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Social Entrepreneur Index nominee: POPPING FOR PARKINSON'S

We meet Simone Sistarelli one of our nominees for Social Entrepreneur Index 2020 and he tells us what inspired him to start up his business Popping for Parkinson's.

What does your social enterprise do?

POPPING FOR PARKINSON'S is an international award-winning project created by Simone Sistarelli that consists in free Popping dance classes for people with Parkinson's.

What made you start your business up?

The desire to enable those who have been labelled as disabled, using movement to create a movement, transforming a symptom into a superpower.

How do you measure your impact?

With qualitative feedback, comments, and scientific research.

How did you decide on what legal form would work best for your business?

I am often reassessing my legal form to adjust accordingly to maximise impact and minimise admin workload.

What’s the best thing about being a social entrepreneur?

Doing what you love, being driven by passion and purpose!

What have been the three biggest challenges that you have overcome (or that you’re still working on)?

I have always faced two main challenges: funding and managing workload. I feel I am always learning how to best deal with both challenges, and I don't think I have necessarily overcome them yet.

What advice would you give to aspiring social entrepreneurs?

Do what you love and share your passion with as many people as possible, so that everybody wins!

Why do you think social enterprise is important?

Because it is a phenomenal answer to the current state of the world. Our western society especially needs a substantial and radical change of approach if it wants to thrive, and leading enterprises with a social purpose are the key to unlock great potential.

What’s been your most rewarding experience as a social entrepreneur?

Seeing people smile after every dance class has always been the most rewarding experience. Awards and recognition are nice, but witnessing the impact of your own project on people is the best feeling of all.

What information sources would you recommend (books, websites, organisations?) to help someone just starting their social enterprise journey?

I would recommend learning as much as possible about the specific field of interest and investigating incubator programmes.

What’s been the most surprising thing about creating a social enterprise?

When I started this journey, I had no idea it would lead me to incredible experiences and meeting phenomenal people. The support and response all over the world has been incredible.

What are your plans for the next 2-5 years?

Scaling the project worldwide, reaching even more people, and eventually transforming all Parkinson's patients into Popping dance students.

What is the biggest change you would like to see in the world?

I would love to see a world without injustice.

What have been your three proudest moments as a social entrepreneur?

Entering the Universal Hip Hop Museum Hall of Fame, collaborating with the original Dance For PD programme and travelling the world.

What would you say to encourage more entrepreneurs to consider the social impact of their businesses?

The feeling of having a positive impact on the community is priceless and way more rewarding than anything else.



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