iSE | Starting a Social Enterprise: A Case study

We wanted to know what motivates people to make the decision to start a social enterprise, and who better to ask than the graduates of our recent FUSE start-up programme?


Over to Helen Juffs of exciting new-start Featherfoot, who has received support through our women’s FUSE programme at our Women’s Hub in Sparkbrook.

“I have worked for public organisations small and large for the past 30 years – firstly in contemporary art and latterly as a chartered property surveyor. Three years ago I decided I wanted my independence – I wanted to be more than a wage slave. Various personal experiences including a challenging menopause and deaths of friends directed me towards a career in wellbeing. I retrained as a clinical reflexologist and end of life doula (also known as a non-medical midwife for the dying) providing practical, emotional and spiritual support for individuals, and raising awareness in the community about death.

hj profile pic cropped and flipped

In January I took the big leap and left my permanent job to launch my new business as a sole trader and social entrepreneur. iSE’s FUSE programme came just at just the right time for me. Self-employment is liberating but can be isolating. FUSE has given me access to local networks, opportunity to bounce ideas around in a critical friend group setting, practical workshops in business use of social media, access to coaching and mentoring, the list goes on… but most of all it has helped me define what I want in my life and how I could make a viable business out of it. I’m not quite there yet, but I know I am on the right road and I have a map”.

Our FUSE programme is currently recruiting for September. Apply here.

You can Helen on Facebook – ‘Featherfoot Reflexology’, and ‘Featherfoot Doula’ and online at: