Last September, Fozia Naseem, our most recent member was selected for the groundbreaking Close The Gap programme; a unique partnership between the Impact Hub global network and Adidas, designed to support impact-oriented entrepreneurs who are from or work with underrepresented communities and are addressing challenges in education and sport.
We worked closely with Fozia with some coaching, so she could prepare her application and ensure she was one of the just thirty global entrepreneurs selected by Adidas. Fozia’s venture, Hop On (Yorkshire) works in communities to improve people’s physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing through cycling.
After an intensive two month period of mentoring from Adidas representatives, Close the Gap is drawing to a close in early December, so we thought we’d catchup with Fozia and hear about her experience.
Tell us about your experience with Close The Gap – the kinds of mentoring you received and people you were able to work?
I was supported with ideas, messaging we had on our website and given ideas of how to summarise what we are about, incorporating that into our content to attract potential partnerships.
Has Close The Gap changed how you’re thinking about your work?
Yes it did. I was given ideas of how to represent our current partnerships, as we had little showing this activity. I was also given ideas of how to measure our impact of the work and to shout about that on our website. I looked at other brands I liked and how they put their message out there which helped with the change of our brand language to be more empowering and impactful – though some of this support came from Mandip at Impact Hub Bradford!
Finally, we’re really pleased you’ve also picked up a Phoenix Fund award (with a little help from Impact Hub Bradford!) tell us more about what you’ll be up to?
I was really pleased with the acceptance of the Phoenix Fund. This means we can continue to meet the demand for our sports activities and support our community during an unprecedented time where people are starting to feel isolated and disconnected, impacting their mental health. This fund allows us to grow our support by looking at members who would like to join Hop On and allow us to expand delivery in other parks, giving them a purpose. We feel it is important to have community members serve their community. By doing this, I believe, helping others ultimately helps them. Without this it would have meant that we would eventually have to cease work, as we are delivering at a loss due to a number of COVID-19 restrictions and the ratio of trainees to instructors.
Thanks Fozia! If you’d like to find out more, take a look at…