Team Update #2, Leonie

 

Excited for the impact

After studying social policy at University, I was left frustrated by how slowly top-down interventions can create meaningful social change, particularly when party politics is involved. This left me looking for examples of bottom-up change and I came across the idea of social entrepreneurship.

The idea that social change could be created by passionate and entrepreneurial individuals -like Ben! - really excited me and I went on to work with a charity that supported social entrepreneurs.

Leonie, CoGo’s Community Manager

Leonie, CoGo’s Community Manager

Using a business model to address the needs of a given community motivates me not just because of the amazing impact each individual business can have, but because it also demonstrates there’s a better way of doing business, one that values people, planet and profit!

What I most like about social entrepreneurship is the fact that it unleashes individualism for collective benefit. Each person is motivated and impacted by their own unique circumstances and experiences, which means what drives you to take action, might not be the same as me, but we can be united by a shared goal of making the world a better place to live. That’s incredibly powerful. So, it goes without saying that when I heard about CoGo, I was immediately excited by what the team were trying to achieve!

Uniting individuals around a shared set of environmental and social issues and using technology to champion for better business practices, what’s not to love?

My main responsibility at CoGo is building our digital presence and online community. This involves running our social media, pulling together the fortnightly up-date email (you can subscribe here) and supporting CoGo businesses to share info about us with their own networks.

It’s a fun job, but it’s been a learning curve working with a tech start-up and understanding the pros and cons of launching with an MVP. We have lots of exciting new features coming down the line for the app, but we need people to join the community now and stay with us as we introduce them and evolve the business to it’s full potential.

I’ve loved working with the team in New Zealand who’ve all done such incredible work to turn the concept of CoGo into the reality it is today!

The part of the business that most impresses me is its ability to give consumers the power to influence change. You’ve only got to look at the plastic straw bans sweeping the country to see how effective a united consumer voice can be.

I’m looking forward to the first time a UK business introduces a practice change because of the CoGo community’s influence. Seeing a pledge to change turn into meaningful action, will be very satisfying. Whether it’s a commitment to eradicate single use plastics from a supply chain, or to pay the Living Wage to staff on a shop floor, our first new action will be proof that this business - which has already influenced 100+ new ethical and sustainable commitments in New Zealand - can go global and achieve the impact we all believe it’s capable of having!

I really believe CoGo can has the potential to become the go to tool for driving consumer led bottom-up social change and I hope you’ll stay with us on our journey to get there!