It's been a whole month since I started in my post as Business Advisor for the brand new SHE Plymouth Project through Iridescent Ideas. And what a wonderful welcome I've had from Mel, Gareth, and the team.
On the back of Mental Health Awareness Week, it seems an appropriate time to talk about mental health and well-being at work - a subject we’ve been thinking about and discussing a lot over the past few months.
In January 2023, I started my new job as Marketing Lead with Iridescent Ideas as a part of the Time To Shine programme with The Rank Foundation. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far and, as a newcomer to the marketing career path, this role has enabled me to learn and train on the job.
Way back in the 1990s, around the time of the dot com boom-bubble I pitched a business idea to my friends in the pub (surely the best place to invent businesses): ‘gamified advertising’ on the then early – and painfully slow - internet.
Last month I reached the end of my time on the Time to Shine programme, funded by the Rank Foundation. The experience has been second to none and one that I will always be grateful for and remember as pivotal to my career journey.
Last week I attended the State of Us conference at the filigree, glass, dome, bomb proof concrete and brick wonder that is the Devonport Market Hall. The event promised to explore economic democracy and how to build powerful communities.
What do Family Fortunes, Sweet Caroline, cutting keys and the Carry-On films have in common?
Mainstream businesses and governments are not focussing enough attention on Sustainable Development Goal 10 ‘Reducing Inequalities’. This is a space where social enterprise delivers. Social enterprises – properly supported – could help reduce inequalities and build a fairer economy.
Over the past few months we’ve been researching how social enterprises across Plymouth contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Kingdom’s Levelling Up Goals (LUGs). Whilst doing this research we noticed a specific issue on which we think social enterprises are uniquely placed to deliver. It is an issue that governments struggle with and private businesses do not regularly report on. The issue is inequalities.
How social enterprises in Plymouth are smashing the Levelling Up goals
Here at Iridescent Ideas CIC and Plymouth Social Enterprise Network (PSEN) we often say that we think social enterprises are better for people and better for planet. Better than ‘standard’ profit making businesses, that is, because social enterprises put achieving a social or environmental goal ahead of, or alongside making a profit. In a previous article we turned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for help looking at this issue with an international perspective. This time round we are looking at the United Kingdom’s Levelling Up Goals (LUGs).
Gender and our business advice
Gender inequality is a big issue for mainstream business - the gender equality pay gap will take 60 years to close, women remain under-represented on company boards and gender-based workplace discrimination costs the UK economy £123 billion a year. So how can we play our part in ensuring the social enterprise business advice we provide is part of the solution, not the problem?