15 June 2023

An uplifting evening

A group of people smile for a selfie

Jane describes how Ideas into Action participants rose to the occasion at a recent private-sector pitching event, and how you could get involved with and be inspired this outstanding group of budding refugee social entrepreneurs yourself.

Last week I went to a remarkable event. It was at a high-profile London communal workspace near the Thames and brought together worlds which rarely coincide.

There were several senior corporate leaders and 12 individuals who had been refugees to this country. All were smartly dressed and ready to start a new dialogue. Over the past 8 months, the 12 entrepreneurs had each developed and nurtured an idea for a social enterprise on our National Lottery Community Funded Ideas into Action project. They have – turned their idea into a real organisation which is registered and ready to start changing society for the better.

Lucas Farthing from project partner TERN his introductory speech mentioned ‘the power of partnership’ and this was exactly what we could feel as we witnessed the event. Successful Ideas into Action alumna, Mariam Tahir from Coffee with Kids reassured the participants, ‘A year ago I was where you are now – waiting to pitch. These people are your allies. Remember they could only achieve their goal if they found the right crowd. And you will do the same.’

The entrepreneurs were invited to four rooms to ‘pitch’ their concept to a panel of experienced businesspeople. I had been working with several of them directly as a coach and in workshops. I knew the power of their messages and ideas and how outstanding they are. I was still nervous for them though!

I need not have worried. Each of the 3 entrepreneurs in the room I was in knocked their presentations out of the ballpark. I didn’t envy the panel having to choose a room ‘winner’ for the final!

After deliberations we returned to hear feedback. The panel’s comments included praise for concepts which enabled refugees to ‘become their own solution’, and ‘own their stories’. One said they ‘loved’ the way the entrepreneurs' personal stories were woven into their brand and concept and that their passion was powerful. 

The final – with each room winner presenting to a combined audience – presented us with four dazzling and well thought out projects covering original art by over 100 refugee artists in a café setting, to specialist Barista training and improved career prospects, to art and culture and integrated events which cross cultural borders and promote social cohesion and well-being.

And the winner? Well, that would be telling! And as the organisers, Founders Intelligence and Sky’s the Limit, emphasised – this was not primarily about winning but about gaining experience and valuable feedback. Every participant went home with a contribution to their business which kickstarted their crowdfunding campaigns.

And that brings us to you. If you find yourself intrigued by this real-life ‘Dragons’ Den for refugee entrepreneurs’ event, why not join us for the grand finale of this year’s Ideas into Action programme?

During Refugee Week on Thursday 22 June from 17.30-20.45 at the wonderful Museum of the Home, Hoxton in London, you will be able to hear about our work on the programme including an inspiring short keynote from the brilliant Jake Hayman, owner of the Social Investment Consultancy. You will meet the entrepreneurs, learn about their stories and how their business ideas evolved and have the opportunity, if you wish, to contribute to their work, either via a donation or perhaps by offering your expertise, ideas or time. 

Tickets for 22 June are going fast, so grab yours now and we look forward to meeting you there!

NDA 2015 Power 100 iLM

We are Result CIC, a community interest company. We work with people who feel marginalised or excluded to become more confident about their abilities and to fulfill their potential. We also work with Directors, Managers and CEOs who need support to bring about positive change in terms of diversity and inclusion in their organisations. We each have personal experience of the issues affecting the people we work to support, including disability, immigration, mental health and sexuality. We have also worked in senior positions in industry and government.

Our vision is a society where every individual can achieve their potential, feel fulfilled and make a valuable contribution. 

Learn more about our work





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