We got to work on this project in 2011. The aim was to learn about the history of social enterprises in Birmingham. Social entrepreneurs are businesspeople who set up business that help communities – and we wanted to know more.
Five young people helped us set out the aims of the project, and ten more were brought onboard to lead it. These were young people with an interest in research skills, and so we really wanted them to have a say in how we went about getting things done. At TFMP, young people are always in the lead of our projects.
This was the first time in the UK that something like this had been done, and we joined up with Birmingham Central Library Archives, to make a DVD documentary about Birmingham’s social enterprise history. We also set up a physical archive of relevant materials, and also a project blog – which you can still read here
There was a lot of good news for the people who took part: all the young people had started out without a job or a place at college or uni, but two of them have already got into employment, at the Guardian and Aston University. Not only that, but everything the team learned inspired TFMP to become a social enterprise, too!