Scholar Profile - Celia Hodson PDF Print E-mail
Celia Hodson

CELIA HODSON

CEO at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Australia

Awarded a scholarship for Social Leadership Australia's Sydney Leadership Program, 2013


What sort of work does your organisation do?

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Australia runs practical learning programs for entrepreneurial individuals who have an idea or start-up venture with a social benefit. Since launching in 2009, we have a Fellowship of over 250 individuals who have completed our programs across Australia.

Describe a typical day's work.

I’m passionate about partnership development, corporate engagement and social enterprise development and this shines through in my role at SSE Australia. Our overall goal is to support and advocate for social entrepreneurs and my responsibility is to deliver on that and to service our board. My typical day is filled with conversations about SSE Australia’s work and where we want to head.

What were some of the key learnings from the Sydney Leadership course?

I learnt to expect the unusual, that quirky is fine, that a non-conformist doer approach is acceptable and that I had a powerful, inspirational leader in there that just needed a little nurturing and support to show itself.

Mostly I learned that to develop my leadership skills I have to be fully engaged in the process of development, even when it is extremely uncomfortable and confronting and just like everyone else, I have to have to bring my whole self to every situation and live on the edge of my learning comfort zone to really shift old habits.

How has it impacted / changed / benefited your role and your organisation as a whole?

I guess this is about me creating an organisation-wide greater understanding of the power of aligning personal motivation and business objectives. The marriage of Mission and Management. It has enabled me to drive a new culture in our organisation that demonstrates that true leadership is far more than just words. 

All my team have the ability to become leaders that not only get people to do what they ask
 but to look deeper and see what is needed to then carry people forward with us towards our refreshed vision of a community powering positive change makers for a more inclusive and sustainable world.

How did you come to be working in the not-for-profit sector?

I started working in high-end retail in the UK and ended up feeling unfulfilled. I did a skills audit to work out where I could apply those skills and I ended up working for a development agency who were looking for business skills. They trained me to be an advisor and I also got a degree, became a business manager and was eventually head hunted to head up The Social Enterprise Coalition. Following that I set up my own social enterprise, The Eastern Enterprise Hub.

My previous UK based roles have included Deputy Chief Executive at the Social Enterprise UK, Chief Executive Officer at Cambridge Co-operative Development Agency and Chief Executive of Choose Suffolk.

What do you feel is most needed to sustain and build the impact of the not-for-profit sector?

Typically NFPs are risk averse as they do not have the opportunity to take risks but risk taking is needed to build their capacity and awareness of their cause. In comparison, social entrepreneurs generally open their eyes to taking risk and are not generally averse to it. Getting our people business ready for their market is also key.

What is something interesting / unique / unusual about you?

I’m entrepreneurial, brave and creative!


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"The marriage of Mission and Management…has enabled me to drive a new culture in our organisation that demonstrates that true leadership is far more than just words."


ABOUT CELIA:

Celia brings a wealth of experience to her role as CEO at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, which she took up  mid-2012. Previously, she was based in the UK undertaking various roles such as Deputy Chief Executive at the Social Enterprise UK, Chief Executive Officer at Cambridge Co-operative Development Agency and Chief Executive of Choose Suffolk. She has also held numerous board positions with UK based non-profits and social enterprises.

In 2013 ASF awarded Celia a scholarship to attend Social Leadership Australia’s Sydney Leadership Program, an eight month long intensive leadership development course held once a year.

ABOUT SSE:

Annual revenue / size:

Unknown

Segment of NFP sector:

Education & Research

Operating in:

NSW

Website:

http://www.the-sse.org