Social Enterprise Spotlight – Latest Q&A Interviews With Social Enterprise Members

Posted: 20 January 2015, in Press Release

In the Social Enterprise Spotlight for two weeks (5 – 18 Jan) is Alex Stobart and Mydex Data Services CIC – a social enterprise that empowers people by putting them in control of their personal data, promoting equality and inclusion. Get in touch with Alex on 07595 508 625 / alex@mydex.org and check out mydex.org. Connect with them on Twitter too.

Each fortnight we focus on a randomly selected social enterprise member for intense marketing support and promotion. Mydex Data Services CIC will feature in all e-bulletins, on our website homepage and on all our social media, alongside other support, reaching thousands of people across Scotland and beyond.
 
What’s your social and/or environmental mission? Our mission is to empower individuals to manage their lives more effectively through convenient, trustworthy access and control of their personal data and how it’s used by them and others. Our vision is a world where individuals are in greater control of their lives, with the freedom to choose how and what personal data to share and to have a balanced relationship with organisations who provide services and products to them, government and society.

How do you do it? Personal control over personal data is good for everyone. We offer a platform to achieve trusted data exchange with fully informed consent. Individuals are given a portable, privacy-friendly MydexID and a Personal Data Store with a set of tools, completely free of charge. The MydexID can be used across the Internet, without the downside of social logins. At the core is the individual’s Personal Data Store to accumulate and organise data about any aspect of their lives, managing the sharing of it with verified organisations and services.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? I’m passionate about the opportunity of the Internet and digital services to overcome inequality in all forms. Key to achieving this is striking a balance between the need for privacy and personal control over personal data, and making the data flow to make things happen. I see clearly that individual and social well-being is directly linked to a sense of being in control, equality, inclusion, openness, collaboration and trust.

What are your current projects?
We’re working with many organisations in the public, third and private sectors across the UK that recognise the benefits of a connection to individual customers, tenants, citizens, members or students using Mydex. Scotland has significant opportunities e.g. Health and Care Integration for citizens to be at the centre. Mydex CIC is proud to be playing its part and enabling the vision for Scotland to become a reality.

What exciting things do you have coming up? Mydex CIC is one of the five UK Identity Assurance providers certified to provide citizens with a GOV.UK Verify digital ID, enabling convenient and secure access to public services. We have organisations in health and social care, working with housing associations, insurance companies and a range of innovative entrepreneurs seeking to provide and transform markets built on top of the Mydex CIC Trust Framework and Platform.

Who do you want to work with more? Mydex CIC would like to continue to work with citizens and organisations in Scotland, the UK and beyond. Person centred services, including Health & Care integration suggest significant opportunities. We can deliver outcomes across Third Sector, Housing, Local Authorities, Education and Health and Care Integration service providers.

What’s your biggest challenge? It takes time for organisations that have for so long focused on an organisation centric approach to personal data to realise the benefits of a different approach. For all the talk of customer, person, patient-centric thinking, many still design in an organisation-centric way and that stifles innovation and transformation.

What top tip would you give to other social enterprises?
By being a social enterprise and Community Interest Company, Mydex CIC is able to build trust for the long term. We encourage other businesses to put the community they serve at the heart of their company legal and technical structure. Never forget that as powerful as delivering transformative social value is, if you cannot deliver a return on investment and benefits to the individual, you will fail to get off the ground.

 

In the Social Enterprise Spotlight for two weeks (19  Jan – 1 Feb) is Matt McGrandles and Forth Valley Social Enterprises CIC – a social enterprise training provider that empowers young people with the necessary employability and enterprise skills needed to succeed. Get in touch with Matt on 07739736659 / matt@fvse.org.uk and check out www.fvse.org.uk. Connect with them on Twitter too.

Each fortnight we focus on a randomly selected social enterprise member for intense marketing support and promotion. Forth Valley Social Enterprises CIC will feature in all e-bulletins, on our website homepage and on all our social media, alongside other support, reaching thousands of people across Scotland and beyond.
 
What’s your social and/or environmental mission? To empower young people with the necessary employability and enterprise skills needed to succeed.

How do you do it? FVSE is a training provider that offers both theory and practical learning experiences through its enterprising activities. As an organisation that provides both of these learning experiences under one roof our young people can work confidently with our staff trainers throughout the term with a clear focus on developing core and soft skills such as gaining confidence, communicating, team work and business knowledge.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? To provide alternative learning opportunities for young people to succeed in life. I believe that not all students benefit from a traditional style learning experience. Some, like me benefit more from doing as well as listening which is why they will benefit from being part of our training programme. Our enterprising activities offer an engaging way to put what you have learned from our staff trainer into practice.

What are your current projects? Our current enterprising activities surrounding our training include event delivery of Stirling Highland Games, provision of a rickshaw service at local events and film work for businesses and events within the area.

What exciting things do you have coming up? We are hoping to provide a weekly video news item where up to 75 young people throughout the year will benefit from creating, managing, collating and delivering a news feature relevant to the area. This invaluable learning experience will play a key part in their future employment opportunities.

Who do you want to work with more? I hope to work with more young people who will become part of the course, more private organisations who through their own social responsibilities see value in supporting our aims and more local authorities so we can work together in giving greater employment opportunities for young people.

What’s your biggest challenge? Our biggest challenge is that as a new organisation we are not able to secure core funding from the main employability funds. The established training providers are only looking for free work placements for their students rather than providing sub contract work so it gives more focus to us on becoming sustainable through our own service provision.

What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? Don’t just talk to the appointed social enterprise support businesses. Talk your ideas through with several key people you know, do the calculations and come to your own conclusion of whether to take it forward or not.