“Social Investment Business, eh?” I wondered to myself, as I took a sip from my coffee shop mug and perused through the job listings.
Little did I know that a few months later I would be sitting at my desk typing away a piece on my experiences at that very same organisation. Weird right?
I won’t pretend I was a genius at social investment when I joined the organisation as Marketing Executive. Although I had worked in the charity sector I had not heard of SIB and with childlike naivety I made the textbook error of assuming they were something to do with social impact bonds. Whoops.
But clearing up misconceptions and informing an audience is what marketing is ultimately about. By telling our story to others I bettered my own knowledge of our purpose, how we operate and the various funds we offer.
Researching case studies has allowed me to see the concrete results of our funding activities. Hearing experiences from the mouths of beneficiaries and partners has gradually led me to the realisation that behind every spreadsheet evaluation is a human story of how our work has helped people.
The social investment sector’s love affair with social media is also something I underestimated before I joined (in hindsight, I suppose the clue is in the name!). I continue to be impressed by the exchange of insightful content and ideas through social sharing. Such enthusiasm to collaborate, as opposed to simply compete, is representative of the sector leaders’ drive to use anything and everything to help solve social problems.
Attending and supporting events is another aspect of my work which I have enjoyed. Meeting new people, hearing about the challenges they face and introducing them to our funds offers more than just the buzz of business development – it provides a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Travelling around the country to support our funds has given me the opportunity to reach out to charities and social enterprises across the UK – often based in traditionally underrepresented areas.
It is this same essence of inclusivity which underpins everything the SIB team does. You would be hard pressed to find a group with such camaraderie – from beavering away together on the next big project in the office, to strategizing on the softball field.
Although my journey with Social Investment Business has just begun, I’m already excited about what the future has in store.