Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Youth Marketing & Social Enterprise

As discussed at the Forum's first event (the Introductory Seminar) one of the most difficult parts of starting a social enterprise is... well, starting.

In 2001, 2 young professionals founded Livity- a youth-centered marketing agency that has become a "maverick force in youth communication and understanding across the private and public sector."

The idea was borne over a cup of coffee, and has in 8 short years transformed into a highly sought after marketing agency with clients such as Redbull, Penguin and the BBC.

It was a simple idea: “We wanted to use youth marketing to achieve positive outcome for young people across the nation beyond just selling products..." (Co-Founder, Michelle Clothier, 37)

Co-Founder Michelle Clothier went on to describe why they chose to set up a social enterprise:
How could we take the successful techniques we’d created for young people and use them for social benefit? Our social ambitions have grown with our experience and we’ve evolved to create solutions for the on-going challenges that face the young people whose lives we’d became involved with. You could say social enterprise chose us.

Co-Founder Sam Conniff, 32, says:
If we as a society don’t take the responsibility for our young people, we are not taking responsibility for our future... Many organizations that are interested in youth usually hold focus groups. Some might have interns and others invest in trend following research to understand young people, but very few make the time or space just to listen to real young people... By opening up our office we were lucky enough to have met young people that trust us and choose to spend their time with us. In return, we share our experience, contacts and opportunities... We work with young people who provide an excellent melting pot of experience, which combined with a very broad range of experiences from the adult staff, really breeds innovation.”

Clothier is confident in the enterprise and its future: “There’s nothing stopping us... We have a clear mission, an absolute passion for what we do and a brilliant team of people to help us achieve our goals.”


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