JON JOHNSON
MEMBERSHIP OFFICER
DAY JOB: OWNER AT STRIP THE WILLOW

I’m new to the social enterprise sector, having previously worked as an Inspector within the Police and as a teaching assistant. Social enterprises, and the third sector as a whole, are vital to get society working from the bottom up, as ‘Big Government’ doesn’t understand or value their potential.

WHAT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MEANS TO ME:

A strong social enterprise sector can encourage big business to adopt an ethical approach, and hopefully chip away at the pursuit of pure profit in favour of promoting social goals. 

 
LAURA IH BENNETT SSEN OPERATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS  OFFICER

laura ih bennett
SECRETARY
DAY JOB: Programme Lead - Founders' Network AT TECH NORTH (PART OF TECH CITY UK)

 After completing a Master's in Latin American Development, I worked for two years at the Fairtrade Foundation in London, advising small fair trade companies and social enterprises on supply chains and business development. Following that, I worked for 3.5 years in Peru: one year managing a non-profit and 2.5 years as Operations Director of Awamaki, a fair trade social enterprise that provides indigenous and rural women with training and income through the sale of their woven and knitted products. 

WHAT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MEANS TO ME:

Social enterprise is important to me because it operates at the intersection of business and charity, harnessing the power of both to effect change in the world. Using business strategies for social good ensures operational sustainability, longevity of the enterprise in question, and financial freedom from restricted funding usually obtained through grants.

 
DARREN CHOUINGS SSEN NETWORKS AND EVENTS OFFICER

darren chouings
CHAIR
DAY JOB: STARTUP COACH at the university of sheffield

I have spent the last few years working in the third sector supporting student and graduate entrepreneurs from both Sheffield Hallam University and now at The University of Sheffield. In addition to my University support work, I am also a ‘Higher Education Social Enterprise Champion’ for UnLtd, and I run my own events business. Seeing students develop their ideas into businesses that make real social impact is incredibly rewarding.  

WHAT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MEANS TO ME:

The social enterprise sector is vibrant and productive, with a fantastic portfolio emerging from Sheffield.

 
HUGH MANN ADAMSON SSEN DIGITAL MEDIA AND TECHNICAL OFFICER

nitya teagarajan
EVENTS OFFICER
DAY JOB: Portfolio career (european project management, volunteer case worker, trustee) 

After completing a degree in Management and Banking, I worked for a Central Bank in policy development and regulation before moving into the Marketing sector. Currently, I am working on a European Project called EMPOWER which aims to help vulnerable women (and their support workers) develop skills for employability. I also love what I do as the co-curator of SheFest (Sheffield 1st International Women’s Day Fringe Festival), as a trustee with Project Paddington and Chilypep, and I also volunteer at the Snowdrop Project with survivors of human trafficking.  

WHAT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MEANS TO ME:

It’s exciting, it’s got the “wow” factor, it is the way forward to solve many problems and build lives. I am new to the social enterprise sector but very excited by the growth and opportunities within the sector. I love reading and hearing about all the fantastic and exciting social entrepreneurs and their social ventures.

 

JOHN DAWSON
TREASURER AND FUNDING OFFICER
DAY JOB: Development Manager at Locality www.locality.org.uk

I work at Locality, the national network of ambitious and enterprising community-led organisations. My day job involves social enterprise support across Yorkshire, helping established and aspiring enterprises with business planning, accessing investment, community asset transfer and networking opportunities.

WHAT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MEANS TO ME:

Entrepreneurs taking risks for the common good. Social enterprise can be an ethical way of solving shared problems and locking in value for the wider society.

 
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MIRANDA DEBENHAM - 
MARKETING OFFICER
DAY JOB: Founder at The Local Theatre (www.thelocaltheatre.com) and Data Manager at Shelter

I have a varied background, having working in digital analysis, data and marketing in different industries over the past 7 years. I also work as a freelance theatre producer, and have produced 3 shows in the past year alone. I'm a graduate of the University of Sheffield, and have moved back to Sheffield to open The Local Theatre - pursuing my dreams!

WHAT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MEANS TO ME:

The freedom to work in a competitive and business-focussed way, but for good instead of profit. Social enterprise has been a wonderful discovery for me and I want to promote it in Sheffield and beyond!

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Ahmed Al-Aagam - 
EVENTS OFFICER
DAY JOB: AWARD MANAGER AT UNLTD
(www.unltd.org.uk)

My role at UnLtd is to find, fund, support and connect social entrepreneurs. I also lead UnLtd's resilient communities work in Sheffield & Keighley as well as supporting the delivery of our Spaces 4 Change programme nationally.

WHAT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MEANS TO ME:

Today's societal challenges require long term sustainable solutions, however, the huge reduction in government spending means that new models for financing & delivering that sustainable impact are needed. For me social entrepreneurship models give those brave people the opportunity to earn a decent living whilst doing their bit for our world.