What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about Making a Difference. For six years I managed the award-winning Social Enterprise, Enterprise Support and Innovation initiative at Oxford Brookes University. The programme helped set up more than xx social enterprises while inspiring and developing individuals to become leaders and change-makers of the future. Social and environmental impact and innovation was at the heart of the programme which offering funding, skills development and mentoring.
I was instrumental in creating Oxfordshire Social Entrepreneurship Partnership to support the two Oxford universities in connecting student social enterprise with the Oxfordshire community. As a result Oxfordshire was designated a Social Enterprise County. This attracted the support of the then Prime Minister David Cameron MP, seeded ambassadorial visits and blazed the trail for Oxford Brookes social enterprise internationally. I’m passionate about collaboration and working partnerships were developed with Brown University, Harvard University and the Ashoka U conference in the United States. Visits to China and Korea followed, as well as South Africa to speak at the UnLtd-sponsored Global Social Entrepreneurship Network conference and to build a relationship with Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.
What gives you the edge in business?
Using Design Thinking to visualise and describe what success looks like to the individual or organisation from the outset and then planning delivery for success. It’s a combination of identifying and bench-marking a strong vision, but it’s also about knowing how to collaborate effectively to include the interests of core partners. It’s why the University was ranked in the top 10 universities in the HEBCI survey for social enterprise ventures created, was listed as runner up in the Guardian HE awards for student experience and why it received the backing of Santander and Grant Thornton.
- Experience of: building and managing high performing teams, creating an award-winning mindset, coaching and mentoring, winning funding applications and managing budgets, evaluating business proposals.
- Specialties include: project management and delivery, team development, developing inspirational managers, effective leadership, learning delivery, mentoring, quality assurance, monitoring and evaluating progress, private, public and voluntary sector training.
- Business experience includes: More than 50 start-up social enterprises, Oxford Brookes University, Wycombe District Council, Yeovil College.
Jeff Willmore, Consultant in Team Building and People Development