Entrepreneur Phil Benson has a passion for social enterprise. His latest project aims to bridge the gap between the business and education sector.
Phil already has a number of ventures under his belt. One of these is Xing Education; an enterprise-based learning opportunity for local schools and college-aged children.
By working with these young people and helping them to develop key business and life skills, he has been able to gain a fresh insight into the benefits of a business-to-education relationship.
He firmly believes in the power of bringing businesses and enterprises together with schools in order to make a real difference to the lives of our next generation.
We spoke with Phil to find out more about Clikd and why both businesses and schools should get on board.
Can you explain what Clikd is and how it all works?
We’re currently in the beta phase of developing a platform that links educational institutions with enterprises.
Businesses that offer quality programmes or engaging workshops to schools can browse requests from teachers and headteachers that are published to the site.
Meanwhile, companies can advertise their services for schools to discover in a similar way.
Our unique matching system aims to create the perfect pairing between schools and these organisations.
It’s also worth mentioning that all businesses are vetted and must complete a DBS (CRB) check before using the platform. We also require positive reviews from previous institutions they have worked with to ensure that they provide a quality, trustworthy service.
What made you decide to go down the digital route to develop this solution?
By using a digital platform, we can address the major pain points that businesses experience when trying to reach out and connect with educators.
We’ve seen it first hand when developing Xing. The traditional method of building relationships with schools involves attending conferences and signing up to large email databases. Not only can this approach be costly, but it is also really depersonalised, which means that a lot of the schools’ and businesses’ time is wasted.
It’s a shame because there are so many different organisations out there that deliver outstanding, skill-based sessions on all sorts of topics, such as cooking, enterprise, art, theatre and health.
Our platform tailors these opportunities for users, whether you’re a theatre company wanting to engage a young audience, or a primary school teacher searching for something new to inspire their class.
Why do you think it’s important for schools and businesses to collaborate in this way?
It’s all about adding real value to the lives of teachers and young people. Unfortunately, there is currently a disconnect between the education and business sector, but we believe there shouldn’t be.
Whilst the curriculum increasingly focuses on the more academic subjects, such as Maths and English, we shouldn’t overlook the impact that real-world experience can have on pupils and young minds.
These soft skills seem to be getting filtered out due to them not being quantifiable in tests. We believe that this is a missed opportunity as sessions with businesses can promote employability, engagement and raise attainment in the classroom.
To find out more information about Clikd and to see how your business or school can get involved, please get in touch with Phil Benson (firstname.lastname@example.org).