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The Social Entrepreneurs Festival 2022, which took place on Saturday (September 3), was described as “a breath of fresh air” by one of the attendees.
The all-day event at the Bradfield Centre was organised by Social Entrepreneur Place, a forum for social impact small businesses. The goal was to network, and learn how to grow in a way that delivers positive social and/or environmental benefits.
“I wanted the Festival to be the start of good conversations and wanted to bring people together in person to meet after so long with events being all online,” said organiser Karen Leigh Anderson, who founded Social Entrepreneur Place, which has been based at The Bradfield Centre since 2019. “So the highlight of the day for me were the numerous conversations started between people who had not previously met and similarly the re-connections with people meeting in person for a change.
“The themes that were explored were:
“How do we change the investment ecosystem so that we are recognising that people and the planet matter as much as profit?
“Are social entrepreneurs activists, innovators or anarchists?
“How to live sustainably with panelists from fashion, farming and waste management.
“We had HR, impact and sustainable international development one-to-one support sessions running too.”
The event included a book launch: Seyi Akiwowo’s book called How to Stay Safe Online, published by Penguin, “stimulating discussion around the issues of finding one’s voice online and what boundaries to draw, how this affects children and politicians”.
Karen added: “We had 46 people attend and have already had feedback that this size worked well for now and for people having good conversations.”
The day was also the kick-off for the fortnight of an online version of the festival that runs from September 18 to 30. The panels were recorded and will be integrated into the online events.
Feedback from the inaugural Social Entrepreneur Festival included:
“You could have useful conversations with people and have time to actually find the people you wanted to meet. I met a number of people who had been referred to me throughout the day from other attendees, which was great. The strong vibe of ‘no bullshit’ was also a breath of fresh air and very welcome feature!”
“It was brilliantly organised, love the mix of in-person and online, met lots of great, useful people, and seems like it’s the launch of something very exciting indeed!”
“The Festival was great, there was a lot of thought and care in the production and a lot of attention on who was in each panel.”


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