JOIN US

Our 2019 applications for Spring and Summer are currently open. We’ll be making offers to join the programme on a rolling basis. There are 15 spots available per programme so it’s advisable to sign up early to avoid disappointment. The first 10 people to sign up will receive £500 from us toward their fee.

Deadline: 4th February @midnight.

Volunteer Business Consulting 

My social starters experience was brilliant! I was lucky to work with a great social enterprise at the beginning of their journey and was able to make a real difference using skills I had developed from my corporate career.”

 Beth Pilgrim, founder of Supply Change (ex-Breast Cancer Now)


 FIND OUT MORE

_SocialStarters offer a unique opportunity for you to share your skills with a social purpose organisation to learn about social enterprise in a practical way, as well as leaving a lasting impact. This is flexible, remote business consulting that suits your requirements: whether you have 6 hours a week or can give up to 4 days a week. All we ask is that you commit at least 10 out of the 12 weeks during the programme period. 

Spring Programme: 25th March start date. Deadline to apply 4th February 2019. 8 places available.

Summer Programme: 15th July start date. Deadline to apply 4th February 2019. 12 places available. 

Autumn Programme: Dates TBC (September/October). Not open yet. Express Interest by emailing us at info@socialstarters.org.

“Social Starters are game changers. They have pulled together a unique programme – combining: social development, personal development and cultural immersion – into an immense package. I look back on social starters as one of the most unique and rewarding experience in my life. The variety and all round quality of the people on the programme was incredible. I learnt so much from each and every person: the consultants, social enterprises and people in the community.”

“[Social Starters] offer a practical approach that allows you to apply newly acquired start-up thinking to local social enterprises in Rio’s communidades. You will work with fascinating, visionary entrepreneurs to help them shape their business and make a real impact on the local Rio community.”

“I quit my job to spend the summer in Brazil working with _SocialStarters and have returned full of ideas, inspiration and energy. I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my career and my life and the program not only gave me the space I needed to do that but pushed me to do things I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do otherwise and discover skills I didn’t think I had.”

“My experience with _Social Starters was great. I connected with like-minded people and got the confidence to start my own projects back home.”

“After quitting my job and a long search into doing something different, the volunteering trip to Sri Lanka helping 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. I thank you so much for making all this happen!”

“I quit my job to spend the summer in Brazil working with _SocialStarters and have returned full of ideas, inspiration and energy. I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my career and my life and the program not only gave me the space I needed to do that but pushed me to do things I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do otherwise and discover skills I didn’t think I had.”

“This was a very intense, mind-blowing and productive six weeks with like-minded people who are not only passionate about social enterprise and career change, but who have also enriched my life in so many other ways and personal experiences.”

“I had an excellent experience with Social Starters. The programme is a great opportunity to combine travel, live somewhere different for a while, take a career break and try out something completely new… working with the client Social Starters had paired me with was also a great experience to learn new skills but also give something back. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a break from the ordinary.”

Eligibility

 Our volunteers are typically aged between 28-60 and:

  • They have a minimum of 6 years’ work experience in a professional field in marketing, sales, operations or finance
  • They are looking to do something different whilst on a career break
  • They feel like they want to make a positive difference in the world and contribute, or give back
  • They are passionate about entrepreneurship as a force for change and want to share their specialist business skills to improve people’s lives

This is flexible volunteering where you can:

  • Choose your time commitment within a 3 month period: either part time, full time, or a set number of hours a week over 10-12 weeks during our 3 annual programme waves
  • You can volunteer on a career break or sabbatical, in between jobs, or outside of your existing job in your spare time
  • And you can work on the design and scope of your assignment brief to meet client requirements

Who you’ll work with

You’ll be matched with a social purpose organisation – this is a social enterprise, social business or ethical business – who is making a social or environmental impact in their community or the world-at-large. They might be pure start-ups who’ve completed between 12 months of preliminary development and have gotten some funding, ran a pilot or developed a prototype of MVP; they could be in their first 1-3 years, looking to scale their impact or develop more robust frameworks or pivot their business model; or they are 5+ years into their impact work and are looking to adapt in the technological and commercial new world. Whether it’s a non-profit who wants to generate more revenue for a new project, a social business who would like to increase sales, or a social enterprise looking to get social investment ready, you’ll be given an assignment that suits your skills and experience.

Click to see examples of the organisations we’ve worked with in the past.

Who you’ll work with

You’ll be matched with a social enterprise, social business or ethical business who is making a social or environmental impact in their community or the world-at-large. They might be pure start-ups who’ve completed between 6-18 months of preliminary development, perhaps ran a pilot or developed a prototype of MVP; or they could be in their first 1-3 years, looking to scale their impact or develop more robust frameworks or pivot their business model, or they are 5 years into their impact work and are struggling to adapt in the technological and commercial new world. Whether it’s a non profit who wants to generate more revenue for a new project, a social business who would like to increase product sales, or a social enterprise that wants to get investment ready you’ll be matched on an assignment that suits your skills and experience.

Click to see examples of the organisations we’ve worked with in the past.

Consultancy Assignments


Your Skills

Your detailed application will ascertain if you have the mindset, skills and experience we look for in our clients. Following a formal offer to join us, we help you to fill out a Professional Profile and along with your CV and ongoing conversations we get a clear idea about your skills, strengths and interests and use this information in the matching process.

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The Need

We will then reach out to our Clients to find out where there is a need for your skills. We work with our Clients to explore their core business challenges and from that we produce their top two assignments for the duration of the programme. You’ll be matched with a client based on the assignment type, their need and the skills and experience you offer.

Project Types

Brand Strategy, Business Development, Business Planning, Business Strategy, Communications, Content Creation, Customer Relationship Management, Customer Journey Mapping, Digital Transformation, e-Commerce, Film Production, Fundraising, Graphic Design, Impact Reporting, Marketing and Branding, Monitoring & Evaluation, Risk Analysis and Auditing, Performance Management, Product Design, Process, Project Management, Business Management, PR, Salesforce, Strategy Planning, Sales, UX Design, Web Design & Development.

Who We’re Looking for


You’re at a cross roads in your career

You care about social problems and you want to make a difference but don’t really know how. You might be questioning, ‘Is This It?’ about your current life and career, or you have some time and want to pick up an exciting new client to support on an interesting and unique assignment.

You have skills to share and want to leave a legacy

Whether you have 6+ years professional experience in a specific area of business; are 15 years into your career and are a specialist in the field of finance or marketing – or are in your retirement years following a senior leadership career in a large corporate or running your own business, then we have an assignment for you.

You are curious and want to learn

Social Enterprise is an area of business that you want to learn more about. Perhaps you want to explore it as a possible new field to work in. You would like to immerse into a social impact community.

The Benefits

Independence & Autonomy

With autonomy over the structure of the programme and with flexibility on the exact start & end dates, our programme gives you the freedom to manage your own volunteer experience. You can choose to visit your client and/or support your client virtually, whether it’s in their location or on another timezone.

Innovate the 9-5

You will get to operate like a freelance consultant with the option of working on site, in cool cafes or at a local co-working space. Evenings can be spent at social enterprise networking events or going to free workshops, social impact hackathons and talks. This is a new way to get experience doing something you love!

Personal Development

Not only will you share knowledge and skills but you’ll gain back a lot more. You’ll be working closely with inspiring organisations in interesting locations, so get ready to learn! We’ll supplement your learning ahead of your programme start date with interesting and informative readings, articles and presentations which lead to your increased knowledge and understanding of global social entrepreneurship, start up methods and consulting.

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The Benefits

Independence & Autonomy

With autonomy over the structure of the programme and with flexibility on the start & end dates, _TheAssignment gives you the freedom to manage your own volunteer experience. We send you tried and tested accommodation options and you have the freedom to select your own accommodation according to your budget.

Innovate the 9-5

You will get to live and work like a freelance consultant with the option of working on site, in cool cafes or at a local co-working space. Evenings can be spent at social enterprise networking events or going to free workshops, social impact hackathons and talks. This is a truly new way to work and get experience doing something you love!

Professonal Development

Not only will you share knowledge and skills but you’ll gain back a lot more. You’ll be working closely with inspiring organisations in interesting locations, so get ready to learn! We’ll supplement your learning ahead of your programme start date with interesting and informative readings, articles and presentations which lead to your increased knowledge and understanding of global social entrepreneurship, start up methods and consulting. Plus you’ll get access to our comprehensive Consultants Toolkit packed full of useful consultancy frameworks, templates and guides to aid the support you give your client.

Programme Fee

Programme fee is £980.00 per person. Fee will be reduced by £500 to the first 10 people who secure their place. Only 15 places available.

Go to xe.com  to convert into other currencies.

SIGN UP FOR MORE INFORMATION

This fee covers:

  • The ability to meet likeminded people around the world and be a part of a 200-strong global alumni community
  • 1 hour onboarding call taking you through best practice guidelines and what to expect working with a social enterprise
  • Client approval and vetting: ensuring we only work with eligible clients who can provide rewarding experiences for our volunteers
  • Highly personalised client & volunteer matching process
  • Programme support to the volunteer with dedicated Virtual Programme Manager
  • Essential pre-programme readings provided 
  • Full access to our Consultants Toolkit with over 25 templates across all areas of business as well as Reports, Presentations and Training Materials across a variety of topics
  • Plus all admin, safety procedures, risk assessments to ensure you are supported during your time on the programme

Why pay a fee? That’s a fair question. We’re a non-profit with a commercial mindset. So put simply, we charge to deliver our services. Our mission is to bring professional expertise into social enterprises to help them learn new skills, be more sustainable and make more impact – which comes at a cost to us. We’re also deeply invested in our volunteers: with in-country staff providing 24/7 support, it’s our goal to ensure our volunteers have an incredible experience. And at the same time when a volunteer has a financial investment in their experience, we witness a 100% rate of project completion. 

What’s Included


(Not included: Flights, Visas, Accommodation)

Pre-Programme

  • A detailed Client Profile for your assignment
  • Consultancy Profile template for you to complete which we submit to your client
  • Full On-boarding and expectation management
  • Initial client engagement takes place 1 month before programme starts
  • Our invaluable _SocialStarters Toolkit full of consultancy & business tools
  • Pre-Programme Readings on Social Entrepreneurship & Start Up Methods
  • The _SocialStarters Consultancy Guide to support you for your assignment

Programme

  • Milestones, objective and goal setting, tools guidance
  • We provide you with a list of recommended accommodation options if coming in from overseas
  • Virtual check in sessions pre-booked into the diary with your Programme Support Manager
  • Write about your experience, the challenges and learnings, your perspectives on social enterprise and impact work on our blog
  • A one week facilitated immersion trip mid-way through programme

Post Assignment

  • Submission of your final report
  • Access to our growing alumni network of skilled professionals from over 26 countries around the world
  • The opportunity to write about your experience as part of your own professional development and personal brand building
  • You can update your Linked In profile and CV to show you were a Social Impact Consultant for _SocialStarters
  • Regular networking events bring everyone together

Are you a 2019 social starter?

Register a few quick details to join the _SocialStarters community and you will be the first to hear announcements about our next programme.

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