Non-profits benefit from the Ignite experience – The Royal Gazette
Updated: Jul 22, 2022 8:13 AM
Ignite Bermuda is best known as an entrepreneurial accelerator, but the program also seeks to positively impact the island’s nonprofit community.
Already, ten nonprofits have completed Ignite’s free five-month foundation program that focuses on building an entrepreneurial mindset as well as helpful startup tools proven to serve community leaders well for many years to come.
Now, nonprofits are encouraged to apply to be included in Ignite’s sixth cohort, which begins in October.
The deadline for applications is Friday at 5 p.m.
Sean Reel, Executive Director of Ignite, said: “As the community rebuilds and recovers, the challenge for charity leaders has never been greater.
“At Ignite, we believe investing in the skills of community leaders is critical to the future of Bermuda.
“Bringing business and social leaders together creates a transfer of skills and a stronger network for collaboration and fundraising.
Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, has completed Ignite.
She said, “The Ignite program has been great personal development for me as a nonprofit leader. I learned a lot about myself and my management style, including things I needed to improve.
“Combining nonprofit leaders and entrepreneurs was great because we were able to learn from each other and bounce our ideas off of each other.
“BBBS has established very good relationships with the entrepreneurs in my cohort. Since then we have partnered with a few of them which has benefited our BBBS kids.
“I encourage others to sign up and get involved; you’ll gain personal growth and build relationships that can help take your business or charity to the next level.
“However, you only get out of it what you are willing to put into it.”
Deborah Titterton Narraway, Director of Marketing at the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, said: “My Ignite experience was a little different. I was not an entrepreneur launching my dream, nor the executive director of the non-profit organization that I represented.
“At first it was easy to see and apply the lessons we were given and the tools provided to my personal life. However, I struggled to see the benefit to the charity when I was not the final decision maker.
“But the program is more than lessons and tools; it focuses on people. My advisor continually challenged the status quo by flipping every scenario and providing me with opportunities and conversations that challenged the business as I knew it.
“My mentor removed the ‘barriers’ I assumed were in the business world by asking me to change and continually try another avenue. Then there were all the other participants, brilliant minds with amazing ideas and approaches.
“Unfortunately, due to Covid, we weren’t in person as often as we would have liked, but these sessions were like feeding grounds for growth and support. People were hungry to start their business, but were also invested in sharing experiences and ideas that could help others.
“As a marketing professional, it became clear that my role or teaching in the program was to be an influencer, not in the traditional sense of getting someone to believe something they wouldn’t. maybe not, but opening doors and wondering why we have to play in the sandbox, when there is an ocean around us.
The online application is now open.
Sean Reel, executive director of entrepreneurial accelerator Ignite Bermuda (file photo by Akil Simmons)
Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda (Photograph provided)
Deborah Titterton Narraway, director of marketing at Bermuda Cancer and Health Center (Photograph provided)
Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda (file photo)