What Is The Semi Circle?

The Semi Circle is a brand new programme we are launching under The Circle Academy. 2020 has seen huge changes to the way we do things, and brought our plans for a digital version of our in-person Academy programme right to the forefront. We’ve created a specialised digital learning platform from with to host our programme and populated it with new and improved content. We are very pleased to be launching the Brand New Semi Circle programme as part of this.

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You’ve heard of Social Enterprise but what does ‘More Than Profit’ mean?

From pay it forward schemes to eco friendly products, to cafes that employ individuals with additional needs, chances are you’ve know of a social enterprise or interacted with one in some way.

It was around 10 years ago that Toms, the shoe brand, hit high streets with their promise to give a pair of shoes for each one that was purchased. and it was the first time in my memory at least that a big brand had social impact built into their business model.

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What is an entrepreneurial mindset? How do I develop the mindset of an entrepreneur?

What is an entrepreneurial mindset?

Entrepreneurial Mindset: a way of thinking that enables decisiveness and the ability to overcome challenges, and accept responsibility for outcomes.

It is also characterised by a constant need to improve skills, learn from mistakes, and see ideas through to fruition.

An entrepreneurial mindset can be interpreted as a refusal to fear the possibility of failing. Instead, failure is seen as a success; providing a valuable learning opportunity, prompting new approaches and acting as in indicator that the idea or approach is not viable.

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What Is The Circle Academy?

Here at The Circle, we’ve been thinking hard about how to distil down to it’s essence, exactly what The Circle Academy is, and what it can do for you and your business. It’s an informed, multifaceted approach to equipping social leaders with business skills, covering a plethora of topics.

You can find out more about The Circle Academy here, but with the second cohort of the Academy just around the corner, we thought we’d break down exactly what it is, and answer some of your frequently asked questions along the way:

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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.

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“The Circle saved my business” first cohort of social entrepreneurs complete The Circle Academy

The first cohort of social entrepreneurs who completed our ‘More Than Profit’ training programme, The Circle Academy, have taken part in a pitch competition. The Circle Academy – the first of its kind in Scotland – was launched by Dundee-based social enterprise The Circle. The training programme was created to provide people with knowledge and tools to build sustainable ‘More Than Profit’ businesses. The candidates attended expert speaker sessions which covered topics including mindset, governance, business planning and social impact, as well as taking part in tasks to generate income. Throughout the course the candidates were also supported to work on aspects of their business including a business plan and a marketing strategy.

The Circle Academy was run by Academy Manager, Kara Swankie, a former Commonwealth power-lifting gold medallist who at just 24 has already set up and sold two businesses. Coming from a commercial background, Kara already had instilled within her a drive to focus on profit and financial sustainability which is a quality that The Circle wanted to foster in the candidates who joined the Academy. The Circle launched the Academy with an aim to ensure that the organisations being set up and developed by the candidates on the programme would be sustainable in the long term.

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Pros and Cons of The Circle Academy

We know that if you are starting a More Than Profit business you will be faced with several programmes that could support. We want to be clear about how The Circle Academy compares. We have put together a list of pros and cons, so you can choose the best programme for you.

Pros

The Circle Academy is delivered by people who have owned their own businesses. They understand the personal and professional challenges you will face and draw on their own experiences.

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SE100 logo

We have been named one of top 100 UK Social Enterprises!

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been named on the NatWest SE100 Index alongside social enterprises such as Hey Girls, Divine Chocolate and Clean for Good.

The list celebrates the growth, impact and resilience of social ventures in the UK – by naming the most impressive 100 social enterprises of the year in the Index and giving seven SE100 Social Business Awards for the most outstanding achievers.

This news is especially exciting since our founder and CEO, Kirsty Thomson, was listed on NatWest’s WISE100 – a list that recognises the 100 most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise – in 2018.

Kirsty says she and the rest of The Circle team are thrilled to be featured on the SE100,

“We are absolutely delighted to have been named on this list among so many amazing social enterprises from across the UK. It is terrific to be recognised for the work we have been doing over the past 2 years to create a positive social impact.”