For those new to networking, it can be daunting to walk into a room full of people and essentially tell them why you are great.
So it was refreshing for us at Yellow Jigsaw to be introduced to like-minded organisations at a new networking event set up in partnership with Oldham Social Enterprise Network (OSEN), UnLtd, Voluntary Action Oldham (VAO) and the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO).
The theme for the day was Social Enterprise in Action: sharing experiences to build a stronger social economy. Through a combination of inspiring talks and networking, I took away the following key messages.
The top five tips to help your social enterprise succeed:
1) People are not always aware of what a social enterprise is so it is important to shout about the great work you are doing through good communications planning. At Yellow Jigsaw, we pride ourselves on helping other social enterprises to find the missing pieces that can help raise profiles and we’re brimming with bright media relations ideas.
2) People are willing to work for and support causes they believe in and will have a positive impact on their area, so network to make yourself an integral part of the community and to get your cause known.
3) Surround yourself with good people. I found from the day that social enterprises are not only for the greater good of their communities, but are willing to help each other to learn new skills, share contacts and ideas to aid growth – unlike some commercial businesses.
4) The best use of your time when you are starting out might not necessarily be the area you are most passionate about – you need to be realistic about what is best for the enterprise to succeed to get to those ultimate goals. Time management is the key.
5) Finally if you have a great idea and passion for your social enterprise ‘just do it’. Support is out there to help you succeed.
To join this network for support, networking and future events, follow Oldham Social Enterprise Network @OldhamSEN and Fiona jones @Finundra
Kirsty Day, Yellow Jigsaw