marketing, finances, project management, business development, sales; as well as experience living or working in a developing country.
_TheAssignment: 8+ years professional experience in a relevant field for the assignments. To include CSR, Change Management, HR, TV Production, Textiles & Fashion Design, Marketing & Comms and more.
Who we work with:
Established Social Enterprises, Start-Ups, NGOs, Social Entrepreneurs, Social Activists, non-profits, youth groups, women's group & Social Purpose Businesses looking to make an impact in their communities. They might be pure start-ups, be in their first 1-3 years, looking to scale, or are 20 years into their impact work but are struggling to adapt in the new world. They all need support to be more financially sustainable and tell their impact stories.
See below for our current list of opportunities throughout the year.
Find out more stories about the work we do, the impact made by our volunteers and what their experience looks like, told by them via our blog.
Sri Lanka: Immersion Programme
Mission: Volunteer Specialists + Sustainable, Organic & Fairtrade Products + Market Trading + Social Entrepreneurs
Colombo: 16th April - 28th May 2016 * NOW CLOSED *
Colombo: February & April 2017
#JoinUs in Sri Lanka to grow and develop early stage social entrepreneurship at a key time post-conflict. Working alongside the British Council, Social Enterprise Lanka and Good Market in Colombo we're looking for skilled professionals who have a passion for international development and social entrepreneurship who want to join us in supporting grassroots entrepreneurs, NGOs and social enterprises who are dedicated to organic /fair-trade & sustainable products and services. This is a six week volunteer programme, which includes one week of programme training. See what our volunteers say about it HERE.
Mission: Specialist Professionals + Social Entrepreneurs + Adventure
Sri Lanka | India | MORE INFORMATION
Would you like to volunteer with one of our host organisations on a specialist assignment and make a tangible impact?
If you think you might be interested in taking on an assignment with us, please email email@example.com and put "The Assignment" in the subject heading and tell us: 1) What top 3 skills you can offer a social entrepreneur 2) When you would like to volunteer and for how many weeks/months 3) How many years experience you have.
We are currently recruiting for the following assignments, and more can be found HERE:
Location: Hyderabad, India
Client: UnLtd Hyderabad
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Client: Social Enterprise Lanka
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Client: Good Market
Brazil: Immersion Programme
Mission: Skilled Professionals + Creative Start-Ups + Olympics + Arts, Culture & Sport
'Rio 2016' Special: 4th June - 16th July 2016
Rio de Janeiro: 29th October - 10th December 2016
Our partnership in Brazil with Rio's City Hall, Eixo Rio, means our specialist volunteers will be playing a role in shaping the cultural legacy of the 2016 Rio Games. Working alongside creative & cultural youth and community projects you'll take on the role of Social Impact Consultant for start-ups who want to make a big impact. If that excites you, and you think you have the transferable skills to work alongside young grassroots creatives then we want to hear from you. This is a six week volunteer programme, which includes our start-up methods, consultancy and social entrepreneurship training in the first week. See what our volunteers say about it HERE.
Programme Fee: £2080.00 and includes 42 nights of accommodation, Training Week and weekly headspace trips. Interested? Latin language speakers preferred but not essential.
India: Immersion Programme
Mission: Skilled Professionals + Social Entrepreneurs + Community + Consultancy
Auroville, Tamil Nadu: 17th Sept - 29th Oct 2016
Hyderabad, Telengana: 17th Sept - 29th Oct 2016
Our social entrepreneurship programme in India will see you collaborate, learn and design alongside grassroots social enterprises tackling key social issues in their communities such as women's empowerment, environment, education, health and livelihoods. Our partners UnLtd Hyderabad and UnLtd Tamil Nadu, are affiliates of the leading social enterprise incubator UnLtd India. Package includes all accommodation, project experiences and in-location training. This is a 6 week volunteer experience for people who want to work in the social enterprise or NGO sector. See what our volunteers say about it HERE.
Programme Fee: £1580.00 and includes 42 nights of accommodation, Training Week and weekly headspace trips.
Philippines: Immersion Programme
Mission: Skilled Professionals + Social Entrepreneurs + Incredible Beaches & Islands
Manila, Philippines - Early 2017 * Recruitment Opening Soon *
We're incredibly excited to announce we will be launching a pilot programme for skilled professionals to work alongside social entrepreneurs in Manila, in the Philippines. You could be volunteering with incredible local people tackling core social issues from waste management to women's empowerment, education, health or environmental. Alongside your placement we'll deliver you training and workshops in social entrepreneurship, start-up methods, consultancy tools and techniques and you'll be given career and personal development coaching to help you get some perspective and discover a fulfilling career.
Recruitment Now Open. There are only 6 places for this incredible pilot.
APPLY | INFORMATION PACK COMING SOON
OUR IMMERSION PROGRAMME - WHAT'S INCLUDED:
1. TRAINING WEEK
We prepare you to become a Social Impact Consultant through our bespoke training week.
Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship | Start-Up Methods | Consultancy Tools and Techniques | Cross Cultural Working
You also receive your own copy of the _SocialStarters Start-Up Manual.
2. EXCURSIONS & TRIPS
It's not all hard work!
We organise weekly 'headspace' trips
to give you some time to relax
and stop working.
Depending on where you're located,
it could be anything from:
a visit to the beach or a temple,
a meditation class,
a trip to an interesting local cafe, a hike,
language lesson or a cultural event.
We also arrange talks and visits to see social entrepreneurs
and other start-ups in the area
3. DISCOVERING YOUR 'WHAT NEXT'
Every other week you can opt in for a one hour 1:1 session with your Programme Manager. During these sessions you will be taken through a series of coaching tools to help you to reflect on the experience, your personal goals and want you want to achieve following the programme. Supporting this will be 3 additional workshops covering things like:
Passions & Values | Self Limiting Beliefs | Goal Setting
We like our group to stick together, as it adds to the collective experience.
Staying in local accommodation that's safe and secure,
you'll have space to relax at the end of a day of field work, workshops or excursions. Accommodation will either be in a shared house, 3-4 bedroom apartments, homestays, guest houses. We never make people share more than two or three to a room, we guarantee fans and most mod-cons such as kitchen facilities. But whilst we won't chuck you all in a dorm, be prepared still for a bit of adventure! Living conditions can vary but we think the quirks are all part of the fun.
5. KNOWLEDGE SHARING
Worked in marketing, finances, sales? Each week volunteers put themselves forward to share knowledge on their field of expertise. You can create a 2-3 hour workshop or deliver one created by past volunteers.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO WITH MY FEE?
This is a great question!
The rest of your fee contributes to the costs of the programme team,
the training delivery and other costs associated with the
delivery of the programme such as operations and support.
As a social impact business we invest heavily
in our mission to focus on impact over profit and are always looking for ways to
create more impact. We've recently created new salaried roles for our
local programme support teams for example.
Is this you?
WE ARE SEARCHING FOR PEOPLE WHO FEEL LIKE THERE HASN'T BEEN A VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME YET THAT EXACTLY MEETS THEIR NEEDS.
WE ARE CALLING THOSE WHO WANT TO TAKE A BREAK TO EXPLORE HOW THEY CAN MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT IN THE WORLD.
_SOCIALSTARTERS INVITES YOU TO
COLLABORATE, LEARN AND DESIGN.
BE A SPECIALIST VOLUNTEER
We bring together people from different worlds to create change. You'll join us in the role of Social Impact Consultant, and you will work with your peers to support micro start-ups, young people, NGOs or existing grassroots social entrepreneurs and help them identify problems and test solutions.
You will learn about specific start-up tools that enable you to support your clients appropriately. You'll be introduced to global and local social entrepreneurship, lean start-up methods, consultancy approaches and cross cultural working. Plus you'll immerse yourself into the community and learn so much from being in the field with your client, including how to adapt and work outside the typical corporate working environment.
Most volunteer programmes end once you return home and the impact is short term. _SocialStarters encourages you to design change in your own lives as well as others. Whether you want to develop your own start-up ideas, turn your passion into a business or move into a more meaningful career, we create space for you to explore your values and look at what holds you back - so that you can return home feeling inspired to make your next move.
2. GET INSPIRED
Are you thinking about taking a shorter break overseas to refresh the brain, meet interesting people, do some good work and get inspired ready to return with a renewed vigour?
We are looking for people who are passionate about change, who are looking for a different socially impactful start-up experience or opportunity to travel with purpose.
Check out our two incredibly exciting new opportunities below: the Digital Nomad Experience & our Inspiration Programme.
Rio 2016: Inspiration Programme
Mission: Sports Development + Incubation + Olympics + Rio de Janeiro
*NEW* Rio de Janeiro: 26th August - 14th September (18 nights)
We're seeking people who are passionate about sports and community development who would like to #JoinUs in Rio the month before the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic games. Our new Inspiration Programme will mean you see Rio de Janeiro through the eyes of those working to build the games legacy. You will be given the space to develop your ideas with support from social entrepreneurs & dedicated sports development NGOs. If you don't have an idea for a project or start-up we'll help you find one. Includes ideation workshops, co-working space, excursions and more! You will leave feeling motivation, energised, inspired and ready to take your passion and ideas back to your community.
EXPRESS INTEREST | INFORMATION PACK COMING SOON
Digital Nomad Experience
Mission: Freelancers & Digital Nomads + Tech Capital of India + Co-Working + Community
*NEW* Hyderabad: Telangana, India
We are organising a one off remote working experience for a group of 5 digital nomads who are freelancing, working on ventures or projects or wanting to start-up their own thing. Hyderabad is known as the tech-capital of India, and its place on the scene was firmed up when Google & Microsoft based their Indian headquarters here. Aside from its pretty lakes, the serene inner city neighbourhood of Banjara Hills, or the lively (and extremely fun) nightlife it's one of a few places in India where you can go to a Hackathon, work with a social entrepreneur tackling carbon emissions and pitch for seed funding - all in the same week! Hyderabad is rapidly emerging as the place to be for any hot new start-up. So we've decided it's time to invite others to #JoinUs and get inspired by the great people, things to do and good work that's coming out of this wonderful city.
INTAKE #1: 16th April to 14th May 2016
INTAKE #2: September/October 2016
What we're offering:
If you are interested in joining us in Hyderabad don’t wait around, places are limited – email firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP and tell us:
Being a changemaker starts close to home. If you feel ready to make a big change in your life and you feel like you want to do something meaningful but need a little professional support and guidance to help you unearth your true purpose, then our Transformation Experience will help you get there.
Co-delivered between _SocialStarters and Life Creativist.
We are looking to run a pilot in the incredible Auroville, a tranquil community with a focus on self-sustainability in Southern India, in September 2016.
Recruitment opens March/April 2016. Express Interest by emailing us as email@example.com
Mission: Social Changers + Coaching + Reflection + Beautiful Forest
*NEW* Auroville, India - September 2016 EXPRESS INTEREST
We are developing a new coaching weekend focusing on helping you unearth your 'what next' and that all important search for a fulfilling career. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest now putting TRANSFORMATION EXPERIENCE in the subject heading.
Our participants come from around the world, from having worked at organisations such as Innocent Drinks, Sony Playstation, KPMG, Cancer Research: or start-ups and anything in between. To date we've collaborated with career changers, career breakers, post-grads & volunteers from USA, Italy, Netherlands, France, Cameroon, Kenya, Spain, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Germany & the UK across a broad range of industries from Banking to Product Design, Mobile/Tech & Entrepreneurship.
Check out their stories on our blog.
"I wanted to begin by thanking you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Auroville Immersion experience. Two months later, I can still feel the heat of the smoldering sun on my back, and the tingling warmth of all the beautiful memories made. I'm all smiles thinking about it :) Not only did I get to know and work with some of the most amazing people, but I walked away feeling wholesome and fulfilled, a feeling that I was in desperate search for. The whole experience was so profound and enriching at so many levels. I truly admire all that you have accomplished. It really is an inspiration for me and the many others who want to help change the world for the better, but just don't know how to. One step at a time is what I tell myself now. Kudos to you for all your great work! Thank you once again for the lovely 6 weeks."
Shruti Aurora, Former Fashion Retail Merchandising Specialist, Canada
"So I thank you so much for making all this happen!! I really appreciate!! For me, Sri Lanka was the best that could happen to me!!
If you want to quote me, maybe like this:
'After quitting my job and a long search for doing something different, the trip to Sri Lanka and helping at social startups was the best that could happen to me! I got so much inspiration and motivation that I'm keen to set up my own social startup soon!'."
Johannes Mohr, Packaging & Design Specialist and now Co-Founder of Karma Foods, Germany
"I had a great experience with my clients and feel the partnerships with the British Council and The Good Market can offer a lot. I learnt technical and softer skills from both clients and fellow consultants and came away from the programme with a clearer vision of my future career."
Sunil Makwana, Banking Professional, UK
"I walked away from bootcamp in Rio da Janeiro with my head overflowing with new ideas and inspiration. Don’t worry if you’re not confident and knowledgable in business/finance/social enterprise – I can guarantee that you’ll walk out feeling like a pro. Social Starters have tapped into an emerging business world, and it’s exciting to learn about the incredibly innovative ways people are doing business AND doing good at the same time."
Leah Jane Musch, Fashion & Handicrafts Entrepreneur / Food and Well Being Specialist, Australia
"I've attended dozens of training courses and workshops in my time, and I have to say that the format, style and quality of the training has been exceptional. I've learnt more than I ever could have imagined on topics such as social enterprise, lean start-ups and the local market. It's been a fully rounded and immersive experience."
Paul Goff, Former Supply Chain Consultant, Deloitte, UK
"When I came to Hyderabad I knew that I would be learning a lot from the _SocialStarters team, Andrea, Anna and Ryan. Between them these guys have an incredibly vast range of experience, wealth of knowledge and a unique, truly effective delivery style! What I hadn't anticipated at all, however, is just how much I would also learn from my fellow consultants. We have the most incredible range of talent within the room, covering almost every topic you can imagine, from developers to entrepreneurs. It's been incredible getting to know each persons background and I can tell that I will be lucky enough to gain something insightful from each one of them."
Emma Wilson, Former Brand Controller, L'Oreal, UK
"The most exciting thing for me in Rio wasn’t just what an incredible variety of people and knowledge we had there in the room, it was how quickly we all began to discover new parts of ourselves and bring out different talents in each other. As I start working with my client now I feel reassured not only that I have access to a broad range of expertise from the other consultants, but also that I have a strong network of support - not to mention a lot of new friends!"
Louise Thomson, Former International Corporate Investigator, UK now Social Enterprise Consultant
"Going to Auroville with this programme has been one of the best decisions of my life. I have gained so much more than I could have ever imagined. I have not only acquired knowledge, skills and experiences that will help me in my professional life but thanks to all the inspiring people I met I also learned countless life-lessons. They taught me to see everything from a different perspective, tackle old problems with a new mindset, be more optimistic, flexible, curious and spontaneous. I can't thank Social Starters enough for an incredible 6 weeks, I have so many happy memories, stories and a whole bunch of new friends that I know will last me a life-time.
10/10." October participant, 2015
REGULARLY LISTED AS ONE OF
TOP 10 OPPORTUNITIES
_Co Founder // Global Programmes 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 worked on the UK Government’s launch of the international youth volunteer programme - International Citizen Service (ICS), supporting them to fundraise £1m in their first year. She then went on to manage 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 // Social Enterpriser
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.
_Programme Director - Brazil
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 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.
_Senior Programme Manager - India // Operations Manager & Customer Comms
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.
_Trainer & Designer
Ryan is a global citizen with his roots in the USA but working experience from the US, China, the UK, Taiwan and India. In addition to obtaining a Bachelors degree in Urban Planning/Public Policy and Chinese, he has spent his last few years in innovation consultancy companies working on technology projects with companies like Tesla, Samsung, and Intel. Furthermore, he has worked with starting up a social enterprise in the UK and green building consultancy in Shanghai. He is passionate about issues related to public health, environmental degradation, and urbanization and hopes to have a social enterprise centered on those problems. Ryan enjoys learning languages, doing yoga, conducting human centered design experiments, and learning Bollywood dancing during his time in India.
_Various Volunteer Projects & Opportunities
Are you in between jobs, freelancing, looking to escape and have some time on your hands? Our volunteer opportunities extend to supporting us on business projects within _SocialStarters HQ. Send us an email outlining your skills & experience, the things you're most passionate about, and what you'd like to do more of and we'll match you with a project and help you build your CV.
We have a very experienced and passionate Advisor - Neil Prem. He is the founder and International Director for Future Possibilities, a social enterprise supporting leaders to make an authentic positive impact through the work that they do. He works some of the world’s leading universities including Cambridge, Imperial College and Oxford as a speaker and social enterprise consultant. He is a highly sought after speaker and executive coach. He is currently collaborating with The Judge Business School and Social Incubator East to develop a new social business incubator in Cambridge..need we go on!
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.
If you are an editor and you'd like to interview a member of our team or invite them to guest blog, please get in touch via email@example.com.
Here are some of this year's published pieces & interviews:
Travel Pulse (Jan '16)
iGenius (Jan '16)
The Rio Times (Dec '15)
'New Rio Social Entrepreneurship Program Wraps Up the Year'
El Pais (Dec '15)
'O menino que emprestava livros'
Creators For Good (Oct '15)
Interview with Andrea Gamson
The Innovation Trail (Sept '15)
'Supporting Farmers Through Organic Farming – A Day in the Village of Vilappuram'
Schildershoven Blog (Aug '15)
'Going Global Without a Fortune'
Escape The City (April '15)
'How Did Mindfulness Change My Life?'
Red Bull Amaphiko Magazine (April '15)
'How to... Build A Killer Advisory Board'
Please email us to request our latest press information.