Economy and enterprise: Matt Little

Economy and enterprise: Matt Little

Economy and enterprise: Matt Little

Introduction

Young people are becoming increasingly interested in enterprise and social change, with the number of young people setting up businesses increasing eightfold in the past decade.

“My Fellowship was and still is life-changing. I grew in confidence and what I learnt while I was away now informs much of my work." - Matt Little, Fellow

Social enterprise director Matt Little (CF 2013) co-founded Real Ideas, an organisation based in the south-west of England that supports people, communities and organisations to develop the skills they need for employment, enterprise and social change. On return from his Fellowship, Matt put his learnings into practice directly through this organisation, with a focus on helping young people to develop their creative potential and find interesting work as a result. Currently, Real Ideas provides support for around 500 young people at any one time. Real Ideas has also redeveloped a range of heritage buildings across the South-West and is now working on the creation of Europe’s first immersive dome in Plymouth.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Matt launched a new scheme for disadvantaged young people in Cornwall, to help them respond to and engage in social enterprise action within their community. Inspired by the Churchill Fellowship model, Real Ideas offered ten young people the opportunity to problem-solve and develop ideas and projects in response to the current crisis and needs of their community. Whilst benefiting Cornwall, one of the poorest regions in the UK, this scheme also allowed the young people to develop their own ideas and enterprising potential at a time of uncertainty and lack of opportunity.

Having spent much of his career focused on supporting children and young people, particularly those facing challenges, Matt saw that many of them had the potential to be capable, creative and committed social entrepreneurs when given appropriate support. His Fellowship to Canada and the USA explored best practice in helping young people become more involved in social enterprises in Canada and the USA.

Matt says, “My Fellowship was and still is life-changing. I grew in confidence and what I learnt while I was away now informs much of my work. My Fellowship explored businesses and organisations where learning, support and development for children and young people is purposeful, engaging and authentic. I think we need this more than ever now.”

“My Fellowship was and still is life-changing. I grew in confidence and what I learnt while I was away now informs much of my work." - Matt Little, Fellow

Social enterprise director Matt Little (CF 2013) co-founded Real Ideas, an organisation based in the south-west of England that supports people, communities and organisations to develop the skills they need for employment, enterprise and social change. On return from his Fellowship, Matt put his learnings into practice directly through this organisation, with a focus on helping young people to develop their creative potential and find interesting work as a result. Currently, Real Ideas provides support for around 500 young people at any one time. Real Ideas has also redeveloped a range of heritage buildings across the South-West and is now working on the creation of Europe’s first immersive dome in Plymouth.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Matt launched a new scheme for disadvantaged young people in Cornwall, to help them respond to and engage in social enterprise action within their community. Inspired by the Churchill Fellowship model, Real Ideas offered ten young people the opportunity to problem-solve and develop ideas and projects in response to the current crisis and needs of their community. Whilst benefiting Cornwall, one of the poorest regions in the UK, this scheme also allowed the young people to develop their own ideas and enterprising potential at a time of uncertainty and lack of opportunity.

Having spent much of his career focused on supporting children and young people, particularly those facing challenges, Matt saw that many of them had the potential to be capable, creative and committed social entrepreneurs when given appropriate support. His Fellowship to Canada and the USA explored best practice in helping young people become more involved in social enterprises in Canada and the USA.

Matt says, “My Fellowship was and still is life-changing. I grew in confidence and what I learnt while I was away now informs much of my work. My Fellowship explored businesses and organisations where learning, support and development for children and young people is purposeful, engaging and authentic. I think we need this more than ever now.”