Live blogging: final pitching event

OK – final event here at Shine 2008, with 3 social entrepreneurs pitching to an esteemed panel for £5000…..MC’d by the ‘compere without compare’, Matt Kepple. I can see David Wilcox doing some video of the pitches, so I’ll aim at an edited highlights commentary.

First up is Minnie from India, who wants to go round Devon doing workshops on climate change, based on things she has learned from her time at Schumacher College. The panel are being very nice about the pitch (which rambled a bit and lost me), but the kernel of the idea came through: a people-powered movement to locally inform and reach out. Questions were about the need for brand, about the need to differentiate, and about the possibility of sharing and working in partnership with others. Minnie gave pretty good answers to most of those.

Second up is Alexia, who used to be the Social Enterprise Coalition membership officer, is pitching for a project….which aims to utilise yoga to tackle mental health issues / eating disorders etc. She wants the money to help inform and advocate the various stakeholder communities (care services, yoga practitioners, funders etc. and so forth), as well as deliver workshops herself. In the first instance, she wants to do some market research as the first stage of her journey. Good presentation, which was very clear and, to her credit, started with a clear outlining of her personal motivation. Questions are pondering the scope of ambition (too much?), planning effectively, and the barriers there may be: not least because it’s about working in the NHS. Good answers, particularly about not wanting to ‘own the space’, but ensure others can learn from her work.

Third up is Ben, who is pitching for a third sector communications agency for those whose projects and organisations can’t afford big budget investment in this area; utilising volunteers (students, but also those with experience from different agencies). Is now explaining the business model, and the potential social impact. Probably the clearest pitch so far: pretty impressive: “at the start of the weekend, I wasn’t sure this was a good idea….but now I know it is”. Questions are around quality control (particularly if using volunteers), about the internship culture already existing (a suggestion around providing the training scheme to the existing big marketing agencies gets a decent response), uniqueness, method:purpose…..

[I have to say, and I am aware that this might be the jaded, slightly tired grump in me, but why are people incapable of phrasing a succinct, concise and clear question? Hey ho....]

And finally, the voting, people are holding up different coloured cards like a low-budget Apprentice:You’re Fired…. and the winner, with the blue cards holding sway….. is….Alexia.

That’s a wrap, people!

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