Inspiring the next generation of social entrepreneurs


Our Dundee Services Manager, Lesley Tait, was recently asked to go and speak at a Social Enterprise Workshop hosted by the Social Enterprise Academy. The aim of the day was to help young people understand what social enterprise is and the difference it can make. Working in the heart of a social enterprise organisation, delivering impact way beyond its size and creating ripples that are leading to change right across the country meant Lesley was the perfect person to get involved in this event.

So last Wednesday morning Lesley, in her fave yellow “Happy” top and Connor, a social work student on placement at our Dundee Childcare Service, set off to join in the event which was taking place at Braeview Academy.

The morning opened in a room full of young people, with Jay Lamb, SE Academy Tutor, using a brilliant synopsis of someone who runs a business and asking the young people what they thought that person would look like….then one lucky pupil got to go up in front of everyone and roleplay that person. Jay then went on to speak about what someone who could be running a social enterprise would look like…again another lucky pupil got to share the stage with the “business” person. This generated lots of discussion about what the differences between these two people would look like. There was much discussion about designer watches and if either or both be wearing them……….in a true reality check moment Lesley looked down on her wrist, sporting its usual hair bauble, definitely no expensive watch to be seen.

Next came Lesley and Connor’s turn to speak about our service in Dundee and for the young people to hear about what we do and the difference it makes. The pupils really enjoyed here about the life of a busy day care service and the difference it can make to the lives of local families.

Two more speakers shared their stories then it was time to get the pupils moving. They were tasked with asking questions about the speakers and their services and were really interested and engaged with this session. Questions that we were asked included: What excites you to come to work? How do you make money? What are your challenges? How did you get to the position you are in now? Is this always what you have done? Connor get a good grilling, asking about his experience and why was he doing social work? What route did he take?

The session ended with a round up asking what, if anything, the pupils had taken from the morning.
The pupils next challenge, after the summer holidays, is starting up their own social enterprise, and we can’t wait to hear how they get on, hopefully the morning Lesley, Connor and the other speakers shared with them has had an inspirational impact. Who knows what could come of this, hopefully a generation who consider the social impact of work when making the choices that direct their future aspirations.