About The Socent Connection

Our mission is to promote social enterprise to people and give them the opportunity to connect with the many amazing companies within the sector.

We want to inspire the next generation of change makers, whether as consumers, employees or entrepreneurs.

  • Commited to Growth

  • Passionate

  • Friendly

The Founders Story

The journey so far…

Summer 2012- National Citizen Service EBP

My social enterprise journey started in 2012. At the end of my Law and Business degree, I worked as a Mentor on the National Citizen Service (NCS) for their summer programme. I supported and coached a group of young people, through a programme of personal and social development, which culminated in a social action project in their local area. This programme consisted of team-building activities at an outdoor activity centre and skills development week at a University. For social action, my group carried out a project in their local community, providing a positive impact. Although NCS encompasses social impact, I wasn’t aware of social enterprise at the time. I didn’t even realise that the NCS provider I was working for, The Education Business Partnership (EBP), was a social enterprise themselves. It was only during the following year that I realised EBP were a social enterprise. I worked for them on NCS as a mentor across 13 different programmes over the years.

2013 – Elephant Branded

It was during my Masters that I came across Elephant Branded, the first social enterprise I actually knew about! I had an interest in ‘good business’ and it was whilst I was watching ‘Be your own Boss’ on BBC3 that I discovered Elephant Branded. They make these amazing products out of recycled material, which in turn funds school kits in Africa and Asia. They also support the communities who make these products. I researched them online and discovered they had a student rep program. This is where the journey began. I started doing events on campus such as talks, lectures, pop-up stands, promoting Elephant Branded online and offline.

This caught the eye of James Boon, Elephant Branded’s founder who offered me further opportunities across the country. Opening doors to lectures, talks, workshops and events in places such as Nottingham, Boston, Cardiff, Surrey and London.

I really enjoyed what I was doing. I was able to meet many other social enterprises at events and learn more about social business. I gained new contacts, new skills and newfound confidence.

Working For Other Social Enterprises

Elephant Branded got the ball rolling. Other social enterprises were seeing what I was doing which led to me promoting them.

I started working for GiveMeTap and LSTN Sound Co in addition to Elephant Branded. The skills I obtained with Elephant Branded were transferred to my newly appointed roles. I was offered a unique opportunity to represent all three social enterprises on the NCS programme, which I had previously mentored on. I delivered the Business Challenge on NCS across the East Midlands and Yorkshire, representing Elephant Branded, GiveMeTap and LSTN. It was The Apprentice meets Social Enterprise meets NCS. I had great fun promoting social enterprise to the young people on NCS. The challenge encouraged them to think about social enterprise ideas in their local areas and pitching new business ideas.

During Global Entrepreneurship Week, again I represented all three social enterprises at an event hosted by Enterprise Zone and UnLtd at Boston College, celebrating social enterprise, Go Social. It was at this event I met people from UnLtd and discovered they funded social enterprises. I looked into this and eventually pitched for both pre-start-up funding and start-up funding. In between, I also successfully pitched for start-up funding from my University in Lincoln, leading to the next piece of the puzzle, setting up The Socent Connection.

Setting Up The Socent Connection

After setting up in September 2017, I began connecting with more social enterprises, schools, colleges and universities. I am currently compiling programmes for a number of social enterprises and educational institutions.

Immediately after setting up, the NCS providers, EBP and Learn By Design invited me to deliver more NCS business challenges for thier programmes. These sessions ran between Lincolnshire and Hertfordshire. Both of these providers have retained me for 2018 and I am looking to add more providers. This will greatly contribute to my goal to reach as many people as possible and inspire the next wave of change makers.

In addition, I am working as an advisor and mentor for Enactus, supporting social entrepreneurship among students across the UK.

In the future, I am also attending Enterprise Days at schools across the country and look forward to meeting more people, inspiring and supporting them.

Recently, it has become apparent that there is a need for corporate support within companies. Due to this need, I am now offering tailored workshops, courses and challenges. Find out more about how I can support your company.

Accreditations

Over the years, we have received the following awards and accreditations…

Investor in Education 2017

Investor in Education 2018

Social Enterprise UK Supporting Member

Testimonials

"I recently attended a Social Enterprise workshop hosted by Anthony Veluz of The Socent Connection. Having just started a new business, I found it immensely useful. I was able to learn about social enterprise, the impact it can have on the way a business can provide its services, and how - by reinvesting profits into positive causes - social and environmental challenges can be tackled.  Anthony provided background, context and advice which I was able to relate to my venture - giving me direction when it came to building social enterprise into my own business plan. 

I feel this sort of workshop is a must for anyone who is about to embark on setting up a new business - truly eye-opening."

Kat John - Duffel Bag Publishing

"Really engaging presentation delivered by someone who is clearly passionate about social enterprise, which makes the whole workshop experience much better."

Sam Parr - University of Lincoln graduate and budding entrepreneur

"Anthony gave a really interesting presentation on social enterprise. It got us enterprise students thinking about creating our own social enterprise."

Guy Nicholson - Student at University of Lincoln

"Anthony has delivered business challenges for me on programmes and was fantastic at taking our plans and implementing them into a full day's challenge to over 800 16 year olds. Nothing is ever too much for Anthony."

Andy George - Relationship Manager at EBP and former NCS Team Leader

“Anthony delivered an interesting and inspiring talk to students on social enterprise, innovation and impact. He gave a fascinating insight into the world of social enterprise, his experiences and his social enterprise journey. It got the class thinking about setting up social enterprises in future to solve different problems. Anthony was engaging, passionate and knowledgable. ”

Andrea Caputo - Lecturer at University of Lincoln

"Anthony has done some fantastic work with Enactus Loughborough as a business adviser. From discussing with individual social enterprise teams to judging the final of a commercial competition, the Loughborough Apprentice, Anthony has been knowledgable, approachable and always ready to get stuck in. Anyone in need of business or social enterprise advice can look no further than Anthony Veluz!"

Ryan McGee - Vice President of Enactus Loughborough 2017-2018

“At first I was a bit unsure what to expect from a lecture on social enterprise as I had very little knowledge on the subject and wasn't really aware of its role within the business industry. Not only did Anthony make me feel very welcome but he took his time to explain the subject very clearly and with such an inspirational manner that I was interested in pursuing more information after the presentation. It was really interesting and Anthony clearly has an infectious love for the subject which he wants to share with everyone. I would highly recommend attending or just dropping an email as he always has time to give advice, thanks again!”

Vicky Flintoff - Student at University of Lincoln