We met AnnaB in Kenya in the summer of 2014. We were volunteering to support micro-entrepreneurs and provide small business consultancy to them. When she got in touch to ask if we could help her out in between doing her Bachelors and Masters, we snapped her up. In that year AnnaB joined us in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to support our two week Social Innovation Bootcamp, and then she became our India Programme Manager, delivering our programmes in Auroville and Hyderabad for 12 months. She’s been blogging throughout the year (sporadically), was even our blog editor for a while and now she’s back running our solo assignments programme. For the first time, we turn the questions on her. Here’s what she had to say.
Hi Anna! Tell us about yourself, what career were you in before you did _SocialStarters and what prompted you to seek a career in social enterprise?
Having studied economics with a special interest in development, I was left unsatisfied with the solutions to economic and social inequality the course presented – Social Entrepreneurship seemed to present a promising alternative to foreign aid, charity work and CSR. Now it was up to me to see the concept in action and decide for myself if it was a sufficient way to realise my dream of being a change maker.
What were the top 2 things you learned on the Immersion Programme in India?
a) Social entrepreneurship, to me, is a possible answer to the issues of our generation.
b) To trust in myself and my skills and to just do it – one step at a time. I gained the motivation and confirmation to start my own social enterprise.
How did the programme affect the way you viewed your career?
I always looked for a balance in between making a change and supporting my standard of living. I am confident that social entrepreneurship has the potential to strike that balance and I am now building my own social enterprise – KRAFT Lifestyle Products.
After completing the programme a year ago, what’s changed for you, if anything?
I have a vision of what I want to achieve in my life, what career path to follow, and I confirmed that development work is right for me. I am now looking forward to build up my own enterprise and continue to work with _SocialStarters in the future.
What advice would you give to anyone trying to get a career in the world of social impact?
Whether you are an investment banker, a fashion major or a jack of all trades – no matter your skill or interest, there is a space for you in social impact work.
What would you say to someone thinking about travelling with purpose and looking to volunteer?
Stop thinking and start doing.
You can stop thinking and start doing by applying for one of our programmes HERE. We still have places for our Brazil Immersion Programme, starting October 29th and running for 6 weeks. You can also speak to AnnaB about what’s involved in doing a solo assignment by emailing her here. There is more information on our website.
Wanna get inspired? Then get your hands on our Top 16 Ideas for a Meaningful Career Break HERE.