On Purpose: one year on

Leadership programme celebrates its first year providing skills and training for graduates keen to work in social enterprises
Candice Motran
Candice Motran wants to get into social enterprise

As the year comes to a close, so too does the first year of an innovative training programmes for social entrepreneurs.

On Purpose is a one-year leadership programme for high-fliers who want to get into social enterprise, aimed at people in their mid-to-late 20s, rather than undergraduates.

It comprises two, six-month placements in social enterprises, as well as weekly training sessions on commercial basics, social sector knowhow, professional skills and personal development.

The programme was set up by Tom Rippin, who has a background in private consultancy as well as work for social enterprises, including Comic Relief and Red, the social business set up by U2 star Bono.

The first five associates to go through the programme joined earlier this year.

Each of the placements are paid at £20,000 a year and the aim was to give people a solid grounding from which to obtain good jobs in the social enterprise sector. The organisations providing placements for the first five associates on the programme include Coin Street community builders, the Young Foundation, Comic Relief, O2 and the HCT group.

The first year's associates include Harriet Barclay, who studied modern languages at Oxford and then worked in the advertising industry, before joining On Purpose, where she has undertaken placements at O2 and Comic Relief.

Another associate is Candice Motran, who explains in SocietyGuardian how her background in aerospace engineering has taught her to think analytically.

Motran developed an interest in social enterprise during her gap year after university, when she came across a restaurant in the capital of Cambodia where the waiting staff were all previously homeless children and where the restaurant's profits funded a community centre to help more children. "It's a totally sustainable and self-sufficient model," says Motran. "That's why I'm interested in social enterprise."

The second year of the programme starts in January. Competition was fierce: there were 237 applications for the 11 places on the new programme.

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