The reaction to the recent revelations about Sports Direct has shown a distaste for the selfish practices of big business. The voices calling for change are becoming more numerous and are gathering momentum. We all want jobs, but we don't want to be taken advantage of. Brands that are seen to be exploitative lose popularity, and money, fast. Unfortunately though, large companies are the only businesses making more roles available for 16-24 year olds. Overall, the number of firms expecting to have roles available for young people has decreased significantly over the last 3 years. In response to this, a new way of thinking about job creation is beginning to blossom.
Here in Birmingham, Bridging to the Future are showing the way forward. Where the growth of big businesses has been shown to lead to the overblown prosperity of a few at the expense of many others beneath them, BtF encourage people to pursue economic independence, creating more localised economies which are sustainable and less dependent on big corporates, vested interests and government hand outs.
Simply put, economic independence means people creating jobs for themselves, making their own money by identifying local needs and satisfying that demand. There's more to it than that though. BtF are enabling the growth of social businesses - That is, businesses which benefit communities.
BtF's Bridge Model has been successfully piloted in five countries in the last 2 years, providing guidance and coaching to 25 entrepreneurs. This have overseen the growth of an app designing business in the Netherlands, a fashion boutique in Spain, and a microbrewery in Greece.
We've got plenty of experience of producing event videos, and this one was particularly interesting. However, our conversations with BtF told us that they didn't just want a video about the event, it also had to stand alone as a video to explain their work more broadly - particularly the concept of economic independence.
So, whilst we made sure to capture the variety of attendees at the event, getting shots of them chatting to show the supportive networks of business people involved, we also interviewed a range of attendees. This included the BtF founder, Duncan Chamberlain, explaining exactly what economic independence is. One of the biggest challenges organisations like BtF face is that it can be hard to explain what they do using everyday language, but Duncan was fully prepared which allowed him to deliver the message clearly and concisely. It was a pleasure to promote this way of thinking, which not only benefits individuals but communities too.