Wondering if virtual coffee chats have value?
The answer is YES they do!
Well, for our social entrepreneur students they have been a success! They might not be your cup of ‘coffee’, but we strongly recommend you giving them a go…
Despite entering lockdown (a few moons ago now) the Enterprise team at Action Hampshire wanted to be able to continue to care for the well being of our School for Social Entrepreneur (SSE) students, past and present, and looking at how we could best communicate and support them through a challenging and changing time. It’s one thing turning an idea into a real, live and kicking social enterprise, but its another doing this in the confines of Covid-19 restrictions.
With a little skepticism of our own, we set up our first virtual coffee morning with our SSE students and fellows 4 weeks ago.
The meetings run once a week on a Thursday morning and a are a fun, informal way to stay connected to their peers and previous cohorts of the school. The meetings are a safe, confidential space for the students and a place to hear how others have adapted to the current situation.
We usually invite a guest speaker to come and talk about a different topic each week and how that topic relates to being a social entrepreneur. This sets a little structure to the call and place for conversation to start.
So far we have covered Change, Creativity and Resilience and have upcoming talks of Success and Community. The talks are presented by people from all walks of life (not necessarily just the business community) and how the students can adapt and put into practice what they have heard from our speakers.
We hope to continue with dunking biscuits from our sofas with our students the foreseeable future even when things return to “normal”!
Keith’s top tips for a successful virtual coffee morning…
Plan, plan, plan (have a theme or topic ready for participants to discuss, you could ask someone to come speak on a subject and have a few questions ready to spark conversation)
Be yourself and have fun with it (it doesn’t need to be formal, in fact its better if its not!)
Maintain eye contact- look at the camera (then others know that you are listening and engaged)
Get the participants involved so that they get the most out of it
Test your tech beforehand (this should be number 1.)
To find out more about our School for Social Entrepreneurs programme and other social enterprise information please visit the ‘What we do’ area of our website