Yesterday I was reflecting with some of the Firstport and FirstImpact team on the last 12 months and it’s safe to say that 2020 didn’t exactly go as planned. But I’m super proud of the team for their hard work, perseverance, and resilience over the year.
Here are a few highlights that stand out for me this year:
Firstly, the amazing feats that were performed to help organisations deal with the ongoing effects of lockdown over the year, feats that would have been impossible without key partners like Corra, SIS, Just Enterprise & SCVO. Whist some of this work is still ongoing and many aren’t out of the woods yet, thousands of organisations and companies are more resilient and stronger for it.
Secondly, despite changing our ways of working over spring and summer, we managed to adapt and re-open all Firstport’s grant, investment, and business support programmes. On top of that, the social entrepreneur community is growing so fast, despite COVID-19, that we are consistently seeing record applications to those programmes, 1–2x greater than a year ago.
And lastly, despite the chaos and constant changes we managed to stick to our plan to dig deep, to critique ourselves and work towards the goals we set at the start of 2020 of being a more transparent an inclusive organisation, and got some great help on the way from Zara Todd, Del Campbell, and Pheona Matovu. As a result, we’re committed to regularly sharing our stats and experiences, both good and bad, as we continue down a process of learning and improvement. If you haven’t been following this journey, Megan summarised what we have been up to in a recent blog here.
Who knows what 2021 has in store for us? Everything we do at Firstport is with the goal of increasing impact through entrepreneurship, and internally we’re working on better understanding how to translate our 2019 strategy into this new context. We are revisiting what it means to be an inclusive, transparent organisation, one that understands what it takes to be innovative and a leader in supporting our staff in the new ways of working. And with that, Firstport is committed to continuing to support you and will work hard to do our work better, in a more transparent way and live the values we encourage others to have.
A big thank you to the everyone who has supported us or taken part in any of our activities this year, and I look forward to spending time with you (possibly in person) in the new year!