I came across this Big Spoons opportunity by chance through a Facebook post by a friend. Apparently, Shanghai-based Ryan and Peter, entrepreneurs and social enterprise consultants, were looking for international professionals to help kickstart and contribute to a social enterprise consultancy specializing in bootcamps and programs for aspiring entrepreneur university students around the world. Fast forward a month and I was Manila-bound to meet my new Big Spoons teammates from the US, UK, Chile, and Australia.
In line with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and partnering with the British Council and De La Salle University, a Catholic Ivy League-esque university in the Philippines, we’d be running a three-week boot camp to develop four student-led social enterprises. After settling into our Malate skyscraper condo digs in Manila, we hit the ground running with the Lasallian Social Enterprise and Economic Development team.
The process would involve daily collaboration with the Lasallian Social Enterprise Bootcamp team members - selected students, social enterprise committee members, faculty members, local pre-selected community members from nearby neighborhoods, and us as Big Spoons international mentors and consultants. My Big Spoons colleagues and I spread out across the four social enterprises based on our own interests with my pick being the education-focused Busog Iskolar initiative!
Quite possibly the best part about our Big Spoons team in Manila is how complementary we all are. We each brought different skills and experiences to the table, enabling us to provide a smorgasbord of expertise to the LSEED student fellows and their communities. I found myself learning not only about social issues in the Philippines but also from my Spoons colleagues. Delighted after just a few days of work, I knew each day would bring more surprises, challenges, and laughs.