Reflecting on Week One at WildHearts

GELThe main focus of my first week at WildHearts was to generate leads for the Edinburgh Global Entrepreneurial Leaders (GEL) summit. In order to find viable leads I was required to compile a list of organisations that would benefit from attending the GEL. During my research, it was important to keep in mind the GEL’s objective – to promote the use of business as a force for positive change. This provided a profile for the target attendees in that they aught to be current and future change-makers.

To this end I produced a database of over one hundred Scotland-based organisations that included schools, businesses and networking groups. The businesses that appear on the list are very influential and are regulars in rankings of profitability. Once the organisations were identified I moved on to researching the relevant individuals to invite.

For businesses, the focus was on those individuals involved with either human resources or procurement as these people have respectively the ability to influence talent development and to consider social value when sourcing services/products. One of the main tools that I used for this research was LinkedIn and, given the popularity of the platform, it was a valuable lesson in people research. The results from my LinkedIn research provided me with names of the relevant departmental contact and from this point the objective was to find the contact details for each now-known individual. For most of the businesses, the contact phone number would simply be the head office phone number. Through the course of my research I developed a routine that I used to find email addresses for these individuals as this information did not tend to be trivially obtainable.

In the case of schools, contact details proved to be more readily available. The individual that I researched tended to be the head teacher and contact details for the school were be obtained through the Scottish education website. One of the big motivations for inviting schools is there is the opportunity for them to learn more about the Micro-Tyco challenge and this may encourage them to enrol their schools into the programme. This is key for inspiring the next generation of socially responsibly entrepreneurs.

Aside from my main task, I have also been assisting with the preparation of WildHearts promotional material, conducting wider general research (examining the philanthropic efforts of every firm on “The Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies To Work For 2015”) and helping to manage the logistics of the three GEL summits (answering email queries and signing people up).

All in all, the week has taught me a great deal and I feel confident that the leads that I have found will convert to attendees at the GEL – roll on week two!

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