The Raise Emerging Leaders Summer School featured in the Irish News recently. Aimed at supporting entrepreneurs to tackle mental health challenges face on and create sustainable ways of working, the Summer School pilot ran successfully in 2022. See what Gary McDonald had to say about the programme in Business Insight.
BELFAST-based privately-owned business start-up accelerator company Raise Ventures, which is run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, is pioneering an 'Emerging Leaders' summer school for the next generation of business leaders.
Open to aspiring or existing leaders, Raise is hosting a series of eight workshops which are blending resilient leadership with the power of wellness, led by industry experts, mental health professionals and life coaches.
Raise is partnering with experienced entrepreneurs who have ‘been there and done that' and want to give back, and the key difference between traditional leadership courses and its current summer school is the focus on wellbeing and mental health.
The programme, which is already under way, connects those on the same path through wellbeing initiatives such as sea swims, hikes and yoga, creating synergy, community and learning among founders and giving them a sounding board in this formative early stage of their development.
"It covers topics such as confidence in leadership, vulnerability, resilience, imposter syndrome, vision, difficult conversations, and unlocking creativity," says Eva-Jayne Doherty, community manager at Raise Ventures, which is based in Belfast's Commercial Court.
"The origins of the Emerging Leaders programme came from how leaders in Northern Ireland view themselves.
"When we asked our founders to name an inspirational leader that people looked up to, names like Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey cropped up. No one said themselves. So why not? They are the next generation of leaders coming out of incredibly influential, high growth start-ups that are impacting the world, but they don't view themselves as such.
"So we decided then that there was a need to help founders uncover their inner leader and step into that role with confidence, drive and passion."
She added: "There's a burnout crisis, particularly with start-up founders. It's no secret they face a huge degree of uncertainty and stress, yet it is often swept under the carpet, with founders upholding the impression that they are swimming above water.
"Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. At Raise we believe that building the right foundations for your business journey is the key to achieving and sustaining success. Business skills alone are not enough. Our ethos is to embed balance, wellbeing and resilience into the mindset of business leaders to prime them for sustainable future success. The key word being sustainable!"
Five sessions in the Emerging Leaders summer school are yet to come, each Friday up until September 9, with the cost ranging from £20 to £30 per session (details at https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/emerging-leaders-summer-school).
The programme is committed to:
• Tackling the burnout crisis among leaders;
• Embedding sustainable practices amongst emerging talent, business owners, founders and CEOs;
• Nurturing the talent and ambition of leaders coming out of NI to support their success;
• Making wellbeing resources accessible to everyone in a leadership position; and
• Creating a globally competitive, inspired and grounded generation of emerging leaders.
Says Eve-Jayne: "It would be an injustice to let ideas and ventures die because those trying to bring them to life don't know how to handle the pressure."