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LSE’s community support for entrepreneurs


My pursuit of further studies at the London School of Economics (LSE) has been a very rewarding experience for me. It’s enriching both on a personal and professional level. 


Taking up LSE’s Executive MSc in Cities has provided me a broader perspective on urbanization and the various creative and sustainable ways we can introduce large-scale changes in our cities. I hope to be able to use my learnings in the Philippine context, especially since my research is focused on climate financing, emissions trading system, and multimodal transportation strategy.


But aside from getting a new degree, LSE has opened more opportunities for me. As I launched the Build Initiative Foundation—whose mission is to make inclusivity, accessibility, and sustainability the cornerstones of every community—I feel fortunate to be part of a community that provides support to its students and alumni in various ways.

 

LSE Generate


I’m happy to be part of LSE Generate, a community that provides support for starting entrepreneurs. It focuses on socially-driven ventures. It runs a series of events including masterclasses, workshops, clinics and its flagship funding competition that are open to all LSE students and alumni who are interested in starting their own business.


They offer different events with focus on different aspects of entrepreneurship. 


For instance, Level Up is a business building program for first-time entrepreneurs. It’s perfect for first-time founders, those who have business ideas but don’t know how and where to start, or those who need that crucial first step to help change the world.


Their Food and Beverage Program offers entrepreneurs a deep-dive into the details of the food and beverage sector that is otherwise difficult to gather; while Generate: Skills provides monthly interactive workshops that help build entrepreneurial skills. 


LSE Generate also has a Disability, Neurodiversity and Accessibility (DNA) cluster that offers workshops, talks, panel discussions and community building around disability, neurodiversity and accessibility in entrepreneurship; as well as a Mental Health Cluster that focuses on mental health and wellbeing as an entrepreneur.

 

Female Founders Program


Also part of LSE Generate is elleSE, the Female Founders Program that supports women entrepreneurs wherever they are in their business journey. 


This community has become a major support in my journey establishing the Build Initiative, including in the creation of our pilot projects. For instance, the NightOwlGPT, which leverages artificial intelligence to overcome language barriers, offering immediate translations and fostering inclusivity, is currently incubated at the LSE Generate. 


Build Initiative also offers GreenMatch, which uses advanced AI to link individuals and businesses looking to offset their carbon footprints and the grassroots environmental projects led by local and indigenous groups. Another is Carbon Compass, a web and mobile application designed to help users worldwide, particularly in the Philippines, manage their carbon footprint. 


“A cornerstone of our program for women founders, ElleSE, our flagship retreat aims to bring together a community, a place where women entrepreneurs can find their tribe, the people that they can lean on for advice, champion each other and share successes. It’s a really special time that takes place over just a few days but leads to years of friendship, based on shared experiences,” says LJ Silverman, head of LSE Generate.


LSE Generate’s monthly Female Founders Mastermind is dedicated to supporting early-stage LSE female entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to take their business idea to the next stage. It is designed in a way that innovators can freely share and overcome business challenges with the guidance of April Stephenson, elleSE lead and founder of SimbaSave.


Meanwhile, Laura Ross leads on developing and delivering LSE Generate’s international strategy which sees her working with international chapters to galvanize LSE’s entrepreneurial communities around the world.


It was a very enriching experience to attend LSE Generate with fellow female founders like (1) Emily Welsch, founder of  Vera app, a social cataloguing service focused on the self-care industry; (2) Catherine Tan, founder of Uncommon Future Power, an alternative academic press house fusing education with the media and entertainment industry; (3) Beatriz Cordova, founder of Quinta Ola, a non-profit organization in Peru that promotes and defends women’s and girls’ rights and develops empowerment programs for them; (4) Heather Abbey, founder of Ase Creative Solutions, a policy and strategy consultancy supporting governments and socially-led organizations in the UK and Ghana; (5) Lauren O’Donnel, founder of Oatsu, a plant-based breakfast business; and (6) Karina Montanaro and (7) Sofia Moltke-Leth, who are both in the ideation stage. Karina wants to focus on digital health; while Sofia aims to bridge gaps between technology and business needs.


The campaigns of elleSE help women entrepreneurs innovate and overcome challenges of starting or growing a business. I am more than happy to find such a community of female entrepreneurs providing support, encouragement, and inspiration to one another.

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