• Social Founder News

    Mete Coban, founder of My Life My Say charity, with Kome Onuasu and Yvonne Lawson

    30 social founders from Hackney, London, joined us to hear an in-depth and fascinating talk from Mete Coban MBE, founder of Hackney-based, and now global, youth charity My Life My Say.

    My Life My Say is a youth-based non-partisan movement on a mission to change the culture of democracy and get every single young person voting. They work with the UK government, the Mayor of London and the United Nations, and reach over 2 million young people.


    Mete talked openly about the joys and challenges of his founder journey, and gave us useful advice about the importance of focusing on only 2-3 areas, income generation, and working with corporates.

    Thank you to our Hackney sponsors Hackney CVS, Urban MBA and Support When It Matters (SWIM.


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    Local Hackney businesses and cafes donated gifts for the Hackney social founders attending our event on 1st November 2022, to show their appreciation for what local founders do for Hackney communities.


    Gifts for our Hackney social founders included:

    Brunswick East: "Brunch and drinks for 2"

    Cafe Z: 2 vouchers for "Coffee and cake for 2"

    Camia Deli Cafe: "Coffee and cake for 2"

    E5 Bakehouse: Bread-making kit and recipe book

    Luminary Bakery Cafe: £20 voucher

    Marks and Spencer Hackney: Gourmet biscuit tin

    Ozone Coffee Roasters: 4 vouchers for coffee

    Shine Holistic: £20 voucher

    Stoke Newington Bookshop: £20 book token + Hackney Women book.

    Whole Foods Stoke Newington: £20 voucher plus gifts of teas, chocolates and prossecco.


    Belle Epoque Patisserie donated delicious cakes and pastries for our event.




    Our next Hackney event is on Thursday 2nd March.

    If you are a Hackney-based social founder book asap!


    Hackney Social Founders is sponsored by Hackney CVS, Urban MBA and Support When It Matters (SWIM).


    To send us your Social Founder news, resources and stories: email caroline@socialfounder.org or post on our Facebook page.


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    On 1st November 2022 we held a second Hackney Social Founders event, sponsored by Hackney CVS, Urban MBA and Support When It Matters (SWIM).

    Our guest speakers Joyclen Buffong and Rachel Woolf were inspirational, moving and insightful, generating passionate discussion.

    Read about Joyclen's founder story here, and Rachel's guest blog here.


    Local Hackney businesses donated gifts for the founders attending, to show their appreciation for what our founders do for Hackney communities - see the list of donors in the news story above.


    To send us your Social Founder news, resources and stories: email caroline@socialfounder.org or post on our Facebook page.


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    In 2022 we piloted our first local group for Social Founders, in the London Borough of Hackney.

    We carried out a Hackney-wide survey, interviews and research.

    Read our report about our pilot work in Hackney.

    25 Hackney-based social founders joined us at our first Hackney event to hear from our founder Caroline Diehl, and from local Hackney social founders Peter Merrifield, founder & CEO of Support When It Matters (SWIM Enterprises) and Abdi Hassan, Founder & CEO of Coffee Afrik CIC.


    The group of social founders discussed their founder issues, and whether they might be interested in a local Hackney group of social founders. There was a resounding YES to that, and also to being part of our wider global and UK networks and events.


    Hackney Citizen, the local community newspaper, covered our event - read the feature here.


    "The Social Founder Network is an innovative initiative, that will help to reduce those inequalities by supporting budding founders, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, develop ideas into social impact businesses, putting those with lived experience in the lead allowing them to both prosper, but crucially drive social change. Hackney CVS looks forward to supporting Social Founder Network evolve and seeing the impact this will have for our community." Tony Wong, CEO, Hackney CVS (HCVS)


    "The network is critical; it creates a space for holding conversations, networking and offering in-depth support and partnership." Abdi Hassan, Founder, Coffee Afrik CIC.


    "I'm proud of what I've achieved with Carib Eats but there are areas where I know I need support. It's so helpful to have a community of founders I can talk to." Ali Kakande, Founder, Carib Eats


    Read about the founder journeys of some of our Hackney Social Founders in our Founder Gallery - Featured Founders


    Interested in joining our Hackney group, or creating a local branch in your area? Contact Caroline


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    Dr James Partridge OBE, one of the founding members of the Social Founder Network, passed away in August 2020 suddenly and unexpectedly. We are heartbroken. James leaves behind a legacy of life-changing work and devotion to others, as the pioneer behind the face equality movement.


    James was Founder Director of ​Face Equality International, and for over 25 years was Founder CEO of UK charity Changing Faces​. He recently launched his memoir, manual and manifesto as a driving force behind the face equality movement: ​FACE IT: Facial Disfigurement and My Fight for Face Equality​, published on 15th June 2020.


    Professor Tom Shakespeare FBA​ (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) says: "Always honest, never dull, this wonderful book tells the engrossing story of one's man's journey through life with facial disfigurement. More than that: it shows how someone can change society for the better, and leave us all better off as a result."

    Listen to our in-depth podcast interview with James here

    Read James' blog for Social Founders here

    Matilda MacAttram, founder of Black Mental Health UK, has been awarded an OBE. Congratulations!


    After 14 years at the helm of her charity, Matilda is stepping back to develop lines of accessories drawing inspiration from the traditional kente fabrics of Ghana. "It’s something that’s creative and fun, something that’s good for my mental health and wellbeing,” said Matilda.


    Congratulations Matilda, on all you have done to support Black Mental Health in the UK and we look forward to hearing more about your new line of business!


    Read more about Matilda's work as Founder of Black Mental Health UK in our Founder Gallery here

    Majid El Jarroudi - knighted in recognition of his work as a Social Founder in France

    Chevalier de l'Ordre Nationale du Merite

    Majid El Jarroudi has just been appointed to the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre Nationale du Merite - Knight of the Order of Merit - by President Macron of France for his work as Founder Director of ADIVE - Agence pour la Diversite Entrepreneuriale. Majid founded ADIVE in 2009 to support black and minority ethnic young people living in the poorest urban quarters of Paris to become entrepreneurs. He is now an Ashoka Fellow, an Echoing Green fellow, and now a Knight! Felicitations Majid, Congratulations!

    Jack Parsons, Founder of The Youth Group, launches new mentoring programme

    The UK's Chief Youth Officer

    Jack Parsons, Founder of The Youth Group, with 39.3k Twitter followers, is probably the youngest social founder in the our Network.


    Jack has sent us his founder story, some useful advice, and news about a new free programme called MentorMe to help young entrepreneurs.

    "Tough times inspired me to start a business and the tough times we are living in right now makes me want to continue and so it should with you too as an entrepreneur.

    My mum had very little money, education and community when I was younger... she was a serial alcoholic. I became her carer at the age of 5, so I had to learn to hustle for her.

    When I grew a little taller and older I said I would build all those things that my mum never had so I can do good and make sure other young people have them.

    I created a business that does just that. I grew that business and now I like to inspire others to do the same.


    In this global crisis, as a young entrepreneur in lockdown thinking about my perspective and the way I look at things, the message I have been sharing with other founders is:

    “When you’re too close to the elephant all you can see is grey, so sometimes it’s about taking a step back and looking at all the perspectives before deciding what action you take.”


    "At The Youth Group we have launched a new free programme called MentorMe to help young entrepreneurs to get the opportunity to speak with new people and some of the most senior business leaders in the country, so if you are looking to build a new conversation and learn from someone for a 45 minute conversation to help with any burning questions, just message me to find out more to help you."

    Follow and message Jack on Twitter or email Jack here. Thanks for your lovely advice Jack!

    INSEAD MBA students support social founders.

    INSEAD - The Business School for the World:

    MBA Talent Available for Summer Projects

    We were able to offer MBA interns to our Social Founder Network for the summer of 2020.


    Other MBA support opportunities may come up, so let me know if you are interested. caroline@socialfounder.org


    INSEAD summer intern placements run over 6-8 weeks in July-August.

    Some INSEAD MBA students are keen to use their summer break to contribute to social impact projects. INSEAD is partnering again with the Social Founder Network to find suitable placements for 2021. If your organisation is facing a challenge that could benefit from this help, we can work to match you with an MBA student. The students come from a variety of backgrounds, sectors and geographies, but share a common interest for social and environmental impact. Apart from their proven professional and academic performance, they bring a unique global perspective, shaped by the international nature of the INSEAD MBA and their own experience.


    INSEAD MBA students are among the best in the world. They will have been working for at least 5 years prior to their MBA in senior roles in organisations including Asian Development Bank, McKinsey, Ashoka, CHAI, UNWFP, Omidyar Network. The MBA students come from all over the world, and include 80+ nationalities. For their MBA they are based at INSEAD's Paris and Singapore campuses.

    Average age: 29

    Average number of years of experience: 6

    80+ Nationalities


    Selected functions for 2021 Summer Internships: business development, supply chain analysis, consulting, pricing, impact assessment. The project must be challenging, test the MBA's strategic and leadership skills, and will have to be manageable as a virtual project this year, reporting into a senior manager, CEO and/or founder.

    Selected sectors for the internship: education, agriculture, energy, consumer, healthcare, technology, media - and others.


    Click here to read about Social Impact internships students have previously worked on. And here are 4 examples:

    A Social Impact Assessment Mission (Cambodia) Electrifying Rural Kenya (Kenya) Changing Lives, One House At a Time (The Philippines) My Summer with UNDP (Geneva).

    Women for India partners with Social Founder Network on sustainability award

    The 2020 winners of the Women for India Social Founder Award

    Women for India, founded by Shelini Goyal Bhalla, has partnered with the Social Founder Network to launch a new award in India: the Women for India Social Founder Award.


    The award recognises the Founder's exceptional impact, clarity and growth as a social founder dedicated to furthering the SDGs.


    The Award Ceremony took place on 6th March 2020 at the beautiful India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.


    The overall winner was Anju Bisht, founder and director of Saukhyam Reusable Pads. Congratulations Anju!


    Runner up was Dr. Mona Mathur, founder and director of the Million Sparks Foundation.


    Read more about Shelini, Anju, Mona and their work in our Founder Gallery here, where you can also link directly to them and their organisations.


    Shelini, founder of Women for India, wanted to let us know that she has also recently launched Project ZERO. 

    "Project Zero helps institutions go ZERO WASTE (ZW). We work on the vision of sustainability and Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. ZW is an innovative program whose objective is to help institutions divert, recycle, reduce waste, thus adopting the Circular Economy. This helps institutes to reduce their C-footprint by making small but significant changes."


    We look forward to running the Women for India Social Founder Award again next year. Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter to be sure of hearing about the award in time to enter!

    To send us your Social Founder news, resources and stories: email caroline@socialfounder.org or post on our Facebook page.


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    Thank you!

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