In this blog Julie Ellam, Good Ideas Coordinator, shares an insight into the experiences of the social entrepreneurs participating in the Good Ideas Class 2018…

We are mid-way through the Good Ideas Class programme of 2018 and we are being thoughtful about our journey so far and where we are still to go.

This year has seen the Class meet at our new partner location, Challenges Worldwide on Montgomery Street Lane. This is a brilliant location where we are meeting more great people doing great things. We are missing our Potter friends on Rose Street though, so there have been a few jaunts up to meet the team, drink some tea and have a quick catchup.

We’ve welcomed a range of experts who have shared their knowledge and experience on a range of topics; from Project Management and Systems Thinking, to Leadership and working with a board.


At halfway through The Good Ideas Class I would say the highlight so far was the class trip visiting a range of other social enterprises. I really enjoyed hearing their stories and the range of starting points each came from, as well as the struggles and successes they have been through.

 –  Nicola, Duncan Place


And we’ve been able to share some great news from our Class members over the last 3 months: Hey Girls were crowned Virgin Scottish Startup Business of the Year 2018 and Duncan Place have been awarded £1.2m for refurbishment of their historic community space in Leith.


Given that we are quite a diverse group of people within the class, all working on our ideas at various stages of development, I have found the support from other class members really valuable. There have been many ways in which we have been able to help each other along through sharing advice, knowledge and resources with the class members. It’s also been great to have feedback on ideas and I had the chance to do a mock ‘pitch’ to the class before attending an interview which was really useful.

 –  Lauren, Spilt Milk


But what next? There’s much to look forward to with marketing, funding and finance all to be covered before our fledgling social innovators reach the end of this stage of the programme, when they will tell their story and begin to look forward to their next steps.


The Class has been a great anchor to reality. We’re people with ideas and that’s great, but it also means we can chain one [idea] with the next endlessly … From that point of view, it’s great to have a place where you’ve got to set practical goals and focus on one topic at the time.

The other thing that makes a big difference is having classmates that really understand you. Whether you’re thrilled with joy, overwhelmed by the last events or completely demotivated, they get you. They have been there and they will remind you that there’s no such thing as failure or success. Everything is temporary.

 –  Maria, Scotland’s Social Way


Do you have a Good Idea that will make the world a better place? Check out what the Good Ideas Academy can offer you, applications for the 2018 – 19 programme will open later this year.