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When most people think about starting up, they usually start to envision tech companies or disruptors that turn into the oh-so-elusive unicorns.

When most people think of entrepreneurs, a lot of us tend to think about household names like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk or Richard Branson. It’s elite. It’s shiny and it’s a club that not everyone can aspire to.

Because of this Silicon Valley mentality, it can be easy to see why some of us struggle with the confidence to believe that we too can start up, make a difference and maybe… just maybe… change the world. And part of this is because the mountain already seems too high. With all the pressure from incubators, accelerators and big awards ceremonies telling us to dream big, no… dream BIGGER, what initially seemed like a personal decision to do what brings us joy can quickly turn into a monster of an aspiration that we never even connected with in the beginning.

We don’t all want to eat, sleep and breathe our profit margins while running ourselves into the ground for our shareholders. Some of us… well, some of us just wanted to make our communities brighter, help those that need it most and put some good back into the world.

This is why I chose to make the change into the not-for-profit or third sector, and found an interest in purpose led business. After seven years in the capitalistic world of enterprise and losing my mind as to why venture capitalists didn’t believe that helping others was a good enough reason to put money behind a validated idea, I discovered what had been there all along – a value-driven sector that cared more for furthering social, environmental and cultural objectives than lining the pockets of just a few select people.

Organisations in the third sector are not-for-profit, value-driven and accountable.

Charity Funding Advice

For those of you who may not have heard of the third sector, it is an umbrella term that covers a range of different organisations with different structures and purposes, belonging neither to the public sector nor to the private sector (NorthernBridge). Organisations in this sector can be multi-million pound raising charities or a community group that consists solely of volunteers. The main idea being, organisations in the third sector are not-for-profit, value-driven, accountable and purpose led business. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is something I believe most of us would like to see a lot more of.

Third sector organisations are really important. They deliver essential services, improve our local communities, and create lasting impact, all while contributing to economic growth. Most importantly, they are made up of and made by people just like you and me. There is no race to the top while pushing others down to the bottom. There is no greed to continue to lower wages, cut costs and hire gig workers just to feed your bottom line. Most of all, there is no need to muddy a wonderful idea about making the world a better place by comprising your morals to investor after investor.

Social enterprise funding

Believe it or not, being ethically motivated, fair and purposed-led is everything that the third sector wants you to be. So, if you have ever had an idea or a passion to create, start-up and pursue a dream of running your own business but felt that you weren’t cut out of the same cloth that capitalism feeds on, you are still in luck! And there is more support than ever out in the ecosystem for those interested in a not-for-profit organisation.

Just next month, Newcastle residents will have the opportunity to access ‘Passion to Paycheque’; an entry-level programme for people wanting to explore starting their own purpose-led business. No matter how big or small the idea, no matter what background or experience you may have, this program will take participants through the steps needed to validate an idea and gain confidence to make an impact.

I’ll be there leading you through the process in a combination of face-to-face workshops and online learning, pulling from my own experience to help you learn from the mistakes I’ve already made as well as helping you to pull together a great network of individuals that can inspire, mentor and assist you on your journey.

So what are you waiting for? Register your interest today!

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