SOCIAL entrepreneurs have a role to play in keeping young people out of a life of crime.
That was the message from Graham Bell – chief executive of Kibble Education and Care Centre, in Paisley – when he spoke to the recent conference of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, held in Glasgow.
Kibble – the largest centre of its kind in the UK – operates as a social enterprise and provides a wide-range of specialist services for young people referred to them by local authorities or the Children’s Hearing system. These services include residential, secondary school, secure unit, fostering and community support programmes.
Graham Bell told how a series of small business set up by Kibble under the name of KibbleWorks gives young people vital “real work” experience to prepare them for finding a job after they leave school.
And according to Mr Bell, this can be the difference between staying out of trouble or getting involved in anti-social or criminal activities.
He told the audience of entrepreneurs – including fellow speaker, multi-millionaire philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter: “Today we aim to work with young people in trouble – serious trouble – those that no one else can or will work with.
“We are strongly committed to evaluating what we do and doing things in different and new ways to make things better for both young people and the wider community.