Updated: Sep 8, 2020
On Thursday 26th September, I was given the opportunity to embark on my first out of office activity. Having started at the Manchester Metropolitan University – Centre for Enterprise only three weeks ago I anticipated having to earn my right to go out and cover events. The offer either way a welcomed one.
The event, a ‘knowledge exchange’ invited local businesses to come and share information with one another – supporting growth and encouraging better networks. The topic of the day was identifying growth potential and ultimately how to make the business a success.
Success. Simple enough to understand but quite difficult to quantify. The individual interpretation differing dependent on cross cultural understanding perhaps? Or people’s grasp on the meaning of price next to the definition of value. Success the feeling vs. success the result; both equally relevant but not necessarily needed to justify the other.
I started to truly reflect on this notion after visiting SAFE Production’s last week. A primary school turned creative arts centre in Liverpool, Bootle. Key speaker John Leach of management consultancy ‘Winning Pitch’ was indeed inspirational- turning his business into a nationally recognised organisation was no mean feat. Tale’s of his unpaid salary in order to keep the staff and tense conversations with his spouse only going to demonstrate further the challenges of entrepreneurship. However it was not the success of his business that resonated with me or that which prompted me to reassess my vision.
Brian Dawe, Director of the social enterprise SAFE Productions had worked tirelessly to provide a space for the children recognised in the area as lacking social stimulation – those group’s that face isolation and lack the resources and environment to better themselves.
The team at SAFE Productions, who were nice enough to speak to me produced food on site in order to promote social cohesion; teaching children about nutrition, growth and cultivation in just one of their many projects. The energy and enthusiasm that Peter Mc Fadyen, Andy Blackie and Andrea Jones put behind the centre was evident, but what was so surprising was the humility each of them showed – not wanting any recognition for the successes they had already achieved.
Telling me about some of the problems they have, such as trying to get young people connecting with SAFE in the right way and transforming people’s negativity into creativity are just some of the challenges they continue to face. At the same time, witnessing change and recognising a rise in positive measurable interaction’s through their outreach seems to me what defines the centre’s success.
Without question, the centre could use some TLC, due to it’s previous tenants’ being a rabble of school children. In the grand scheme of things however, when the time and changes being made are for the greater good of the people. It seems as though the people behind those changes, selflessly supporting the cause are the only success relevant. The value of which is priceless.
Find out more about SAFE Productions: http://www.safeproductions.co.uk