'˜Truly inspiring' experience for youth worker

A Banbury youth worker has returned triumphant from a global social entrepreneurship course in Tsibili, Georgia.
Ryan JohnsonRyan Johnson
Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson, 33, who has worked with vulnerable young people and families in Banbury for 15 years, is currently Oxfordshires National Citizen Service (NCS) programme co-ordinator.

Ryan was chosen for a place on the course run by the global Think Young organisation due to his work experience.

The two-week course focused on social entrepreneurship and how to make impact in the world, with inspiring talks, workshops and activities led by global social entrepreneurs.

The fortnight concluded with Ryan and his six-strong team from all over Europe winning a Dragons Den-style business pitch against nine other global teams. The prize was initial start-up costs and backing from the hosting organisation.

Ryan said: “The Think Young organisation offers a fantastic opportunity for those looking to make a social difference in the world through entrepreneurship. I was fortunate to meet 60 participants from all over the world, all keen to make a social positive through business.

“It was truly inspiring.

“During the school we visited remote villages, funded via social entrepreneurship ventures and global funds to support disabled and vulnerable young people. It was a humbling experience that couldn’t help but make you want to do more to help others in life.”

Ryan’s team’s winning idea will focus on connecting non-governmental organisations, working locally and globally, with corporate funders who can offer financial support and fulfil their corporate social responsibility. Their first event, Social Summit Portugal, will take place in Lisbon in November, to coincide with the global Web Summit.

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