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No-one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep! Sandie's sleepy blog!


I’m quite tired today in the office – I went out dancing last night! Folk dancing and Hip Hop dancing at the School for Social Entrepreneurs Graduation Event #ssegraduation16

Our group of 17 students came to the end of their time on the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs programme and we gave them a great send off as they leave to grow their shiny new social enterprise.

Keynote Speaker, Steve Coles of Intentionality, spoke to us about the importance of 5 L’s; Leadership, Listening, Learning, Long term and LOVE – so how did those 5 L’s impact on our graduation?

Leadership – we had our socent leaders graduating and finding our first-hand what a complex task great leadership can be. They were supported by other socent leaders in the audience – people who recognise that leaders need to support each other and share in celebrating our shared achievements. We had the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth presenting the certificates; thank you to Cllr David Fuller, representing Portsmouth who have been immensely supportive of the set up of the School in Hampshire. We had words of support from our own illustrious leader, Sue Dovey, who gave the Fellows an inspiring and rousing call to action!

Listening – during the event we heard from each fellow about their journey to setting up their social enterprise and how the SSE has impacted on them. After listening to all of them there was a real sense of energy in the building and the message that one person really can make a difference was heard time and time again. The message that listening to each other can instigate a great social enterprise was also evident – from being inspired by the radio or TV or just hearing how people are disadvantaged or listening to your own heart, it’s important to really hear what is happening around us.

Learning – of course, here at SSE Hampshire we are all about the learning; learning from each other in the group; from peer witnesses who are also running social enterprises; from experts in their field all who contribute to the year long programme. It was lovely to see so many of them there last night there just to support the Fellows and demonstrating the reach and the commitment to the socent network in the South East. We have got to thank the Winchester Science Centre for hosting us, they are all about the learning and innovation and creativity as well.

Long term – our Fellows want to change the world – not just for a week, month or year but to make a lasting difference. Some of them work with people in the present but seek to change attitudes and values to make a difference in the future. Some seek to highlight environmental issues and make a global lasting difference; Steve highlighted the importance of consciously recognising our long term impact.

LOVE – there was so much love in the room last night; Love of what people are able to do for a living and love for a group that have shared an amazing year. I loved all the support I got from our lovely Action Hampshire team to make the event a success. Love can inspire us to action and is often the driving force behind social enterprise. Love struck a chord with our Fellows and sometimes we feel embarrassed by talking about Love in a business context but maybe that is the difference for social entrepreneurs?