Founder, dream on
Bridget McIntyre turned the phrase ‘dream on’ – traditionally used to express disillusion – on its head when she founded a determined and impactful social enterprise by that name in 2010.
Having enjoyed a private sector career that culminated in her role as UK chief executive of a FTSE 100 company, Bridget says she felt compelled to give back. “I was saddened to meet and speak with women who were clearly very talented but didn’t have the confidence to believe they could make it in business. So, I began to search for ways to help them.”
She has since developed a social enterprise model that delivers training, coaching and developmental sessions to organisations. The income generated from this enables dream on to offer free-to-access programmes that help women transform their lives. It has also subsequently opened a clothes retailer that runs makeover and styling days to boost confidence.
“In 2014, we launched The Blossom Charity to help even more people,” she says. “Alongside raising money, we hold ambitious events to show people that anything is possible.” For example, a recent Guinness World Record attempt to hold a 30-hour fashion show, raised more than £28,000 and gave participants the chance to walk the catwalk and learn about the power of teamwork and mutual support.
Bridget is a great believer that social enterprises can be a force for good but their model needs to be thought through. “Set clear goals but be adaptable in your delivery,” she advises. “Our motto at dream on is there is always a way.”