posted on November 03, 2011 13:36 by Shirley Yanez
Having followed the advice, enthusiasm and inspirational ideas from David Cameron and his Big Society solution to getting the UK back on its feet, a true social enterprise was born.
The first problem we encountered when setting up our social enterprise was we had no money. This was soon dispelled by using our expertise as recruitment veterans to take note of what Cameron said and become capitalists with conscience. With the help of an angel investor, we set up a boutique headhunting company, supplying talent to investment banks in both Russia and London. The plan being in order to promote sustainable business, Wilson Purviss, would back a social enterprise that was free and would benefit people everywhere in the bigger picture. A more positive, motivated UK.
After our own difficulties and finding ourselves penniless and having to start again on the dole in middle age, we had spent five years living without money.
During this time we worked for free, helping the homeless and inspiring women to swap clothes and recycle. ITV and BBC followed our story and as a consequence of this we were offered guest appearances as common sense life coaches on Trisha. We then did a live swapping and styling on a budget show for a year season at Butlins.
Touching and meeting pretty much the whole of the country and seeing how recession and poverty had zapped the life out of everyone, leaving them miserable broke and broken, we felt compelled to do something on a mass scale to help.
Once Wilson Purviss, the headhunting company, was set up the social enterprise had to be web based, free to the user, non-profit and valuable information from experience that would help people take some personal responsibility for their own choices. The country has a growing obesity problem and having spent a lot of time meeting and trying to style the Nation at Butlins we got massive insight into what was needed to stop the epidemic getting worse, the truth.
VenusCow.com was the idea, a free common sense, brutal truth life coaching website, with an online private journal for the user to begin facing some of their own truths. Through word search in the content and life coaching common sense tuition Venus Cow, the virtual life coach, helps guide and keep the user on track to achieve their goal. i.e. Lose weight, give up drinking, get a job etc.
It was important for us to make this a real social enterprise, getting people on board with the necessary skills to offer their expertise for free in order to help and give back in the bigger picture. We approached our local university, De Montfort, Leicester, told the dean about our exciting free life coaching site idea as a social enterprise that once up and running companies using the head hunting service with their recruitment spend would go towards the massive task of marketing it to the nation. The university agreed to participate and assigned a student as part of their degree course to give us a working website with a journal that we could add to and create with our content http://venuscow.com
The current site is a prototype; the real thing is almost ready to be launched.
Having proved without money that a purposeful social enterprise supported by big business and those with skills and a conscience (the big society idea) is truly possible, we wanted to give Mr. Cameron our model. If we could get David Cameron to see that his idea, which he got completely slaughtered for, actually can work, he could get behind it and help everyone during these difficult times. So we wrote to him.
After 5 letters from his office, various other letters, a meeting with our local MP, who told us he and many of his colleagues had no idea what the big society was, and a completely dysfunctional offering from the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, we are now convinced it could be the government who need life coaching.
Having failed to offer David Cameron a free solution to at least help people to start thinking about themselves and their choices, we are dumbfounded so intend to continue our quest to share our story and our site in hope that someone in the media with skills and a conscience will get it and help us move forward.