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BE Group has officially launched the UK Social Entrepreneur Index sponsored by UBS, a campaign designed to celebrate those entrepreneurs doing things a little differently to make our world a better place. 

The inaugural UK Social Entrepreneur Index celebrates the social impact, creativity and innovation of 29 of the UK’s most inspiring social entrepreneurs and Smart Resourcing Solutions MD, Sophie Milliken is on the list, representing the North East. 

The campaign focuses on the entrepreneurs behind the businesses; telling their story and providing inspiration to thousands of others in the process. 

Eight UK ambassadors together with the index supporter, Social Enterprise Mark CIC, have helped to promote social entrepreneurship and worked with BE Group through the process to identify the future role models who are featured in the online index.  

BE Group’s commercial director Bryan Hoare, explained: “Over many years, BE Group has been celebrating and inspiring entrepreneurship across the UK. 

“As part of this focus, we’ve launched the UK Social Entrepreneur Index - a celebration of entrepreneurs running businesses with social purposes who we hope will also act as beacons of inspiration for others to encompass positive social impact." 

“We’ve been delighted with the response and quality of entries in this first year and we hope to grow the UK Social Entrepreneur Index in future years. 

“Alongside the digital campaign, we held roundtable debates about the future of social entrepreneurship, the global challenges and how we can improve. The entrepreneurs are excited about the index and the opportunity for open discussion and we look forward to continuing the conversations at our celebration event in May and beyond.” 

As national sponsors, UBS Global Wealth Management has played a key role in supporting the Social Entrepreneur Index, acting as lead partners to help deliver the campaign across the UK. 

Jonathan Brown, head of regions at UBS Wealth Management, said: “With significant levels of wealth being created in the regions, UBS Wealth Management’s focus is on the whole of the UK, not just London. Many of our clients are entrepreneurs, and we’re seeing more and more often that they are seeking to act in a responsible way, whether that is through investing sustainably or ensuring their businesses have a positive social impact.  

“We want to ensure these entrepreneurs see their efforts recognised and supported, and that’s why we are delighted with the response to the inaugural Social Entrepreneur Index.” 

The UK Social Entrepreneur Index has received the support of eight ambassadors who were selected for being shining examples of how social entrepreneurs can make an impact on a local and international level. They have invested their time to help inspire current and future social entrepreneurs. They are: Alan Mahon - Brewgooder; Andrew Bastawrous - Peek Vision; Cameron Saul - BOTTLETOP; Kate Welch - Social Enterprise Acumen CIC; Lucy Buck - Child’s i Foundation; Paul Skidmore - Rising Academies; Rachel Wang - Chocolate Films; and Rosie Ginday - Miss Macaroon.  

Paul Skidmore, founder of Rising Academies, said: “With so many inspiring stories to choose from, selecting the social entrepreneurs to join this year's index was really hard. In the end what set the winning entries apart was not just the clarity of their diagnosis, nor the novelty of their solution, but their proven track record in making things happen even in the face of adversity.” 

The full Index has been launched online at  


Qualification Success for Sophie!

A huge congratulations to our Managing Director, Sophie Milliken who has received confirmation that she has passed the final assignment to secure her CMI Level 7 in Leadership Coaching and Mentoring. Sophie took the course with Mosaic Partners working with Kate Shahid and a small cohort of local HR and Education senior leaders to complete the face to face learning days at Jesmond Dene House. She then had to complete the assignments to secure the qualification.

Never one to stand still, Sophie is ready to embark on a couple of new challenges in 2019 - to be revealed in due course!

What does touching a ferret have to do with graduate recruitment?

Last month SRS Managing Director, Sophie Milliken asked employers to share clangers they have seen during the graduate recruitment assessment process. The employers did not disappoint and it has taken her some time to edit them into one blog post! We think there are enough examples for volume two but in the meantime, read the article on LinkedIn and let us know your favourites from this first one.....

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Preparing Students for Assessment Centres - How the Management School at the University of Liverpool do this

We are delighted to be supporting the University of Liverpool again later this month as we run an assessment centre simulation for around 360 students from the Management School. Students have been briefed on what to expect and have a presentation to prepare before attending the event at Anfield Stadium on 26th March. They are also submitting application forms, CVs and cover letters to be screened. A week after attending the event, students will receive a feedback report providing strengths and developmental feedback on each element they have taken part in.

A massive 96% attendance rate last year showed high levels of commitment and professionalism from the students. This video shows the students attending the 2018 event in action and shares some reflections on the experience. Thank you to the University for giving us permission to share the video.

Five Women Who Inspire Me Daily

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. With so many events taking place this month related to IWD, this year feels like a true celebration of wonderful ladies and a real call to action for gender parity.

Many women inspire me on a daily basis and I think there are so many amazing role models out there making changes to benefit everyone and delivering an impact in their chosen field. In celebration of today, I want to highlight five women who inspire me.

1. I met Clare Talbot-Jones, Business Development Director at Talbot Jones, only a couple of years ago through Forward Ladies. Since then I have spent lots of time with Clare as we are part of two business groups who meet regularly. Clare offers sensible and balanced advice and proudly models her values on a daily basis. I was on a train ride with Clare last summer coming back from London where we had attended a Dent Global event and we brainstormed ideas all the way home – one of which turned into Clare’s latest venture – Guide and Protect – coming soon! Clare has grown so much as a woman in business since I have known her and this week has lived the businesswoman’s dream with inclusion in a top 100 female entrepreneur list, an invite to the House of Lords and then spending yesterday at 10 Downing Street having tea with the PM!

2. Carrie Green is the founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association which I am a member of. FEA is an online platform which provides excellent resources and training to female entrepreneurs, as well as a very supportive global community. I was lucky enough to attend the first FEA business retreat in Palma in September 2017 which allowed me to spend time with Carrie and 18 other inspiring business ladies from around the world, many of whom I speak to regularly. That trip was a key turning point for me and SRS and the growth we’ve seen since then has been staggering.

3. Simone Roche is founder of the fabulous Northern Power Women, an organisation I have a huge love for. If you haven’t met Simone, you should! She is a ball of Scouse energy with an immense zest for everything she does. Simone is also very persuasive, evidenced by me spending two days last month volunteering to support Northern Power Futures in Newcastle, when I had only signed up to be part of the speed mentoring session! Simone was awarded an MBE last year for her services to gender equality – how cool is that?

4. I’ve always admired Michelle Mone. She is a lady who has done exceptionally well in business during often challenging personal times - growing up in a rough area of Glasgow, losing an exceptional amount of weight and a messy divorce. Her grit, ambition and determination grew Ultimo into a huge success and since then has pivoted successfully trying her hand at new ventures such as politics and her new business and lifestyle app Connect 2 Michelle Mone. In my early days at SRS, I lost faith a little and tweeted Michelle for some advice not expecting a response. I still have a screenshot of her reply on my vision board – “Its normal. Don’t give up, go back to the business plan” – which was motivating and very accurate.

5. My daughter Jessica is seven (going on 16) years old and inspires me daily. Whether its impressing me with her super reading or educating me about the styles of painting famous painters are known for, her enthusiasm for life is infectious. She has that refreshing lack of self-consciousness that sadly is only seen in young children. She breaks wind regularly and dances like no-one is watching. Whilst I don’t plan to take on her pumping habits, a regular boogie around the kitchen together on a Friday night is liberating and part of our weekly ritual.

Happy International Women’s Day 2019 - Sophie Milliken, MD Smart Resourcing Solutions

Jessica busting her moves