Page content Site navigation
ELIE - employability:learning through international entrepreneurship ELIE on Facebook ELIE Homepage ELIE on Twitter
Home > Life Stories > The Social Entrepreneur - UK - 1

The Social Entrepreneur - UK - 1

Dr SH arrived in the UK from Hong Kong in the late 1980s with very little written English but some spoken English. Her aim was to gain qualifications in child care and improve her English as she identified these as key to developing her employability skills. Starting her studies in an English FE college she eventually gained a PhD and began an academic career as a Research Fellow within Higher Education.

Dr SH had made contact during her studies with a voluntary organisation for Chinese women. Eventually she became the project manager for the organisation reducing her academic post to half-time, and working full time as project manager.

Dr SH notes that for many immigrants entrepreneurship is the only choice; they do not have language skills. She finds many of the people she is working with struggle to complete forms and comply with the regulations related to running businesses in the food industry. She also finds that they have limited choices as a result of this. 

Dr SH was acutely aware that there would likely be a dramatic change in funding as a result of the economic situation and three years ago formulated new business plans, these have allowed the organisation to win significant contracts in finding employment for the long-term unemployed and in areas of mental health provision. These are new and expanding areas for social enterprises and the organisation now works with a range of ethnic groups, including Somali, Ethiopian, Vietnamese and the local white community.

To read the extended version of this story go to: 

Education and Culture Lifelong Learning Programme
© 2011 ELIE Project
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.