We believe social enterprises have the ability to transform systems. PwC UK has been working alongside social entrepreneurs to help them extend their networks, develop their skills and scale their ideas and businesses. The PwC UK Social Entrepreneurs Club has given entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect with likeminded business owners and PwC professionals, via networking, coaching and mentoring sessions, skills development and bespoke capacity building support.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was even more important for PwC UK to facilitate connection and learning opportunities for social entrepreneurs, who were experiencing reduced access to help and support from other sources and reduced opportunity to continue to build important connections across the UK.
A trial release of a new PwC Social Entrepreneur mentoring app was brought forward to a small testing group. The app includes resources and tools for entrepreneurs to guide them through ways to engage with virtual mentoring. This enabled our people to provide continued mentoring and coaching, without the need to be face-to-face. The app removed geographical boundaries that inhibit more traditional mentoring and coaching. Entrepreneurs and PwC professionals, no matter where they are located, can connect based on skills selection rather than geographic location.
Group coaching, mentoring and masterclass sessions have been running regularly in a virtual setting, led by our network of PwC professionals and joined by large numbers of social entrepreneurs. Masterclass sessions have explored topics such as; Pitching Virtually, Design Thinking techniques, Legal Considerations for Returning to Work and Time Management.
'The Design Thinking masterclass was excellent training and we can adapt the materials to our context in Sierra Leone, taking into consideration the limited access to the internet. It also fits our community engagement work of collaborating to solve critical problems with energy access. The masterclass was timely and we'll be able to use the method and matrix as we move into new Solar Home Systems using PAYGO technology.'
Refocusing the Social Entrepreneurs Club to an online virtual environment has enabled PwC UK to reach a much larger community of social entrepreneurs and their teams. Mentoring, coaching and masterclass sessions can be run more regularly allowing participants to join at a time that suits them. Social entrepreneurs, located in remote areas, have been able to connect and develop their skills, where they may not have attended sessions in the past.
Through the PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club and the School for Social Entrepreneurs, which is also run in India, we are sharing the experience of our people to help empower entrepreneurs to be the disruptors of tomorrow.
Feedback from participants includes:
‘...really helpful and allowed me to come back to my organisation with renewed ideas and energy’.
‘Excellent session around time management with great tips on how to work in an effective way…’
‘Great work and use of interactive tools, music and individual working sessions. Lots of variation and an engaging presentation.’
“This is a fantastic example of New World. New Skills. in action, enabling our people to share their skills virtually in an innovative way.’
PwC’s support for entrepreneurs across the globe is part of our global commitment to help maximize the potential of 15 million people, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social & micro enterprises. To read more about our commitment to the communities in which we operate click here.