'Multi-award winning specialist in social enterprise and social impact', Heidi Fisher
Heidi Fisher joined Purposely Podcast to share her founder story with Make An Impact CIC
Heidi is a multi-award winning specialist in social enterprise and social impact, she is also a successful podcaster. She received an MBE for Services to Innovation in Social Enterprise and Impact Measurement in the 2020 New Year Honours.
Heidi has worked with over 2,100 social enterprises from start-ups to those with over £1 billion of income supporting them to become more sustainable, helping to develop their trading income and to better measure, manage and report their impact. Her vision is a world where all businesses are social enterprises that positively impact people and the planet. Heidi is passionate about leaving a positive legacy for her children and society.
What would you change about sector you work in?
‘There's so much confusing language around social enterprise and impact measurement designed to make it sound complicated. However in reality it needs to be brought down to a level where we speak in plain English and we enable people to cut through the complexity and focus on doing things.’
You are highly regarded for your impact measurement work, what is your approach?
‘The common myth is that you need to capture data from everybody and everything. Instead, your data needs to be of a much higher quality and it is best to keep it really simple and focus on just measuring two things and measuring them really well.’
Is there one cause or social enterprise that you are most proud of?
I could share hundreds. But I really do I love working with a group of creative women entrepreneurs. I just love them because they are so creative. I know it sounds obvious but they are creating bespoke handbags and hair accessories, clothing, textiles and all these kinds of things. And, and it just boggles my mind how clever and they are in terms of the product ideas that they come up with’
Another one is Social Arcs, they're a charity in London and they work with young people to start up social enterprises. The young people use their lived experience to create their social enterprise. There is also a real value put around that lived experience and they become leaders in their own community.’
Where do you see organisations going wrong on impact measurement?
‘Where I always see organizations going wrong… I use this analogy of a brick wall. If you imagine your charity or social enterprises is a brick wall i.e. business planning, your finances, your marketing, your operational activities, everything sits within that brick wall. What everyone tries to do is build another three layers on the top… that is impact measurement. They make it an additional time consuming process. Instead it needs to go into the existing bricks and be part of everything that already sits there. And if you can integrate it into what you already do, it becomes something that happens much more easily and automatically.’
You are also a successful podcaster, what motivated you to start?
‘It was very much about increasing visibility and raising the profile of Making An Impact. So having a podcast with the most amazing and incredible guests just made a lot of sense. I also like talking as you can probably tell and it just made sense. It has introduced me to so many people that perhaps I would never have had the opportunity to speak to.’
What is your vision for the future?
‘It changes every day but the vision is very much about global growth and doing a huge amount in terms of ever a global network of partners. In terms of not just spreading the social enterprise message, but actually supporting people to have the best and strongest types of social enterprises or charities that they possibly can.’