The Benefits of attending SEWF 2018 by Nancy Bolton

The Benefits of attending SEWF 2018

Due to your generosity, I was able to attend the SEWF 2018 in Edinburgh, UK this past September. Without your financial support, this would not have been possible and for that, I am truly grateful.

Not only did I have the opportunity to network with over 1,400 delegates from 47 countries, I also gained valuable knowledge that I can now share, apply and develop.

During the opening ceremonies, I was envious of the growth of social enterprises in the United Kingdom and their social enterprise strategy. To hear from students in the education system speak about their creative solutions to issues they wanted to address in society was astonishing. I marvelled at the skills that are being taught to the youth of the country and how far Canada has to go to even consider implementing these valuable tools.

My second moment of realization was the presentation on DC Central Kitchen as this hit home for me. I too work with a Social Enterprise who has struggled to be valued rather than being considered a ‘charity’. We too are a kitchen that is run out of a crumbling homeless shelter but we too are a training ground for marginalized individuals wanted to do more. After the presentation, I was able to connect with Michael Curtin and we are in the process of setting up a site visit and possible mentorship.

Throughout the rest of the session over the next three days, I met and networked with many individuals, learning from their wisdom, sharing stories and building lasting networking opportunities. I came away with great tools to apply to my work that will support the growth and development for the Social Enterprise I am apart of as well as the Social Enterprise community I belong to.

Again, I want to thank you for the remarkable gift that I will be forever grateful for.

 

Nancy Bolton