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Start-up grant success August 20, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in Social Enterprise.
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Just a quick post to mention that our bid for a startup grant from UNLTD (as a social entrepreneur) was successful and we now have funding in place to deliver the taster sessions leading up to 2009. Many thanks to Tony Clabby, our development manager and the rest of the UNLTD staff for recognising the potential of our project and giving us this opportunity to get things moving swiftly.

Looking towards accreditation July 5, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in beginnings.
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The majority of training / learning programmes these days tend to require some form of qualification (to show knowledge) and /or progression path towards further development (further learning, employment etc). Our project too will need to show that it has been of use to the participants and if we are to secure any contacts or funding, we need to be looking towards some form of formal accrediation.
To begin this process, we initially talked to Tony Clabby of UNLTD, a startup organisation for ‘social entrepeneurs ‘. He suggested, the Open College Network (OCN) as their diverse mandate would probably suit our project idea. I have worked with OCN before in the past and I also had these in mind.
So after a brief telephone enquiry we have set up a meeting with OCN to look at the possibility of getting our project idea / course accredited and to discuss how it could work alongside other OCN courses, particularly for our potential participants. The meeting is scheduled for Friday 11th July and I will post any updates after then.

Brief project update June 30, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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Not much time this morning so i’ll make it quick and we can elaborate later.

  • The meeting with UNLTD took place on Friday 27th and was very positive and gave us some kind of timeframe in the short term. (more later!)
  • I’ve set up a Google Apps space for the project which will allow us to manage the project a little better from now on. Anybody who comes into the project will get access to this. It’s currently a place for files, ideas, links – just about everything related to the project for those involved.
  • Attended Pete Ashton’s Blogging workshop for community groups last week and gained some useful insights.

erm, that’s all I can think of just now! I hope to update the blog on the above in the next week or so.

18th June Meeting Roundup June 19, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in Call for help, chat with us, Meeting, NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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A meeting was held to discuss any possible direction for the project and we came out of it with a few things to look into. For me, these early sessions are all about gauging interest in the idea and I now think we have a core of people ready to start moving things forward. Last night Kev, Jon and myself discussed a few ideas and straight away, I wanted to highlight the issue of participants in the project. For many different reasons, a lot of people who have expressed an interest in NBSE, simply don’t have the time to commit to what looks like a pretty big project. All three of us last night commented that we too have time and commitment issues and therefore, are looking long term for the project. As we are blogging our progress, it will be open for people to come onboard and contribute as and when. There’s a lot of experience and skill out there that this kind of project would benefit from and we’ll keep the facebook group open for those to be involved as we progress.

Location & transport
One of the first subjects raised was that of premises and location. My initial thoughts were to have any activity centralised at a possible N brum training centre. Both Kev and Jon saw the delivery as being more mobile and definitely saw the project as more of an outreach service. Both, of course, sounds ideal and this gave us something definite to start visualising and forming ideas. Jon then raised the issue of the lack of transport within the area, especially where buses are concerned. This led us to discuss Nbrum boundaries and how far and where we should provide our service to. Task born: geographical area of N Birmingham, council borders, transport links,  etc. Also, places with internet access / courses / training ongoing (libraries, schools, community centres, churches etc)

Content & Delivery
We touched upon how social media taster sessions could work for different audiences / areas such as unemployed, probation, health etc and how we’d use a selection of different applications to approach any engagement / learning / informing objectives. We thought it might be useful to try setting some taster sessions up during the summer at various locations to experience how it could work in practise, so another project task was born: To source local training providers to see if we could possibly run some social media taster sessions or even “piggy back” current courses (hijack the lesson)

We have a few meetings lined up to help us with the business side of things. A meeting with Unltd takes place Friday 27th and we’re looking to set up a meeting with some of the NIACE folk in the near future. No set date for a progress meeting as yet for members to get together again, but we will probably be looking at something monthly. Of course we have the internet to keep track of everything!