Empowerment – that’s what I think about when I think about social enterprise. Empowerment!
It also happens to be the thing that ties many social enterprises together. It’s the theme that embodies nearly all of the work of almost every social enterprise featured on this podcast.
This takes many different forms. It could be empowering young people to change their lives, it could be to inspire those with a disability to fulfil their own dreams, or in the case of MAKLab it could be to provide people from all backgrounds and of all ages with the tools to change their life, whatever that entails. It could be starting a business from a produce idea you had, to simply boosting self-esteem by demonstrating that ‘yes, your ideas are worthwhile and you too can create’.
MAKlab have being going from strength to strength since their inception in 2012. Their ethos is very much focused around using “disruptive technologies” such as 3D printing, laser cutting, alongside more traditional tools to help individuals realise their creative potential through the usage of manufacturing and design skills. They have a number of spaces in Scotland, and deliver teaching workshops, community outreach programmes, professional development and accredited training to many people. They also offer a number of commercial services and can even manufacture work on behalf of others.
They also operate a membership scheme, where by paying a flat fee on a 6 monthly or annual basis you can have access to their equipment and are offered a reduced rate on materials and workshops.
Andrew Tibbles is a Studio Mentor at the Glasgow Charing Cross location. In his role he helps studio users to develop and prototype their ideas. He is also the design lead for MAKlab’s exhibitions and newspaper. His experience is extensive, and his passion for the work MAKlab do is downright infectious.
I hope you enjoy the interview.