The one where Mo goes back to school!

Last week, Mo started his year-long training with the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE Yorkshire and Humber), which provides action learning programmes to support social entrepreneurs each year to grow social and community organisations across the UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada. Back in July, we announced that Mo had won a place on the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, which is provided by the SSE and funded by Lloyds Bank and the Big Lottery Fund. Mo gives us his thoughts on his first day back at school:

The two day event gave me a chance to meet some of the most energetic people I’ve ever met, full of ideas about how to help communities and create sustainable projects. Aid Works is running the Get the North to the South project, which is about helping Northerners get skills and employment in the aid sector, as the industry is completely centred around London.

So what did I learn? I was humbled by everyone; their vast expertise, varied backgrounds and ideas. What a privilege! SSE organised an expert facilitator, Jennifer from Jump Training, who ran an intensive session giving practical tips for improving communication, especially for the general public. I have many years of training experience but there’s always something new to learn – my take home messages were to slow down presentations and to ‘keep it real and personal’.

Day Two switched to an inspiring interactive session by Andy Peers from the British Red Cross, talking about social enterprises needing two ‘immovables’: a clear mission and set of values. The Aid Works team will be working on these shortly and we will share them with you on our website. I loved his statements that “a social enterprise is a market solution to a social problem” and that “partnerships aren’t about doing something similar but creatively working together”. The day ended with an introduction to my Lloyds Bank mentor, who has already been a big help in brainstorming future plans.

Watch this space for further updates about the School for Social Entrepreneurs!