The Circle Academy: A Springboard For Social Entrepreneurs

Look at an individual’s drive to create change with innovative ideas and creative solutions, and it’s easy to see why social enterprise in the UK is booming. From establishing pay it forward schemes to facilitating social procurement, the number of entrepreneurs bringing businesses with an ethical focus into every sector and industry is incredible. There are so many success stories and individuals to champion that the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs are often overlooked.

The issue for many social entrepreneurs is that they have the necessary drive and ideas; They have access to seminars and conferences that inspire, support and cover some of the topics needed in varying degrees of detail but generally, the technicalities of founding and running a business are left unaddressed. This leaves a huge gap in the knowledge base of many social entrepreneurs.

As a result, they not only have to perform all the tasks and functions to run a business, but must also research endlessly in order to know how to do so effectively. Things like writing a business plan, building a Board, and applying for funding are not common knowledge so very often have to be self-taught.

And this may be a contributing factor in one of the most prominent issues faced by social entrepreneurs; burnout, a form of depression resulting from long term unresolvable stress at work, is rife. And when you consider that a social business founder will go through the ups and downs that any entrepreneur will experience on a day to day basis, whilst also having the weight of the world (or at the very least, a specific social issue) on top of their shoulders, it’s not hard to see why.

This is why social businesses need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to run a successful business. It is crucial that businesses who strive to create an impact beyond profit are equipped to do so. It is wrong that the individuals who are setting out to tackle the most pressing social and environmental issues that exist in their communities and in the wider world are expected to do so without the training and support they need.

Social entrepreneurs have the power to create positive change, but will do so in a larger, faster, more impactful and less personally detrimental way, if given the right tools to do so.

The need for a program that delivers skills, knowledge and guidance in a succinct and structured manner is clear. This is why The Circle Academy, which is designed to cover every area of running a business, specifically tailored to those with a More Than Profit approach, is ideal. The programme offers 12 weeks of business skills and knowledge, delivered straight from experts in their fields, covering governance, business planning, cash flow and marketing, alongside ongoing support, and tasks designed to enhance skills. Finishing with a pitch competition, with the chance to be awarded up to £5,000, and 9 months of follow up support and access to work space.

One of the most valuable things the Academy offers is real, critical, and actionable advice from people with lived experience who understand what it takes to make a business work. It also gives candidates access to a community of individuals who are on a similar journey within the parameters of the Academy and beyond.

“The Academy is more than a classroom, or sessions. The cohort have sat privately, sorted issues in each other’s business ventures, without sugar coating the reality. It is genuinely support, not just a pat on the back.” 

Eddie Baines, cohort 1 of The Circle Academy

If you feel The Circle Academy’s 12-week training programme will enhance the growth of your more than profit business, you can find more information here.

You can also view the Academy Prospectus and access an Application Form.

For more information, email kara@thecircledundee.org.uk

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