Purpose-driven entrepreneurship: Have you found your Ikigai?

November 1, 2019

By Wendy Wu, BRT Business Adviser.

The most successful Entrepreneurs are driven by passion.

Passion is grown out of purpose.

Finding that sense of meaning can be a challenging journey for everyone. 

To support students to unlock their inner calling, Dr. Hock Tan, lecturer in Business Ethics and Sustainable Development/Business Strategy, has introduced a model inspired by the Japanese concept of ‘Ikigai’ which roughly translates as “reason for being”. In collaboration with Dr. Tan, I have invited three inspirational speakers to share their journey and by doing so encourage others to set out on their own.

The event took place in October 2019 and was hosted by PeopleKnowHow, an Edinburgh based Charity at Ferry Road. Glenn Liddall, CEO and founder of the charity was also one of our first speakers and he shared his passion and journey in establishing the organisation. Bringing 25 years’ experience in the third sector, Glenn has built up a model of integrating the public, private and the third sectors to co-create value for the community. He has set up a VIP model which creates opportunities for volunteering, internship and placement. The value of empowering young people is one of his passions and has been one of the cornerstones of his charity’s success.

In our second talk, Edinburgh Napier alumnus Olivier Byrne shared his passion about improving the environmental performance and profitability of organisations. As a Sustainability Advisor at Beyond Green, his work has involved examining the evidence and providing a diagnostic model for organisations to reduce their environmental impact through an efficient resource management system and alternative ways to generate energy.

Finally, our previous student president, Rojan Kumar, founder and director for Digitechtive, shared his journey in following his passion to help homeless people and disadvantaged communities. Emphasising the power of volunteering, he highlighted the importance of challenging yourself, proceeding outwith your comfort zone and building a business with the aid of strategic partnerships. We are looking forward to him raising up more young people through his engaged and empowering personality.

We were very pleased to see around 25 students at the event to engage in this open learning.

Thank you to everyone for your contribution. If anyone is interested in hearing more about this project or helping us develop it further please get in touch with myself (Dr. Wendy Wu) or my colleague Vlad Ivanov as part of the ‘Co-Creating Impactful Curriculum’.

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