Rachel Walton, co-founder of AFiUK, recognised she had a skills gap in terms of understanding how to market, organise and lead the community interest company to better serve her primary stakeholders.
She investigated a number of different funding partners who would be willing to support her in choosing and completing a course of study that would be relevant to a community-focused not-for-profit, like AFiUK.
Lloyds Bank’s Social Entrepreneurs Start up Programme with its School for Social Entrepreneurs offered the most relevant courses, with funding, for AFiUK.
The outcome for AFiUK
Rachel achieved her learning objectives, which included how to develop a fairly balanced philosophy for AFiUK, including meeting the complex needs of all her stakeholders.
Rachel says, “I learnt everything I set out to achieve from the School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) following one year of study and support. They also supported a project called Pathway to Employment for our youth project in Colchester.
In addition, I have been able to use and share new skills with the BAME Women & Girls Essex & Oxford Partnership, which comprises of ten different women’s and girls’ organisations, with whom I work as a mentor.”
The outcome for Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Start up Programme
Rachel is a confident ambassador for this programme with other start up businesses and community project leaders. This was also evident when, in October 2018, SSE invited Rachel to go back to speak on Successful Bidding to its new cohort of students for 2018/19. This enabled Rachel to multiply her knowledge and skillset by working and mentoring members of that next cohort, adding to the value and credibility of the investment by Lloyds Bank.