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Manchester Social Entrepreneurs - Who Are We?

Written on Tuesday, 21st April 2015.

Today we have a special feature from George Konsta, Founder of MindEgo and Manchester Social Entrepreneurs, to talk about his journey from Athens to Manchester and why he's so passionate about social enterprises. Over to you George...

Most of you probably already know me and my story. Born and raised in Athens, Greece I moved to Manchester almost 2 years ago for a research degree in corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship. From there I started working for a startup ISP and organise Manchester Social Entrepreneurs, and that’s my story in a nutshell.

So, what is Social Entrepreneurship?

The UK Government has a set of rules to define Social Enterprises, but I don’t like to put things into boxes. I perceive many businesses that are not defined by these rules as Socially Responsible Businesses. These are businesses that go against the status quo and try to change industry standards to make a difference, either societal or environmental. There are many doing this without having the legal form of a social enterprise, such as Patagonia with their green surfing suitsMud Jeans with their lease philosophy and so many other like authentic ethical clothing.

Long story short: A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social and/or environmental purpose. Social Entrepreneurship is the way businesses should be from the very beginning. What I mean is that businesses should make sure they put society (e.g. human rights) and the planet (environmental sustainability) at the same priority as their profits, or even higher. Crazy? NO! If all businesses were following the same principles then many of the problems around us in todays developed and civilised societies wouldn’t exist.

For example, access to water a basic human need that GiveMeTap targets to make a change, and has already achieved great progress.

The most crucial thing is that we don’t need to wait big organisations to change. I truly believe we citizens can change the world!

We are all citizens of the world and the Internet is giving us so many chances to connect and combine our power, there’s no stopping us. We need to harness and use this power; we need to collectively change common mindsets and shift our behaviour, and it will undoubtedly generate a massive impact!

Why I believe in Social Entrepreneurship and Socially Responsible Businesses?

Many people think Social Entrepreneurship is weak, or that it’s a charity. The exact opposite is true! Social Entrepreneurship is much more powerful than just pure for-profit organisations. Why? They do what any entrepreneur does - run a business - and on top of that they address a societal or environmental problem.

Manchester Social Entrepreneurs was born....

Out of my passion to cultivate knowledge in this field and my love for social enterprises, I founded Manchester Social Entrepreneurs. A free monthly event. Manchester Social Entrepreneurs were born on 25th of September, and to date we have 226 members. I want to thank everyone that has been part of the trip so far. The event is for everyone no matter age, hair colour, background, current field of work or study. The only thing you need is: a passion to make things change.

So, what is Manchester Social Entrepreneurs?

There is no set structure for the Manchester Social Entrepreneur meetup. The idea is that people that are part of the community can lead an event, talk about their projects and help change the world. During our last event Tom, a new member to the group, introduced his social enterprise idea. Elodie Draperi from MakeSense.org fasilitated the social business innovation workshop and the group of attendees brainstormed together with the objective to help Tom identify potential revenue models. So we generated a portion of ideas and developed 4 of them in groups. It was a way to work collaboratively to help each other’s social enterprise succeed and provide a support network for social enterprises in Manchester.

The purpose of Manchester Social Entrepreneurs!

Our purpose is help people come together to help make changes happen.We are all able to work together because the Manchester Social Entrepreneur meetup provides the space to facilitate change. Whether you’re a first time attendee or have a fully established social enterprise, the meetup enables people from all walks of life to work together to help each other succeed and evoke a change.

This is the core of the meetup's purpose: to connect, empower, influence and motivate like-minded people in order to make things happen.

Your invitation to our open doors event: Join us to celebrate the first 6 months of Manchester Social Entrepreneurs!

We thought it was about time to have the chance to network, learn more about what we do, meet the organisers and, of course, have lots of fun.

If you've never been to one of our meetups then this is your chance to know more and engage, no matter your background, field of work or study.

There will be drinks and food, so please let us know that you are attending so we can plan ahead.

Tuesday 28th of April at 6.30pm - 9pm

SpaceportX 1st floor, 22/24 Lever Street, M1 1DZ

You can contact George here and here and see his original post here. We hope to see you next week at Manchester Social Entrepreneurs! Like what you see? Why not pop by and say hi!

Written on: Tuesday, 21st April 2015