Setting the Scene

A way to invoke creativity is getting out of the office once in awhile and meeting with other like-minded people. Inspiration comes from others and what people have done before you, and it’s festivals like Pause that truly drive and facilitate that all important collaboration.

Pause Festival is not just about industry leaders talking at you, it’s about people talking with you. Pause places emphasis on empowering its creators and giving entrepreneurs and startups a platform to discuss their ideas, products, successes and even failures.

For stakeholders like Social Traders, Pause is important for helping the social enterprise community expand its recognition within the industry. In previous years, Pause has provided Social Traders with a platform and a stage to interact with early stage social enterprises and find those startups worth investing in.

Last year throughout the three-day Pause Festival, Social Traders held a pitchfest for social enterprises. The festival empowered social enterprise startups, giving them a voice and a platform to pitch. The event gave them exposure that they otherwise would not have had.

The partnership between Pause and Social Traders is all about diversifying content for entrepreneurship and aligning the festival with a social aspect. It’s something new Pause has introduced over the years, and is one aspect that continues to grow and diversify.

Mark Hemetsberger, marketing manager at Social Traders said when talking about innovation, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean technology, the two aren’t synonymous. “Innovation is around finding new ways to solve old problems, old entrenched problems that exist from market gaps and market failings, and we believe that social enterprise is an innovative business model.”

For Social Traders, Pause offers the opportunity to speak to a broader community of entrepreneurs that may not know about social enterprise, but do have a social conscious. Pause not only attracts new social enterprise startups, but it also encourages entrepreneurs to speak with other innovators that are working in the same space.

Eric Agyeman, founder of social enterprise PVBS said attending Pause and ultimately winning the pitchfest gave his startup great exposure to investors and like-minded individuals working in the same space.

“The recognition of winning the awards was like we’re definitely on to a great idea. It was a re-affirmation that we were on the right track and that we should keep going,” said Agyeman.

PVBS is a social enterprise that makes custom school leaver apparel. From the profits generated, PVBS funds life changing education to children in developing countries.

From winning first prize, Agyeman said Pause has helped PVBS grow its database and generate brand respect. While still being new to the space, early stage exposure and respect goes a long way.

Founder of Pause Festival, George Hedon said he wanted to create an experience that can’t be Googled. “There are two key things every event should have: amazing content and opportunities for networking. We have this unbelievable content, it’s content, which you can’t Google.”

For Agyeman, attending Pause gave his team the motivation they needed to move into the next stage of business. For entrepreneurs, sitting in an office day in and day out can prevent other ideas being explored.

Attendees at Pause Festival are given the opportunity and the space to share and inspire others. The connections made at Pause like the one between Social Traders and PVBS make a crucial impact on the way businesses innovate and invest.

Pause is all about gaining exposure, whether you’re an entrepreneur in the ideation stage or an investor looking for the next big startup, there is something for everyone. Hemetsberger says what sets the festival apart is exactly that, it’s a festival.

“It feels very open, it feels very diverse. It’s a creative space and a place where there is a broad theme and within it there’s a whole range of new ideas and areas that you can expose yourself to,” said Hemetsberger.

Pause Fest 2017 will take place at Federation Square on the 8th-10th of February 2017. Tickets can be purchased here.

Image: Social Traders. Source: Supplied.

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