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Monday, October 19, 2015

Case Study: Christina Taylor, Master of Enterprise

Christina Taylor has achieved incredible success since completing her Master of Enterprise degree at Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS) last year.

This year Christina set up The Aim Sky High (ASH) Company, a performing arts organisation that provides dance, drama and singing tuition to children and young people. In this short time the company is already gaining recognition including a shortlisting for a prestigious UK Social Enterprise Award, which recognises organisations for their business excellence and their contribution to society.

Christina’s commitment to addressing social issues was evident to Alliance MBS from an early stage when she was awarded a full scholarship due to her social entrepreneurial skills.

Now Christina is using that expertise and training to engage young people through performing arts, especially dance. Harder to engage communities are reached through partner organisations.  Two thirds of participants that benefit from ASH’s programmes are from households with low disposable incomes, with 40% coming from single parent families.

Encouragement for the work being undertaken had a further boost when high-profile entrepreneur Michelle Mone OBE, recently elevated to Baroness Mone, became Christina’s mentor.

The ASH company is on track for further success and just a look at ASH’s client list provides an indication of the high regard it is already held in by many of the North West’s most recognisable brands:  Manchester City, NSPCC and intu Trafford Centre.  Recently Christina’s dancers performed a half-time show for the Manchester United Foundation, which raises money for disadvantaged children across Greater Manchester.
ASH dancers enjoyed further success when they scooped this year’s North West, UK and European Street Dance Championships.

The benefits for participants are tremendous.  Four former students have graduated to teaching younger dancers and in turn have transitioned into self-employment.  Many participants have benefited from reduced emotional distress and improved behaviour, reducing levels of exclusion.

Martin Henery, social enterprise champion at Manchester Business School, commented: “With Christina’s personal knowledge of the social issues that needed addressing as well as her personal drive and tenacity to resolve them, it was obvious right from the start that she was going to create something special.  Even now that Christina is just starting her family, she shows no signs of slowing down and if anything, the desire to create a better environment and outcomes for the next generation is only serving to push her on to bigger and better things.”

Christina commented: “I am extremely excited to be shortlisted for the “inspiring youth” award.  Manchester Enterprise Centre has helped me to develop my confidence as an entrepreneur.  It supported my research within the field of social enterprise, which has helped me create a successful business.”

The ASH Company is due to launch a children’s dance talent agency in the next three months and a clothing line within the next 12 months.  Their vision is “to be an innovative world-leading provider of street dance delivery for children and young people, and street dance content for businesses, whilst keeping social value at the core of our operations and output.”

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