With a strong focus on development and sustainability , Academy of FUN! is a growing social enterprise guided by Dr Seuss:
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”
But what makes an entrepreneur a social entrepreneur? What makes an enterprise a social enterprise? Well, Kate Badger and the team at Academy of FUN! might be able to help you out.
A social enterprise is an organisation using the power of business to bring about social or environmental change.
It’s a business set up specifically to make a difference, generates its income by selling goods and services (rather than through grants and donations), and reinvests its profits in a social mission.
Academy of FUN! deliver events to children aged 4 to 11 that stimulate and capture their curiosity and imagination; events focussed on fun and engaging activities that promote a lifestyle proven to reduce the risk of developing a mental health condition.
Not only that, they also work with a team of creatives including professional actors and opera singers who would traditionally find themselves unemployed or in low paid jobs between creative engagements. Academy of FUN! use their talent and enthusiasm to inspire the next generation.
Imagine that. A business model that offers flexible, rewarding opportunities to young professionals enabling them to fulfil their creative ambitions when opportunities arise, knowing that they have rewarding work that uses their skills when they have the availability.
Academy of FUN! is no ordinary children’s events business and their team are the differentiating factor. Imagine having a professional actor running a superhero Maths adventure day at your child’s school or an opera singer delivering a holiday club theatre workshop.
The team take their skills and deliver events with enormous energy and passion. But the most important factor when Academy of FUN! are recruiting is being able to offer the flexibility. Creative careers and passions come first.
Operating as a not-for-profit organisation means Academy of FUN! uses profits generated from commercial projects to fund or subside events for children where their support is most needed.
Based in Salford, a recognised Social Enterprise City, Academy of FUN! is growing into a small but mighty force for good.
Aiming to meet a need for quality, engaging activities that develop children’s sense of identity and impact positively on their mental well-being, events include themes from crazy sport olympics to world crafts and everything you can imagine (and probably some things you can’t!) in between.
Working with schools, it is believed that the classroom is the perfect environment to engage children. Their minds are fuelled by powerful imagination. With creative play delivered in a high quality learning environment, children have the time and freedom to develop ideas where the emphasis is on taking part.
With hundreds of children engaged and supported to date and an ever-growing team of professionals delivering programmes, it is clear to see why a social enterprise was the right model for this business.
It’s fair to say that social entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone but if you have a drive for passion over profit then you’re probably halfway there! That said, it is vitally important that there is a clear vision and plan as well as sufficient funding in place to deliver on your vision.
The mindset of a social entrepreneur is to follow your passion, to find motivation and to then capitalise on your drive and efforts. In the words of Dr Seuss, “Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present and I have the power to make it so.”
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