Here is a first stab at a draft vision and mission for Elsie following our recent development meeting. Please share your thoughts and responses. What have we missed? How can me make it more powerful? More appealing? More impactful?
Leeds: a flourishing city where communities, enterprises and individuals help each other to achieve their potential
Elsie exists to help Leeds enterprises and projects of all kinds succeed, by providing free ideas and advice from a network of supporters. We aim to foster a culture of mutual support throughout the city by constantly growing the number of supporters and people we help.
How Elsie Works
- Gives free support to any Leeds business, charity, social enterprise or community project
- Works through advocates, who gather feedback for those seeking help from panels of trained supporters
- Maintains high standards of competence, confidentiality and integrity
- Does not provide ongoing or more specialised support but can advise people where to find this
Over the last couple of days, with the wonderful support of Cohearent Vision we have managed to train some 25 Elsie panel members and half a dozen potential advocates!
Feedback has been tremendously supportive and encouraging with some excellent insights offered into how we can move the project forward.
Why are we doing this?
Because we need many, many more people developing skills and figuring how they will deploy those skills to make a living. Increasingly this will not be by preparing to ‘meet the needs of big employers’ who may reduce employment rather than increase it. Certainly we cannot rely on enough employers coming along to create work for everybody – however successful and competent our inward investment strategy.
The problem is not about how we deliver business support (re-arranging the deck chairs on the supply side of the Titanic) but about how we build a context where people, regardless of the scale of their aspirations or the nature of their ideas, can find the support that they need in the communities where they live and with the tools at their disposal. By developing a demand side that is much more effective at both recognising the help that it needs and then sourcing it we could save tens of millions that is otherwise spent on wasteful supply side re-organisation. We have to build helping technologies that allow people to start from where they are at and work with what they have got.
This is what Elsie is all about…
At the core of this is a recognition that just like it takes a village to raise a child, so it takes a community to raise a successful entrepreneur. We need to build communities that are much more conducive to enterprise which often means cleaning up its reputation, divorcing it from ideology and re-connecting it with concepts such as ‘livelihoods’, ‘community’ and ‘good work‘.
Been an interesting couple of weeks working on Elsie. Lots of very positive reaction and people coming forward to help which is great.
Currently looking to schedule training for Elsie members and coaches in the first week of July – so watch this space, and or your inbox for details. The training content is coming along nicely covering the basics of helping, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, creativity and a few other bits and pieces. TRAINING DATES NOW SET
Please try to think of others who could usefully contribute to the project and invite them to have a look or get in touch.
Have been fielding some questions about Elsie as we go , and have put the answers on the FAQ page. If you have further questions please do get in touch!