Right now we are all a mixture of sadness AND excitement! How is this possible? Well, our very first short-term ‘Ethical Enterprise Course’ has come to an end. But the positive bit for us has been seeing the incredible changes in the lives, aspirations and the new social enterprise drives of all of those who have attended the course.
Supported by an ESF Community grant through the WEA, we delivered a 10-workshop course, using our successful ‘Not Just a Community Enterprise’ learning model. We wanted to help create some new ideas for The Oromo Coffee Co social enterprise – as well as helping local people back into work. We named our course ‘Equality and Unity’ and designed a bite-size course for people who are unemployed in the Tameside (east Manchester) area.
Over 10 sessions – and 5 ‘practice sales/work experience’ opportunities, the group learned how to set up and run a community-based social enterprise with a ‘fair trade focus’ – and one which used The Oromo Coffee Company as a great hook on which to hang this very practical series of workshops.
We deliberately created a course where the content and pace was set by the learners themselves, where it was tailored to their own interests and learning needs and where we had the minimum amount of stuffy classroom-based sitting and listening to the likes of us drone on!
As well as learning about the basic components of running a fair trade community enterprise, some of the fantastic learning events which the participants were involved with included:-
Visits to Unicorn Wholefoods in Chorlton cum Hardy and a crafts co-operative in Saddleworth
Running a Coffee/Cake and Crafts stall at the Chorlton coffee festival
Running a stall at Saddleworth ‘Yanks’ weekend
Running a stall at New Charter Housing Association community fair