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Virgin Media Pioneers: Building Online Communities and Social Capital
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Virgin Media Pioneers: Building Online Communities and Social Capital

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A five minute presentation first given at the Department for Energy and Climate Change as part of the Meet the Communities event. …

A five minute presentation first given at the Department for Energy and Climate Change as part of the Meet the Communities event.

The deck gives a quick overview of the Virgin Media Pioneers online community, that I designed at NixonMcInnes using Enterprise UK's social capital , key learnings and successes.

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  • As we all know becoming an entrepreneur is for Parent-funded well-off who want to create digital startups.
  • Obviously not. Starting your own business is tough, and entrepreneurialAspirations aren’t meted out by social class. Also, benefit isn’t just for the individual. Entrepreneurship is essential To the UK’s economy, and strengthens local communities.But things can be tougher ifYou’ve not got the role models or support network.They’ve long recognised that there are a number of factors that Act as barriers to entrepreneurship, particularly for this group:_ suitable role models ‘like me’._ support from people who know what I’m going through._ advice, guidance and encouragement from their peers and experts.
  • Supporting Entrepreneurship in the UK is the job of Enterprise UK, who I’ve been working with for the past few years.Disadvantaged young people have long been one of their target audiences And have acted as the go-to guys for a long time, getting involved, and fostering,an online community through offline events and their website.
  • Enterprise UK partnered with Virgin Media, through its Corporate Social Responsibility team.NixonMcInnes worked from Enterprise UK’s pioneering research and insight into social capital and young entrepreneurs to design a social media strategy and online community platform.
  • The result is the Virgin Media Pioneers, designed to create new networks of support and cooperation, to build confidence, experience and ambition in young potential entrepreneurs.
  • Launching in March 10, the project supports more than 800 young entrepreneurs, 540 videos and has generated networks of over 12,100 connections that span national and international boundaries, class and stage in the entrepreneurial journey – from nascent start-ups to experienced business people.
  • This is Sebastian Thiel – owner of Upshot – a clothinglabel and online TV channel who has worked with high profile clients like Nike, Adidas, Kiss and Raekwon of the Wu Tang clan.The absolute KPIs of the programme are based around social capital and social return on investment, but the success story of individuals like Sebastian are great qualitative evidence of what Virgin Media Pioneers has helped to achieve.
  • Some of the things I want to share about the importance of, and key success factors in creating, online communities: Online communities have a big part to play in building social cohesion, generating trust and flow of knowledge and financial capital. Building a large and successful online community can be made much easier with the right partners – not just in terms of investment but for credibility and brand building. Whether you’re working from a grant, corporate sponsorship or your own pocket, work out how you’re going to prove success if you want to learn, maintain and build your community.http://www.flickr.com/photos/julep67/205287506/
  • Transcript

    • 1. growing a community of young entrepreneurs
      Virgin Media Pioneers
      Max St. John, Lead Consultant Non-Profit and Public Sector
      01273 764 023 | max.stjohn@nixonmcinnes.co.uk
      16th July 2010
    • 2. Max
      @maxwellinever
    • 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/44153500@N07/4077965774/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    • 4. Entrepreneurs: well-off university graduates who create innovative tech companies…?
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaxxxerockwell/5001031731/
    • 5. Entrepreneurs: mums, second career-ers, recently unemployed, young people from deprived areas.
    • 6. Enterprise UK: charitable organisation aiming to support these groups and grow entrepreneurship in the UK.
    • 7. Partnering with Virgin Media, targeting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
    • 8. Online community platform, centred around video blogging and social networking – generating peer support and providing guidance.
    • 9. Currently supports 800 young budding entrepreneurs, who have made over 12,100 connections, and created 540 videos
    • 10. Measuring success of the project by the social capital generated, quantitative and qualitative – but this is what success looks like.
    • 11. Key take-aways
      _ online communities have a part to play connecting society and supporting the UK’s economy.
      _ corporate partnerships are powerful.
      _ measure the success of your community; understand if it’s working; help retain investment.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/julep67/205287506/
    • 12. http://www.flickr.com/photos/vernhart/1574355240/

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