Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2011
The Pears Fellowship for an aspiring leader working in education, community development or welfare for the benefit of the Jewish community in the UK.
Update April 2012
It is great to look back at the last update and see the progression! I was so taken by what I saw in my research at the Trussell Trust Foodbank and other social franchises that I took the step of founding the International Centre for Social Franchising. The more research I did, the more I saw the potential of social franchising to address two of my big frustrations in the social sector. The first is scale. I see many successful, well-evaluated programmes that remain small. These vary from youth empowerment programmes in the UK to vocational training programmes in Ghana. Many of these models are addressing a real local need, but help 100 people rather than the 100,000 or more they would need to really address the scale of the challenge.
The second issue, one of the causes of the first, is ‘reinvention of the wheel’. Social entrepreneurs and even larger organisations start new projects to address social needs rather than properly researching what has gone before and learning from it. In most cases these are well meaning, busy people who just want action, but it seems sometimes there is also a touch of ego and the thought that no one else can do it as well. This is compounded by the fact that funders generally prefer funding 'new' ideas which means that social organisations are obliged to 'innovate' to get funds even when there are proven methods that work.
My Clore research uncovered a business model that has the potential to address not only the scale of a social organisations impact, but also the wasting of resources through reinvention of the wheel.
I am certain none of this would have been possible without the time and opportunity the Clore Social Fellowship has brought, and I am using Clore to continue my learning as I set up the new organisation. I have been on a LeadersQuest to South Africa to learn from the most inspiring leaders of government, social and commercial sectors. My research is also proving to be invaluable now that it is so in line with my work, and its scope keeps on growing. The eye-opening placement at Oxfam - which has turned into a piece of consultancy work to franchise a social enterprise in Manchester - is all feeding right back into the new organisation and my aspirations for growing the social sector through replication.
Current principal role: CEO and Founder
Current principal organisation: International Centre for Social Franchising
Other leadership role 1: Trustee
Other organisation 1: The Bike Project
Research: Social Franchising: Innovation and the power of old ideas
Research topics: Social franchising;
Secondment host: Oxfam