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News & Events

Trading Aces with Social Enterprise East of England

Kerwin Blackburn attended the Social Enteprise East of England's annual Trading Aces conference held at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, on Wednesday 7 September.

The conference was packed with individuals from a diverse range of industries and professional backgrounds and included talks and workshops that provided insights into the growing area of social enterprise, with the aim of the day to encourage people to interact and creatively 'trade' ideas with counterparts from any sector.

In particular, this provided Kerwin with a glimpse into some of the dynamics and challenges facing those seeking to expand in the sector or move their organisation to a more socially-enterprising and sustainable business model. It was also an opportunity to consider how US2U Consulting fits into this new way of approaching business.

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, commented in his opening address, "'tomorrow's company' looks like, or is, a social enteprise, so our focus should be on creating sustainable value from all of our business and economic transactions".

UEA School of History Ranks First!

Congratulations to US2U Consulting client UEA School of History for ranking first for overall satisfaction at the University of East Anglia in this year's National Student Survey.

What's more, however, is that the School of History also placed joint first nationally in the subject area and received 100% in overall satisfaction!

The School of History's performance tops off another year of impressive results for UEA - whose overall joint third position out of English mainstream universities cements its title as the only university to achieve top-five ranking every year since the survey began in 2005.

Reflecting on the National Student Survey results, which measured student satisfaction across a number of areas including teaching, academic support and university resources and management, Head of UEA School of History, Professor Cathie Carmichael (pictured), said, "thank you for the part US2U Consulting played in this moment of triumph!"

Keep up the good work!

Social Entrepreneurship with Generation UK-India!

US2U Consulting Marketing Coordinator Kerwin Blackburn recently spent two weeks in India, studying The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Creating Scalable and Sustainable Change as part of the British Council's Generation UK-India initiative.

Based at IILM Institute for Business & Management in Gurgaon, south of national capital Delhi, the study and cultural immersion program introduced participants to the growing area of Social Enterprise, with a particular focus on India's economic development, its rural markets and the 'bottom of the pyramid'. The course was delivered through a series of lectures and industry visits - to schools, social enterprises and non-governmental organisations.

As well as providing an opportunity to gain insights on how to enhance US2U Consulting's Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, it also provided Kerwin with professional and networking opportunities, including the opportunity to speak on stage at the British High Commission in New Delhi on behalf of the 30 participants on the trip.

"The trip was a unique experience - to get immersed in the upcoming area of Social Enterprise and to see evidence of the social impact it can achieve while also being compatible with the characteristics of the private sector in the 21st Century. I look forward to putting many of the principles learnt into practice and would encourage anyone to explore the sector for themselves!" said Kerwin.

To read about Kerwin's visit to non-profit organisation Literacy India and its offshoot social enterprise Indha Craft, click here.

Education, Empowerment and Employment in India

US2U Consulting's Kerwin Blackburn on Friday visited Indian non-profit organisation Literacy India and its offshoot social enterprise Indha Craft in Gurgaon, south of New Delhi.

Kerwin is currently spending two weeks in India studying Social Entrepreneurship at IILM Institute for Business & Management as part of a British Council visit, undertaking research for US2U Consulting's corporate social responsibility strategy.

The visit explained Indha Craft's business model as a social enterprise - manufacturing and retailing handcrafted products - as well as its purpose of supporting adjacent NPO Literacy India in its aim of providing basic education to women and children in a socio-cultural environment.

Kerwin also gained an insight into Indha Craft's effective supply chain, from on-site paper recycling department to gift shop via a team of skilled craftswomen. The visit also took in Literacy India's lively classrooms and ethos of "Education, Empowerment and Employment".

After an inspiring tour, Project Director Mr. Satya Prakash also reflected on the challenges facing the two organisations and their strategies to overcome these in line with their 5 year plan. Much to Kerwin's surprise, this includes a desire for visitors to promote Literacy India and Indha Craft in their home countries and provide the organisations with international exposure.

Such was the passionate and upbeat nature of the visit, when asked for his advice for those thinking of entering the social enterprise sector Mr. Prakash's response was, "don't do the same product as us!".

More news of Kerwin's visit to India to follow...

US2U makes a Sweet Difference

US2U Consulting were pleased to donate an assortment of sweets and confectionary, left over from a recent event, to Your Own Place CIC, a Norwich-based social enterprise committed to finding new solutions to old problems with the prevention of youth homelessness as the final outcome.

Your Own Place Director and Founder, Rebecca White, tweeted "our young people are going to love them in the training flat" - their recently-launched property in which they will provide hands-on training and experience of how to live indepently to young people.

For more information on how you can support Your Own Place or assist them in the growth of their training flat, visit www.yourownplace.org.uk, www.twitter.com/yourownplace or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Award Tour for Rachel Blackburn

Rachel Blackburn was presented with her Open University Business School Highly Commended Alumni Award for her contribution to an organisation and society at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes on Wednesday 22 June.

The Open University's mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas, and the award was presented as part of their Student and Alumni Awards 2015, presented in 2016. It provided an opportunity to meet other Open University MBA alumni and reflect on their achievements since graduating.

The day also included a tour of the campus, with presentations on the Open University Library Services and on Space Instrumentation.

The award winners also got the opportunity to record their thoughts and experiences on camera: watch Rachel's here!

"All our winners have shown huge drive, determination and commitment" said Executive Dean and Director of Studies, Professor Rebecca Taylor.

Prize for Enterprise!

Rachel Blackburn was a judge at the University of East Anglia's Young Enterprise final at the Enterprise Centre, where she and the other judges had to determine which of their companies would progress to the national final in London.

The companies pitched their products and fielded questions from the panel of judges, who were particularly impressed by eventual winners Tritiki and their range of blended teas aimed at students.

"It was great to see such enthusiasm and passion for their products from the young entrepreneurs!" said Rachel.

The event also coincided with Rachel's day of filming for an Open University MOOC (Meet, Greet and Get Ready to Tweet!), meaning the deliberation amongst the judges could be set to feature in the final cut - we will keep you posted!

Meet, Greet and Get Ready to Tweet!

Rachel Blackburn is to be featured in an Open University Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about the benefits of networking after an intensive day of filming on Tuesday 10th May.

After welcoming a film crew from Evans Woolfe Media in London to the US2U Consulting head office for one-to-one filming, we then went on location to the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce's Doing Business in Dubai conference on the outskirts of Norwich to witness networking in practice.

The day finished at the University of East Anglia's Enterprise Centre where Rachel was a Young Enterprise judge to determine which of their companies would progress to the national finals in London. Filming was concluded with the importance of an elevator pitch - shot in an actual Enterprise Centre elevator!

The MOOC is titled Business Fundamentals: Effective Networking and can be accessed through the Open University's Future Learn platform.

US2U Consulting attend The Business Show 2016

Rachel and Kerwin Blackburn attended The Business Show 2016 on the 11th and 12th May at the ExCeL Arena, London.

The Business Show is the UK's biggest exhibition for anyone starting or growing a business and offers and wealth of networking opportunities and inspirational speakers to its 25,000 visiting business owners.

The show also provided the team with numerous tips and invaluable insight to put into practice. Alongside The Business Show, the ExCeL was also hosting the B2B Marketing Expo and the Sales Innovation Expo, ensuring Rachel and Kerwin gained exposure to a mixture of complementary disciplines, making for a very productive couple of days!

Celebrating 10 years with a Truck down Memory Lane

Back in April 2006 Mike Boniface, Managing Director of Boniface Engineering Ltd, was US2U Consulting's first client. Established in 1982 by Mike, Boniface Engineering has always specialised in the manufacture of vehicle recovery equipment. In the early days all the products were designed and developed by Boniface.

Miller Industries (USA) acquired Boniface Engineering in 1996; many of the products installed today at Thetford originate from Miller factories in the USA and France. Miller Industries is the world's largest manufacturer of towing and recovery equipment and include the brand names Century, Challenger, Holmes, Eagle, Jige, Boniface, Chevron, Vulcan and Champion.

In the early years of US2U Consulting the team worked with the management team at Boniface Engineering to progress core processes to develop leadership behaviours, management processes and marketing initiatives which have enabled Boniface to continue to be brand leader in the UK and expand the business in Europe. This involved working at sites in the UK, USA and France.

Celebrating US2U Consulting's 10th anniversary Mike Boniface said, "Access to the expertise Rachel brought to us provided training to our employees which would have taken years to develop otherwise."