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Servane Mouazan is the CEO and Founder of Ogunte, a London based company that develops and connects passionate women leading social ventures and helps them align campaigning and commercial objectives. They also lobby and advise in private and public sectors to further social & gender responsibility. Servane has closely helped over 2000 women so far, in Europe and South America, directly impacting over 200000 individuals and organisations, providing social leadership, business modelling, and pre-incubators development programmes. Members of the network say that through these programmes, they have gained confidence, focus and leadership, increased their social impact and their capacity to connect to relevant stakeholders.She is a Board Director at Social Enterprise London, a UK Ambassador for Women in Business, and an RSA fellow. She was highly commended Social Enterprise Mentor of the year in 2007 by the Newstatesman and awarded by the Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network in 2009 for her contribution to the sector. A nominee for the Association for Coaching Honorary Award for Social Innovation 2011, she is also a mum and a capoeira player! You can find Servane on Twitter @ogunte
Transcript follows & video above
- I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about your business & how you support women entrepreneurs?
Sure, Ogunte is an organization that connects & develops women who are there to make an impact in their communities, local communities or global communities on the social level or environmental level. We develop them by providing them with business support & business coaching but also all sorts of business modeling, training, onetoone or group packages. That’s an important part of the business but there’s also a connective element that is absolutely crucial & I personally love! We organize networking platforms where these women get together & work together towards creating great marketplaces.
- My interest is very much on the investment side, as you may have noticed from the interviews I’ve done. So I wondered do you support these social entrepreneurs in being funded? What is the availability for those entrepreneurs in London?
Well the great thing is we are just launching something that’s called ‘Make a Wave’. That is a pre-incubator program for 12 women social entrepreneurs. The women are going to go for 6 months on lunch visits to women angels, impact investors & people who’ve got money & are interested in making a social, environmental impact through investment. We’re going to take these women on their visits & between sessions they will also have teleconferences with professionals from the impact investment world. The outcome of all this is that these women will be able to sharpen their proposals & have much more focus what they are trying to sell & the impact that they are trying to make. They’re going to learn to communicate with specific investors & learn their languages as well. Overall it’s basically to have more connections to women from the entrepreneurial side with women from the impact investment side. So we’re working with people at the end of the pipeline who also have real incubators, real investments, people who are really angels & will probably be more interested in listening to these women after they’ve been through this program.
- Would these entrepreneurs be specifically for profit or not for profit?
They’re what we call social entrepreneurs so they have to align commercial & social objectives. In the world & the US we’ve got different terminologies. In the end I’m not too bothered by their legal status. What’s very important is that the commercial side is as important as the social impact & the value that they bring about from a qualitative point of view in society.
Great, fantastic it sounds like you’re doing fabulous work.
- Have you got many women that have signed up for this sort of thing? Are there a lot of women social entrepreneurs in London?
There are quite a few because at our networking events they’re always packed. They’re at different stages. We find that there are a lot of micro entrepreneurs or people that come from the voluntary sector. So they would have a background in charity or in organizations that originally were grant funded or public funded. Because there is a change in funding climate at the moment, sometimes they have to review the way that they are viable as organizations. Some have a commercial product & some have no commercial product at all, so it’s a whole different mind set. A lot of these women coming from these areas, a lot of micro entrepreneurs. Luckily we have people as well who have prototypes, services & products who can actually reach them second level where they’re looking for, a more substantial investment & money.
Brilliant. Thank you so much for your time today Servane. It’s been really fascinating to hear about what you’re doing & really great to know that you’re there supporting women entrepreneurs in London. Thank you.