This is COSMIC summer 1997 – six months before I joined. Making plans for the organisation to go forward – succeeded in getting Lottery funds, set up internet café, running some local training – what next? They needed business development skills and someone who could ‘sell’ the services … me!?
I joined straight from district council – research, policy, ICT – but I had a background in business – family run motor repairs – and I knew about how to run a good business from my parents. I had no experience of managing people – plenty of managing projects and influencing decisions. I didn’t really see myself as a sales person either! And as you can see this was a male dominated environment – as is the ICT world generally.
As we developed our profile, things started to happen and change. Focus on social objectives – working at local events – this is summer 1999 we set up an internet café at Honiton Show! … complete with satellite connection to internet. We didn’t see it then – but this was leadership in an organisational sense – and young people were doing most of the leading.
Also summer 1999 – internet café at Devon County Show – and our own internet café at Ottery St Mary - and this time a focus on a different client group! … reactions to the internet, computers and learning ranged and still do .
We continued to challenge and lead – putting a mobile unit on the road and taking it all over Devon, Somerset and SW – but also to some large national events to demonstrate how ICT could get to rural areas. For me this was the first big project I led and put into place – ORBIT. What a thrill. In three years we trained over 5000 in this outreach programme – young and old, from never been online to making their own video – 2001 – 2004.
And at the same time we bought and refurbished our own centre – Ridgeway House. It was on completion of this project that I took over as CEO – summer 2002. From complete novice to manager/leaders in 4 years! Excellent team around me – total belief in our work, and an enormous amount of courage and seat-of-my-pants attitude got me to this place!
People started to visit us – and we became a regular case study – why? I welcomed all the PR and publicity But what was it that made us stand out? What should we know about ourselves and how could we get even better?
Leadership – focus on developing people through our organisation and my personal approach. Becky and her journey. Pride and passion – but always with purpose
Focus on individuals within a great team –developing skills, ensuring everyone got to propose ideas, everyone was a leader in my team. Reputation grew, new projects were developed, we also focussed on quality and professionalism during these years. Social accounting and strategic management
New roles – Chair of RISE – Social Enterprise Mark – providing a leadership role for the whole sectorwww.socialenterprisemark.org.ukBoard of SEM Co – now independent company – 260 mark holders and growing, Peter Holbrook, Dai Powell, Penny Newman
What makes a social entrepreneur tick? … passion, pride, purposeHow do we cope with values and business objectives – need to understand the push-me/pull-me
Unique organisations coming together,Retaining their special talents and functionsAND,Building stronger, more diverse delivery,Adding value,Learning from others
Strong leadership based on collaboration, co-operation, shared ethos/values/mission – all mean that we learn to fly in the same direction and with a greater impact and effect
June of this year – appointed Acting CEO of RISE having been Chair for over three years. Importance of networking and partnership is now my job – and we need to secure strong working partnerships across all sectors and with the keen support of HE in order to maximise opportunities presented – new BIS plan, Big Society, NHS reforms, social demand for new business – more ethical, community-led and more focussed on benefit for social and environmental purposesExciting and challenging times – what future is there regionally, social enterprise, big society ….. More in the workshop!
Cosmic Julie cornwall sse march 2011
Julie HarrisChief Executive of Cosmic and RiseSocial Enterprise<br />
Social Enterprise<br />There are approximately 62,000 social enterprises in the UK with a combined turnover of £27 billion<br />Social enterprises account for 5% of all businesses with employees and contribute £8.4 billion per year to the UK economy<br />The social enterprise movement is inclusive and extremely diverse, encompassing organisations such as development trusts, community enterprises, co-operatives, housing associations, social firms and leisure trusts, among others.<br />
What do they Do?<br />There are social enterprises working across all sectors of the economy, from healthcare to hospitality, retail to recycling.<br />Some of the most high profile include Fifteen (pictured), Divine Chocolate, The Big Issue and more locally Eden Project<br />If you want to change the world and make a profit while you’re at it, then social enterprise is the smart choice. <br />
COSMIC<br />ICT Services<br />Web<br />Training<br />Tech Support<br />Consultancy<br />ICT Projects<br />SW ICT for third sector<br />Digital Mentoring<br />UK Online/NLDC<br /><ul><li>Leadership Development