Nonprofits benefit from the experience of Ignite – The Royal Gazette

Updated: Jul 22, 2022 08:13 AM

Ignite Bermuda is best known as an entrepreneurial accelerator but the program also seeks to positively impact the island’s non-profit community.

Already, ten nonprofits have completed a free five-month Ignite Basic Program that focuses on building an entrepreneurial mindset as well as helpful start-up tools that have proven to serve community leaders well for many years to come.

Now, nonprofits are encouraged to apply for inclusion in the sixth pool of Ignite, which will begin in October.

The deadline to apply is Friday at 5 pm.

Sean Reel, CEO of Ignite, said: “With community rebuilding and restoring, the challenge for charitable leaders has never been greater.

“At Ignite, we believe investing in the skills of community leaders is critical to Bermuda’s future.

“Bringing business and social leaders together creates a transfer of skills and a stronger network for collaboration and fundraising.”

Patrina O’Connor-Painter, Managing Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, has completed the Ignite Program.

She said, “The Ignite program has been a huge personal development for me as a nonprofit leader. I learned a lot about myself and my management style, including things I need to improve.

“Bringing together nonprofit leaders and entrepreneurs was great because we were able to learn from each other and bounce ideas off each other.

“BBBS has built some really good relationships with the entrepreneurs in my group. Since then, we’ve partnered with a few of them, which has benefited our BBBS kids.

“I encourage others to sign up and participate; you will gain personal growth and make connections that can help you take your business or charitable organization to the next level.

“However, you only get out of it with what you wish to put into it.”

“My experience at Ignite was a bit different,” said Deborah Tetterton Naraway, director of marketing for Bermuda Cancer and Health. “I was not an entrepreneur who launched my dream, nor was I the CEO of the non-profit organization I represented.

“In the beginning, it was easy to see and apply the lessons we received and the tools that were provided to my personal life. However, I struggled to see a benefit to the charity when I was not the final decision maker.

“But the program is more than just lessons and tools; it focuses on people. My advisors constantly challenged the status quo by flipping every scenario around it and providing it with opportunities and conversations that challenged work, as I knew it.

“My mentor removed the ‘obstacles’ I assumed existed in the business world by asking me to constantly switch and try another path. Then there were all the other participants, brilliant minds with amazing ideas and methods.

“Unfortunately, due to Covid, we have not been as personal as we would have liked, but these sessions served as a feed for growth and support. People were hungry to get their businesses off the ground, but they were also tasked with sharing experiences and ideas that could help others.

“As a marketing professional, it became clear that my role or what I took away from the program was to be an influencer, not in the traditional sense of leading someone to believe something they might not have, but by opening doors and questioning why we play in the sandbox, when it is There is an ocean around us.”

Online application is now open.

Sean Reel, CEO of Entrepreneurship Accelerator Ignite Bermuda (file photo by Akil Simmons)

Patrina O’Connor-Painter, Managing Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda (photo attached)

Deborah Tetterton Naraway, Chief Marketing Officer, Bermuda Cancer and Health Center (photo attached)

Patrina O’Connor-Painter, Managing Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda (file photo)