Good Ideas thrive through the Melting Pot
Third Force News, by Susan Smith
Ten social entrepreneurs graduate from the Good Ideas Academy and the hunt begins for new recruits
It is sometimes when life is toughest that people are the most inspired to do social good – and that certainly seems to be the case for some of Scotland’s newest social entrepreneurs.
Some of the ten business people with a social purpose graduating from the Melting Pot’s Good Ideas Academy have found their motivation from their most difficult experiences.
Sam Abrahams was a daredevil teen, running, climbing, jumping and pushing the limits, until a bad landing after jumping from a pier into the North Sea saw him in a coma fighting for his life.
Now, with the support of the Good Ideas Academy, Sam has started a new social enterprise, The Wilderness Training Company. It will train paying customers in essential wilderness survival techniques both in Scotland and Africa. The profits of will go back into lifesaving programmes at home and abroad.
Speaking about the support he received from the Good Ideas Academy, Sam said: “It is entirely possible that this kind of programme exists elsewhere in the world, but I have not heard of it.
“I think Scotland seems to have this attitude whereby people are less afraid to fail and because of that are able be creative, to be entrepreneurial but also give back to society.”
Eve Hepburn suffered a terrible trauma when her boyfriend died in her arms at the age of only 19. It left Eve with a mental burden that she felt unable to talk about for a long time. Now, Eve has launched a new online magazine for young women – Fearless Femme. It provides a safe and inspiring publication to empower young women to overcome stress and other emotional challenges.
Christina Cran was admitted to hospital after months of ill health and discovered she had Type One diabetes. Christina’s son was only two and a half, but as time went on it became obvious that he had been
deeply distressed by what had happened, asking months afterwards if his mum was going back to hospital and if she was going to die.
As Christina herself turned to mindfulness and meditation to cope with her ill health, she realised her son could also benefit from it. Finding no provision for young children Wee Seeds was born to provide mindfulness to children.
The academy is the brainchild of Claire Carpenter, the founder and director of The Melting Pot.
She said: “My dream was to create a dynamic and diverse community in my home city, with social enterprise at its heart. We set out to produce a programme of support for social innovation in Scotland. As part of this vision The Good Ideas Academy was born and now our participants tell us it makes all the difference between success and failure.”
Over the years, the Good Ideas Academy supported some of Edinburgh’s most successful social enterprises, including The Edinburgh Remakery, The Edinburgh Tool Library, and Father’s Network Scotland.
The Melting Pot is now looking for a new group of social innovators. Initially, 25 candidates will be selected to attend The Good Ideas Camp – two weekends of workshops to test and develop the initial propositions.
The 10 most promising of ideas will then be supported for a further 6 months, where they will receive practical advice, workshops, one-to-one mentoring and make valuable connections to get their business up and running.