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Weasel Words – enterprise and community

Weasel words are tricky.

We all think we know what they mean – but in fact their meanings are fluid. While two people may think they are talking about the same thing – often they are not. This is just one of the reasons why trying to make progress on ‘engaging communities in enterprise’ is so tricky. There’s another weasel word- ‘engaging’!

Perhaps one place to start is by collecting the ‘labels’ that people use to describe various ‘communities’ that they wish to engage in enterprise. In no particular order – and garnered from a number of policy/strategy type documents on the subject here we go:

  1. women
  2. people with low educational attainment/skills
  3. people with disabilities
  4. single parents
  5. recent immigrants
  6. people living in neighbourhoods with high rates of worklessness
  7. people living in neighbourhoods with low rates of enterprise
  8. people who have been long term unemployed
  9. black and minority ethnic (BME) groups
  10. incapacity benefit claimants
  11. ex-offenders
  12. people at risk of offending
  13. young people

Feel free to add your own ‘communities of interest’ using the comments box.

  • Can these labels help us with engagement? If so, how?
  • Do they hold clues that can help us to think about our approach to engagement?
  • How we design workshops, leaflets, posters etc?
  • Who we spend time with?
  • Where we choose to go?
  • What do we need to be like personally and as a service if people from these communities are to invite our help?
  • How do we go about winning an invitation?
  • Do the labels serve any purpose when we are face to face with a potential client?
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