Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
Chloe, Founder "Throughout my degree at the University of Bristol I was involved with a number of entrepreneurial activities. This included my Master's design project that was looking at how electric vehicles could change the way we travel within cities. I spent much of my time volunteering throughout my time at University including working with the organisation Engineers Without Borders. As the Branch Partnerships Officer I approached two charities running international development projects in India and managed a team of student engineers to develop a rain water harvesting system and a small scale Biogas system for a slum in Mumbai. This experience got me my first taste of social entrepreneurship, looking at the different ways these could be funded and managing the whole project, from budgets down to intricate designs and prototypes.
I have spent time working as part of a Research team for a large wind turbine manufacturer, this has given me an insight into how large corporations work and experiences and knowledge that can be applied to a much smaller enterprise. I pioneered a new manufacturing technique for large scale blade manufacture and saw this through to pilot stage.
I have had the chance to work with two different charities working in menstrual hygiene Fundacion Sodis in Bolivia and Irise International in Uganda, both are small organisations. I have managed projects them and really challenged how they operate and led pilot programmes to explore the different ways of tackling the problems of menstrual hygiene.
I also have experience of working with FRANK Water and the Converging World two organisations in the UK working in international development and trying to change the way people perceive charitable giving. One through carbon credits and the other through buying water to give water."
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?
Chloe, Founder "For the next year I am part of the School for Social Enterprise this provides me with one day a month training in how to be a social entrepreneur plus a one to one mentor to give me guidance and advice. The School for Social Enterprise also enables Action Learning Sets a way of problem solving for your organisation through questioning from peers. This opportunity gives me a great chance to work alongside fellow start-up social entrepreneurs and knowledge share as our journeys develop.
Alongside this I previously had a short term mentor through Social Enterprise Works an organisation based in Bristol who have advised me on legal status and guided me through the first steps of launching. As part of my prizes for the New Enterprise Competition I have gained marketing support which includes a Market Research Company helping me to develop a large scale questionnaire and a year long marketing course, giving me the skills to market my organisation on a small budget.
By winning the title of Female Start-Up of the year, I have received one to one advice from mentors in many different areas including crowd funding, investors, web developers and sales.
Over the next few months we hope to develop our network further to be able to set up a board of Advisers of social entrepreneurs, business leaders, experts in the charitable side and academics.
We are working with a number of potential partners including homeless charities and food banks in the UK as well as charities focused on menstrual hygiene and women empowerment in the developing world, including in Nepal, Bolivia and Uganda, we are in the process of developing a rigorous assessment of determining who are the most appropriate partners and what the partnership shall mean to both sides. "