Friday, February 20, 2009

Social Enterprise Lessons from Funmi Iyanda's Change-A-Life Project

I am sure that you'll have heard about the 7th edition of journalist Funmi Iyanda's Change--Life project. It's been all over the papers, airwaves and blogosphere.

She was a guest of Ireti Doyle's on Today on STV this morning and I caught part of the interview, where she talked about Change-A-Life, her motivations and her hopes for it. Being in the media herself, she's undoubtedly an interviewer's dream: chatty; witty; and very interesting to listen to.

She spoke about the way she runs the project, which made me think about some of the things I have been reading about keeping social enterprises afloat in these tough economic times.

With Change-A-Life, she:

  • Keeps her operations lean and mean: This means that she does as much as she can with as little as she can. You don't necessarily need a hugely-staffed organisation to make an impact.

  • Recognises that government has an important role to play in alleviating societal problems: In fact, that is what we believe to be their main job. However in our part of the world, we typically see governments abdicating this responsibility and this work being taken up by able and interested individuals and organisations. F.I reminds us and the government that our efforts should complement and not replace theirs.

  • Taps into her resource network: Acknowledging that she can only do so much, she draws from people she knows who have time, expertise, money, influence and other resources to share.

To find out more about Change-A-Life, visit Funmi Iyanda's blog.

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