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Project information

Step Ahead in Social Enterprise and Employment

Step Ahead in Social Enterprise and Employment will offer business coaching and mentoring to Black and Minority led Social enterprises to help them begin trading and prepare them for growth. Also provided is a complimentary job coaching package for people who choose employment option.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Olmec

Olmec logo
  • Need


    We address economic disadvantage faced by BME communities. The 2017 McGregor-Smith review suggested the economy could receive a £24bn annual boost if businesses stamped out ethnic inequality.

    It found that BME people are still disadvantaged at work and that employment rates for the BME population was 12% lower than for white counterparts. They are also more likely to be in lower paid and lower skilled jobs despite being more likely to have a degree. Just 6% reach management positions.


    This funding will enable us to provide a social enterprise route to business start-up and employment for individuals from BME backgrounds .

    The programme will include business planning sessions in a classroom-like setting, business skills training, one to one support, group work tailored to prepare early stage enterprises for trading and growth. The job coaching option offers bespoke employment training designed to prepare participants for the labour market, living wage jobs.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We will use this funding to provide a social enterprise route to business start-up and employment.


    » 75 beneficiaries attend taster workshops 50 applicants to the programme 10 social entrepreneurs recruited 20 people recruited into employment

    What success will look like

    Our monitoring and reports will demonstrate to you each element of delivery of the programme overall in an evaluation report that success measures programme overall

    Aim 2

    10% increase in turnover and 12 Jobs created through social enterprises.


    » 7 weeks classroom based peer learning curriculum covering business planning, business models, establish markets and investment strategies.

    What success will look like

    Each beneficiary receives a business diagnostic during the assessment phase, covering all aspects of development including turnover and staffing allowing us to demonstrate impact

    Aim 3

    15 Jobs created through employment support and job coaching.


    » One to one job coaching tailored to individual need including CV, supporting statement, job search, application and mock interview techniques.

    What success will look like

    A personal assessment during registration identifies key current employment status situation, assesses training needs and barriers, We are able to demonstrate

  • Impact


    Our longer term aim is to enable people to become economically active and financially independent through sustainable social enterprise and jobs which deliver a living wage and social benefit. We work with housing associations to monitor the success of our programme over the long term , Beneficiaries will be invited to join our social enterprise network
    Success will be demonstrated through evidenced based reporting on our targets of 600% social return on investment an 27 jobs created overall


    There is a risk that our total budget figure is not reached preventing access to Champion Funding and comprising project quality. However we have learned from our experience in 2016 that by working hard to target potential donors and setting a realistic target we can overcome this.

    Our experience has shaped the programme delivery to mitigate programme drop-out through targeted recruitment, reserve lists and ensuring there is an employment element for those whose business ideas may not work.


    We provide monthly monitoring reports to demonstrate each element of the project delivery. At the end of the project, client evaluation will demonstrate whether clients feel they have benefited from the programme and have achieved personal outcomes which otherwise would not have been possible.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,500 Step Ahead trainer cost Workshops and 1to1 support
      £7,000 Step Ahead training Job club workshops
      £1,000 Launch Event Taster workshops
      £1,500 Project on-costs Management and adminstration
  • Background


    OLMEC is a London based charity providing culturally focused services to BME and refugee people in social housing across 14 boroughs. London is the most ethnically diverse city in the UK with 34% of resident population made up of migrants.

    We will present this programme in locations that we already work in based in the London boroughs Newham, Brent, Lambeth and Haringey.


    The programme is designed for BME social entrepreneurs who face the challenge of stabilising or growing their business. Other beneficiaries are underemployed or unemployed BME people.

    We've had the opportunity to identify need via programmes developed with partners Metropolitan Housing Association and Arhag (African Housing Refugee Action Group). Our beneficiaries include West Africans, African Caribbeans, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Somalis, Latin Americans and EU accession state migrants.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have a successful track record of improving BME people's economic status. Since 2008 Olmec has supported over 300 social entrepreneurs.

    External evaluation by Greenmarque demonstrated that a sample of 18 social enterprises supported through our programmes resulted in the creation of 40 jobs and contributed over £600K to the economy. A 2014 evaluation of our start up programmes showed a 70% test trade record. Our Rise to Employment programme won a 2017 Housing Excellence Award.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    John Mayford, Olmec CEO

    John has been CEO Olmec since 2010 and oversees Olmec’s social enterprise portfolio and the award winning Rise Into Employment programme.

    Sam Obang, Principle Social Enterprise And Community Leadership Consultant

    Sam is the main trainer. He has over 25 years experience providing business support, capacity building, feasibility studies and management audits.

    Kumba Jobe, Olmec Employment Co-Ordinator

    Kumba has 5 years employment support sector experience. She will co-ordinate the delivery of the workshops in a job club setting.

    Robert Bowley

    Rob is the Neighbourhood Investment Lead for Metropolitan Housing and our key contact for working with their social housing residents across London.