NAME: Rebecca White
YOUR BUSINESS / ORGANISATION: Your Own Place CIC
YOUR TITLE IN THAT BUSINESS: Director
WHEN DID THE BUSINESS LAUNCH October 2013
ELEVATOR PITCH – TELL US WHAT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS DOES IN A NUTSHELL:
Your Own Place equips young people with the skills, confidence and knowledge to live safely and securely. We achieve this by continually developing innovative and entrepreneurial solutions as well as collaborating for the benefit of our young people. By working restoratively and delivering high quality interventions we create a culture of empowered and independent young people.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BUSINESS’S USP OVER YOUR PEERS?
The quality of the our delivery means that 99% of young people who start our interventions complete them – this is unique when working with the most vulnerable young people in society.
This quality is replicated across our consultancy, all traded services and work with business partners.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGE SO FAR?
Marketing our offer to cash-strapped customers. Our mission is a social one. And many of our customers are the public sector or savvy businesses – we are home-grown and have had to learn marketing in a unique space.
AND YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS?
We’re still here and getting better and better. We have increased our modest traded income by 100% in the last year and are on target to do so again this year.
Our funded income has increased by over 100% this year and our staff team will double. This means we can reach more young people.
WHAT DOES THE NEXT 12 MONTHS HAVE IN STORE FOR YOU?
Two amazing new projects.
- Your Own Enterprise will work with local businesses to provide workshops for young people at risk of serious and organised crime. By developing business skills, confidence and self-esteem combined with the faith that business people will put in them, we aim to support young people to dream of a future where they no longer need to commit crime.
- Later this year we will be launching Volunteer Tenancy Mentoring across Norfolk and Suffolk. This will be a traded HR service to businesses who want to invest in their staff to improve their bottom line. By being trained to become Volunteer Tenancy Mentors employees will gain new social, empathy and team skills that will make them great employees. They will use these skills to support young people in transition to their first tenancy. This will be an amazing opportunity to develop a sustainable traded service that doesn’t end when the funding does because of the investment of businesses.
AND IN FIVE YEARS TIME YOU’D LIKE THE BUSINESS TO?
We’d like to prove that we prevent youth homelessness and have a replicable and franchisable model across the south-east. We want to show that if you work restoratively and differently with young people you can bring about positive change to their lives that they control.
We want to put social enterprise on the map in Norfolk with innovative and sustainable traded business models.
NATURALLY, YOU WANT TO REACH CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS AND THOSE WHO CAN HELP YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS SUCCEED. WHO MIGHT YOU WANT TO HEAR FROM?
Businesses seeking to invest in the employees by providing longer-term opportunities for them. As a paid for opportunity we can guarantee its quality.
Businesses that care about their communities will share our values and by investing in our services will find themselves investing in the future of young people too. We’re especially interested in housing associations, house builders and landlords, as they understand the importance of everyone having a safe and secure home.
WHEN YOU FEEL TROUBLED OR ‘BEATEN’ AT ANY STAGE IN BUSINESS LIFE, WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO RALLYING YOURSELF?
I reflect on what I’ve achieved and remember that we’ve achieved everything in our business plan so far.
And it that’s boring and doesn’t work, I deliver some training to a small group of young people and they are joyous and more resilient than I could ever be.
DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR, OR HAVE YOU USED ONE? IF SO, HOW WAS THAT?
Yes, from PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club. Great time to reflect and be totally honest with someone who is not part of the business in any way.
WHAT’S CHANGING ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY THAT MAKES IT SUCH A GOOD SPACE TO BE IN?
Social enterprise has a rising profile, especially in the east. I believe traditional charities that don’t change are going to struggle in the future. By being a business from the outset we are business-minded and this means we can be free of funders and totally innovative in how we raise revenue.
It means we don’t have to always do things on a shoe-string and the young people feel highly valued. With our modest profit we can re-invest 100% in young people and watch them achieve their aspirations.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WANTING TO ENTER YOUR INDUSTRY SPACE?
Go for it! Be prepared to ‘kiss a lot of frogs’ and think laterally.
THE PLUG BIT:
Check us our on www.yourownplace.org.uk and follow us on social media to see the difference we make to young lives.
Contact me: Rebecca@yourownplace.org.uk
AND NOW THE SLIGHTLY LESS CORPORATE BIT:
BEST THING ABOUT EAST ANGLIA:
The big skies!
YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS:
Passionate, driven and mission lead
To live abroad for an extended period – I’d like to live in Berlin.
FANTASY DINNER PARTY GUESTS:
Germaine Greer, a top child psychologist and Malala Yousafzai
WHERE YOU LIVE, WHERE YOU’RE ORIGINALLY FROM (AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE), HOW OLD YOU ARE, WHO YOU LIVE WITH:
I’m from South Norfolk originally and back there now.
Having qualified as a secondary teacher I taught in London for three years and then went on to work with a large national homeless charity, worked across youth offending institutes and finally managed Home Office contracts working in south London on gang and knife crime projects.
Returning to Norfolk I worked as a Norfolk County Council commissioner around supported accommodation for young people and care-leavers. Spotting the gap in services, Your Own Place was born.