The first learner in the UK to achieve a Gold SEQ (Social Enterprise Qualification) has been recognised in the national SFEDI awards week. SFEDI, the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative, is a government recognised standards body for business enterprise and support who allows accreditation for the qualification.
Amber Webster from Aster Group, whose innovative mobile phone app helped her achieve a Gold SEQ, the equivalent to a Level 2 certificate on the QCF, was runner up in her category, receiving a Highly Commended award at the event. Toni Mascolo, co-founder of Toni&Guy, presented Amber with her prestigious award at the ceremony held at the House of Commons on Thursday 31 October.
Amber was nominated for the Enterprising Learner Award by SFEDI and the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs, and her highly commended award as runner up is a huge achievement, both for her and for the social enterprise sector. Amber’s SEQ project involved the creation of a unique mobile phone application called Jargo, which translates from English to Polish to help Aster communicate more effectively with its largely foreign customer base. To achieve a Gold SEQ, learners must prepare and deliver an on-going social enterprise activity, and Amber’s mobile phone app demonstrated real consideration for a social issue, which the SEQ product needs to address.
Amber Webster said
“It’s a really interesting project and I learned practical business skills. At the start of the qualification I didn’t even know what a social enterprise was and now I have been involved in developing a social enterprise activity. This was a huge challenge and I was able to develop what I already knew and learn new skills completely throughout.”
Charlotte Weedon, Aster Group’s Social Enterprise Development Manager, mentored Amber throughout the qualification. She said,
“The SEQ is perfect for giving people the chance to develop and sell a real product or service, whilst making a difference to a social or environmental issue that an individual or group is passionate about.”
The SEQ was designed by the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) and piloted in 2011 in partnership with SFEDI awards, before its official launch at the House of Commons in February last year. It is now an international qualification, and the first of its kind to accredit social enterprise and recognise its importance in equipping young people with core business and enterprise skills. The recognition received at the awards event has highlighted the SEQ and its importance on a national scale.
Paula Winzar, Lead Developer for the SEQ, commented,
“Amber has used SEQ as a launch pad and structure to innovate new ways of working for Aster, learning great enterprise skills as she went along. Her hard work and ambitious SEQ project means that she was highly deserving of the award and recognition she received and we’re very proud of her. It is hugely rewarding to see SEQ in action, with young people using it as a tool for personal development as well as for positive social change.”
The SEQ is available at Bronze, Silver and Gold which are a Level 1 award, Level 2 award and Level 2 certificate respectively on the Qualifications Credit Framework.
The Social Enterprise Qualification is suitable for a wide range of learners and settings.
For more information please visit www.seq.realideas.org or call 08458 621288.
8th November 2013
Image: Amber Webster, creator of Jargo app, receives Highly Commended award at House of Commons SFEDI award event presented by Toni Mascolo, co-founder of Toni&Guy.