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Thursday 3 September 2009

On 12:19 by RT in ,
(This post was written by Imtiaz Kaderbhoy - a friend and ex-colleague of mine, who does a lot of pro-bono work with social enterprises and charities in an advisory capacity.)

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Tim Cornah last week, whose latest social project, a community interest company called “Third Way” generates funds and provides accommodation for a rural youth project called PYC youth services and is based in Parbold, Wigan. PYC youth services is aimed at empowering young people to improve their communities through entrepreneurship and partnerships. Whilst speaking with Tim at length about PYC youth services, Tim explained his key criteria to ensure success with social enterprises.

Success Criteria

Discover the Need
  • There are groups of people in need everywhere
  • Identify who they are and what they need
  • Tim discovered a masked social need in what initially looked like a wealthy rural village called Parbold, and through identifying the opportunity, is developing a compelling social proposition that can be packaged and replicated.
  • Rural communities generally hide their social needs quite well as many are “dormitory villages” with the highest earners merely using them as “lodgings” at the expense of the locals.
  • Don’t overcomplicate the idea
  • Deliver what is required
  • The benefits will flow
  • Then expand and grow if required
  • Lead project is the development of a community centre to address a specific community need

Financial Sustainability

  • It is very important to establish an independent revenue stream as early as possible Sponsors, partners, and fundraising activities will be more successful as a result
  • Third Way are building a fair trade coffee shop to support PYC. The idea is simple, and will provide a constant revenue stream.
  • They want to branch into training as soon as possible and link into real employment or create businesses for their trainees.
  • Your target audience should own the project, not the founder, the board or the consultants
  • They should be involved from day 1
  • And given real responsibilities in all areas including budgets, strategy, decision making, and management.
  • Coach and mentor individuals to enable them to achieve their passions
  • PYC has given young adults real responsibilities of a facility that provides employment, training and generates finance to help others
  • Provide lifetime support value
  • Offer real opportunity once the individual has benefited and maximised their opportunity from the project
  • This level of engagement will prove to become a key component for long term survival and success
  • PYC will be providing real hope and opportunity for young adults in the public and private sector
  • Ensure the project can be scaled, adding products and services will aid success
  • Ensure the project can be repeated, this will enable more groups/people to benefit.
  • Once Third Way and PYC have successfully launched and run this project, the concept should be scalable to include new opportunities and repeatable to launch similar projects across the UK.