Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Launch of the Sophia Hubs Network

The launch of the Sophia Hubs Network and a ‘community share offer’ took place tonight at St Stephen Walbrook.

Ros Southern and Olive Hamilton-Andrews (Hamiland Management Ltd) told us a little about Sophia Hub Redbridge and then Tricia Sibbons introduced us to the Sophiatown Motswako Enterprise Hub. Clive Sheldon spoke about the Community Share Offer while Christine Baker of Argentis Capital gave a keynote speech focusing on the place of Sophia Hubs in the wider picture of social enterprise and social impact investing in the UK and internationally. Argentis Capital works to provide capital for innovative, scalable businesses which have a positive social and/or environmental impact in both developed and developing countries worldwide.

Ros Southern said:

"We have been running for two years now and we are enjoying finding and harnessing the skills and support of the business, community and statutory sectors. This is all to help start-up businesses to make it.  To find them, bring them together and to get help and support from the resources and people in the borough. Redbridge has a very high number of start-up businesses starting and a very high number failing. Its isolating to be sitting in the bedroom trying to run a business. We are building up networks and joining the dots!

The interesting thing from being with and working alongside the business sector is that the vast, vast majority of them are very clear that in business, and for start-ups, collaboration is more important,  more valuable, than competition.  And I think the most valuable thing we bring to Redbridge is building connections and collaboration between the business and community sector."

Tricia Sibbons asked "how will young people of the future create solutions to community needs as well as generate income?" She said, in answer:

"That’s why Sophia Hubs is an important network to support and nurture. It’s not as exciting as the Tech start up world, but we can’t eat fibre optics or even broadband radio waves.  It’s a back to the future world – how do we help ordinary people do  valuable things in their communities which can create an extraordinary world – more peaceful, more equitable and more sustainable:  that’s what Sophia Hubs offers.

Sustainable business does mean lower immediate profits and returns for shareholders, because good business demands we count more than the money line and we have to deliver trust – the City knows that, the church knows that. Capital however, is trust neutral – we are the investors who have to determine what is worth investing in and for what return.

A final word about what is at the heart of our work:  access and diversity.  Unless we create routes for masses of young people to enter the formal economy, to contribute to their future world, they will have no stake.  And in that scenario risk to business rises exponentially. 

All of us are shareholders in the future, so we hope supported by ordinary women and men who believe there is a better way to create economic growth, Sophia Hubs will play its part."

By way of introduction I said:

"From the perspective of St Stephen Walbrook we are pleased to host this launch event as part of our current programme of Philanthropy in the City events. As part of our ministry at the heart of the City this church was built to serve, we aim to organise occasional programmes exploring contemporary issues such as ‘Philanthropy in the City’, which has been a series of events including exhibitions, services and talks exploring both the history of philanthropy in the City and current opportunities for philanthropic activity.

In an age of austerity and growing inequality, the time is ripe to encourage more philanthropy, particularly in the City of London and to communicate widely the extent and breadth of giving in the Square Mile and Canary Wharf. The City has a proud tradition of philanthropy dating back to the Middle Ages, led by Livery Companies and the Mayorality, as is illustrated in the exhibition Philanthropy - The City Story. Our programme of events, exhibitions and services has explored volunteering, patronage, investment and grant-making in publicising opportunities for philanthropic contributions today.

The global financial crisis has rightly created a debate in the City about the running of financial markets and options for alternative economic models. Sophia Hubs Limited seeks to contribute to that debate through our model and practices.

Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom and Sophia Hubs seek to unlock the wisdom contained in all communities in order to create entrepreneurs and enterprising communities. Our consumer society seeks to form us into customers, clients and audiences. We become those who consume what specialists sell to us. By contrast, Sophia Hubs seek to identify and develop the skills and resources inherent in local people and local communities in order to create enterprising communities which nurture entrepreneurs and businesses or enterprises which benefit the community through the services they provide and the jobs they create. This is a virtuous circle to which we invite you to contribute and in which you can invest.

Sophia Hubs seek to sustain communities through social enterprise and does so through a network which, though currently small, stretches from Seven Kings to Sophiatown, from Redbridge to Johannesburg."


U2 - Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own.

No comments: