Weasel words are tricky.
We all think we know what they mean – but in fact their meanings are fluid. While two people may think they are talking about the same thing – often they are not. This is just one of the reasons why trying to make progress on ‘engaging communities in enterprise’ is so tricky. There’s another weasel word- ‘engaging’!
Perhaps one place to start is by collecting the ‘labels’ that people use to describe various ‘communities’ that they wish to engage in enterprise. In no particular order – and garnered from a number of policy/strategy type documents on the subject here we go:
- people with low educational attainment/skills
- people with disabilities
- single parents
- recent immigrants
- people living in neighbourhoods with high rates of worklessness
- people living in neighbourhoods with low rates of enterprise
- people who have been long term unemployed
- black and minority ethnic (BME) groups
- incapacity benefit claimants
- people at risk of offending
- young people
Feel free to add your own ‘communities of interest’ using the comments box.
- Can these labels help us with engagement? If so, how?
- Do they hold clues that can help us to think about our approach to engagement?
- How we design workshops, leaflets, posters etc?
- Who we spend time with?
- Where we choose to go?
- What do we need to be like personally and as a service if people from these communities are to invite our help?
- How do we go about winning an invitation?
- Do the labels serve any purpose when we are face to face with a potential client?