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Influencing the future of a community as an Enterprise Adviser

03 Jun 2024

As Global Community Lead at Ideagen, my responsibility is to lead the social impact that our business has on an international scale 鈥 but I鈥檒l always be attached to Nottingham and its young people because of my background in local employability services.

Ideagen specialises in compliance-driven software solutions, so we鈥檙e particularly interested in demonstrating how technology can be used for good. In this way, being an Enterprise Adviser allows me to directly influence change by marrying up my role, my background and my values.

Creating a community-minded workplace culture

Before I joined Ideagen, our CEO Ben Dorks had already spent time as an Enterprise Adviser, which strengthened his passion for deepening the company鈥檚 influence in the local community. Our shared experiences of being Enterprise Advisers helped us to embed a company-wide philosophy of supporting careers education. As a result, we launched our global volunteering programme and now have multiple employees interested in getting involved.

Our employees also now have the option to take five volunteering days each year. To generate ideas on how they can use this time, we advertise the volunteering opportunities available to them 鈥 including the Enterprise Adviser and 鈥嬧赌give an hour鈥 initiatives.

We always encourage our cohort of colleague ambassadors to 鈥榞ive an hour鈥 of their time to our partnership with Nottingham Forest Community Trust. This programme, called 鈥楾hink Big鈥, promotes careers in technology across the city 鈥 and delivering this message to thousands of young people alongside a respected and well-known local institution only strengthens its impact.听

The importance of shared ambitions

In the spirit of citywide collaboration, I鈥檝e taken an agile approach to my work as an Enterprise Adviser. I support lots of schools and 茄子影院, but I definitely feel like part of the team at Stone Soup Academy. We鈥檝e fostered a sense of togetherness through a combination of regular meetings, open conversations, and a constant focus on our mutual ambition: improving the future of young people.

I knew we could build something exciting together because their motto, 鈥Creating Unimagined Futures鈥, resonated with not just my own values, but with the community strategies of Ideagen and 鈥楾hink Big鈥 too. It鈥檚 a pledge that reflects our desire to drive social mobility by providing new opportunities 鈥 and it鈥檚 become a constant motivation for everything we do.

Bringing it all together

In a 鈥楾hink Big鈥 session I hosted at Ideagen a couple of years ago, a young person from Stone Soup suggested that bespoke technology could be deployed to support first-aid efforts across the city. Amazingly, this student鈥檚 idea sparked a collaboration between us, Multi-Academy Trusts, Nottingham Forest Community Trust, and East Midlands emergency services.听

The project will be revealed in full later this year, but the progress we鈥檝e made is truly indicative of the power of meaningful careers initiatives in action: from the young person who conjured up the concept on a workplace visit, to the Ideagen degree apprentices who brought it to life as part of their dissertations. It proves that if they鈥檙e given the right platform, young people鈥檚 voices can have a powerful impact in business.

I believe what we鈥檝e created together will have a long-term, real-life impact on the welfare of our city.

The process itself encapsulated everything I鈥檝e been aiming to achieve as an Enterprise Adviser 鈥 a real culmination of my partnership with Stone Soup, the professional network I鈥檝e built across the city, and the careers initiatives I鈥檝e promoted at Ideagen.

Becoming an Enterprise Adviser

The beauty of being an Enterprise Adviser is that there鈥檚 plenty of ways to make an impact. All you need to start is the motivation to make a difference. Then, with that in mind, consider how your own expertise could support young people, schools and careers leaders. It鈥檚 incredibly rewarding, and you have the potential to influence educators and improve careers education in your community.

Our business took the first step and is now reaping the benefits 鈥 but we need more brilliant people and organisations to do the same. The Enterprise Adviser role is a perfect starting point for those who want to learn, collaborate and make a lasting difference in preparing young people for the future of work.

Blog by Claire Knee, Enterprise Adviser and Global Community Lead at Ideagen

Become an Enterprise Adviser today

Working with a local school or college, your role as an Enterprise Adviser can help support pathways into your industry and shape young people's futures.

You can help bridge the gap between the world of work and education, working with the Careers Leader and wider senior leaders of the school or college to create opportunities for young people.

Learn more