On the Beanbag #3 – Servane Mouazan

So, after the heated debates of earlier in the week, it’s back to people doing social enterprise. Following our earlier interviews with Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa and Craig Dearden-Phillips, next On the Beanbag it’s Servane Mouazan of Ogunte.

On the Beanbag #3:

Name: Servane Mouazan

Social Enterprise Name: Ogunte Ltd

Website: http://www.ogunte.com/

Where are you based?: Central London and on the internet!

What is your annual turnover?: £35k (although this year I had a baby and the turnover dropped. I should have delegated more work!)

How many staff do you employ?: None permanently at the moment, however I work with a close collective of outsourced practitioners, business advisors and executive coaches, plus virtual administrators, designers, and all sorts of specialists who work from home and flexibly and love it this way. The majority are mumpreneurs. I have a reciprocal “associateship” with them. We consult each other. It’s a sort of cooperative without the legal binding!

Define ‘social enterprise’ in 50 words or less: An entrepreneurial project that aligns commercial objectives with social purposes. Should have an equitable supply-chain and a clear and positive ecological impact (people and planet).

What does your social enterprise do? Let’s call it a social business for people who might not agree with my definition…

We want to see women with socially bold, innovative and impactful ideas leading the social economy. To do so, we harness women’s skills to create robust systems, connect them with relevant stakeholders and encourage them to set up strong marketing collectives.

Why is it important? By taking them out of the shadows and connecting them to influential stakeholders, we make them independent professionals; we boost local and global welfare and have a positive social impact on their wider networks.

What is your social enterprise’s greatest achievement? We have promoted, developed and connected over 2000 innovative change-makers globally, mainly women, impacting on a direct circle of over 200,000 people and organisations. By doing so, we have also influenced policymakers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to give special attention to the concept of women-led social and environmental impact.

To celebrate this, we have set up the 1st Women’s Social Leadership Awards, making this concept much more recognized globally. Each year, a group of female community activists up to senior leaders, some of whom often work in the shadows and need recognition for their achievements, are put in the spotlight and get a credible platform to express themselves.

How do you measure your social impact?

  • Visibility and Social Leadership (Women influencing change in policy, governance and populations’ behaviour; Women taking influential formal or informal leadership positions, genuinely “supported” by their stakeholders)
  • Stronger Viability / Sustainability (Women social leaders contributing to local and global welfare thanks to robust systems and well managed activities)
  • Increased Sense of Connectedness (Women managing greater numbers, quality and relevant knowledge and power networks)
  • Growth of Confidence (Women social leaders recognising themselves as genuine agents of change and exercising power and influence)
  • Enhanced Sense of Learning (Better applied skills and dissemination of skills contributing to women’s prospects in life)

How is your social enterprise a bit like The Big Issue or The Eden Project? Like the Big Issue, we provide tools and platforms that enable individuals, in our case women social innovators, to grow, and in turn have a positive impact on their families, their stakeholders, their communities, and their environment. We don’t do it “for them”, but we encourage and push them to think bigger and bolder.

Where do you get your money from? From other social enterprises, social investment companies, public and private organisations that sponsor the women we work with.

Thanks a lot to Servane for doing the interview. Comments on any of the points raised in this interview are, as always, much appreciated.

If you’re a social entrepreneur and you’d like to do an interview, send me an email and I’ll send you the relevant info.

Next On the Beanbag is Amanda Jones of Red Button Design. This was a real life interview like real journalists do and Amanda’s thoughts on social enterprise are more than interesting enough for it to be worth waiting for me to type them up. Another equally interesting real life discussion with Urban Forum‘s Toby Blume will follow that one.

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