Held at the West Indian Centre on Saturday 30th September 2017, Tap Project and its partners TNP, Maco, Project Mali and Gift held a massively successful event focusing on community businesses. The day started early as guests arrived for a networking breakfast as the various stalls set up for a highly anticipated afternoon.
Our speakers included Founder of the Ubele Intiative Yvonne Field who posed some essential questions around the need for young leaders and community enterprise. Yvonne spoke of the generations of Afro-Caribbean people who have settled in Britain, how we are natural entrepreneurs, but do not see our initiatives as such. Yvonne discussed how we should make these efforts more organised and intentional.
Yvonne asked, “what are our plans around sustainability in health, education and employment?”. Yvonne equipped the audience with tools to help pass on the “baton” of leadership from elders who are often overlooked as a major resource to younger leaders in the community, highlighting the value in building intergenerational relationships.
Yvonne shared several events with the guests including Erasmus International Training, YoFest and EU Parliament in Strasbourg.
T.A.P Project Director Otis Thomas spoke about how T.A.P began, our journey so far and what is next for our organisation, he also gave an insight into the necessity of community business from a young person’s perspective.
Also T.A.P Project was represented by its second Director on the day Angeli Sweeney, Angeli read the tone of the event perfectly by speaking about supporting young enterprising leaders and developing collaborative environments for them to thrive.
Mike Blaney identified the role of young black women in community enterprise and how they are reacting to austerity by leading the way in social care.
Clare Duncan gave examples of existing successful community businesses operating within the Uk and listed 4 things they all had in common.
- Locally rooted
- locally led and community accountability
- trade for the benefit of the local community
- advantageous to the broader community also.
Clare also discussed funding routes and made herself available to be approached by any of the guests who wanted to discuss funding in more detail during networking sessions.
The second part of the event was brilliant. Several dragons den style pitches from local start-ups and community enterprises attended. These pitches were presented by women from Manchester looking at holistic health products, mental health, food banks and organic community gardening all incredibly worthwhile initiatives, similar in their focus on health and well-being delivered genuinely and passionately by their advocates.
As you can imagine with so much shared interests in the room networking through lunch was energetic, mostly focusing on access to funding and future collaborative work.
Just before the last session of Networking the guest were invited to split up and attend workshops held by our guest speakers in separate rooms to explore their presentations in more depth.