MyKindaFuture, social enterprise tenancy at LSBUWilliam Akerman, founder and MD of Social Enterprise MyKindaFuture, tells us how residency at LSBU is benefiting both students and the organisation
MyKindaFuture (MKF) is a social business aimed at helping young people develop work-ready skills and providing them with employment opportunities.
The team were originally based in Clapham but quickly outgrew their small office and began looking for an alternative. They knew they wanted to be near to like-minded businesses that would reflect their unique working culture and when they stumbled upon the office space in LSBU’s Technopark they knew they’d found the right place.
“At LSBU we’re right in the thick of it, with access to all the people who work and visit here,” says William Akerman, founder and MD of MKF. “Academics and staff are the obvious ones, but we can also network with businesses who visit, and even MPs.
“As a business, we pride ourselves on being thought leaders within the emerging talent space. LSBU help us with that by offering us great event space. It’s enabled us to run round tables, conferences, briefings, assessment days and training days.”
In 2015, MKF merged with Bright Futures, giving it an even wider network of contacts to deliver. 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of the first Bright Futures Society, run by students for students to give employers insight into what students want from a career. You’ll find them in more than 50 universities, including LSBU, helping students to gain a crucial head start in the careers market.
Connecting with students
“Employers want to recruit the best talent to stay competitive in the global economy,” explains William. “We think the best way to do that is to directly connect them with the brightest students from across secondary, further and higher education. We run programmes that develop important aptitudes for employability – teamwork, communication and presentation skills, for example.”
It’s no surprise then that MKF make use of student talent when it comes to its own recruitment policy. “Hiring students from LSBU has worked out really well for us,” says William. “They already know what we’re about and we can be flexible to support their studies. We also help them to get ready for life after university, making sure they’re CV- and interview-ready.”
Reputation for excellence
MKF has established a strong reputation for excellence, helping the right graduates into the right industries, making sure that both are a match for each other. “That’s what we’re about,” says William. “We make sure that employers build sustainable talent pipelines for the future by inspiring students and helping them to understand the career options available to them.”
With more than 80,000 young people making the most of that opportunity in 2016 alone, MyKindaFuture is on course for an even busier 2017 – so the company’s own future is looking pretty bright too.