‘Make Your Mark’ Campaign - case study

Dean Rhodes Brandon, 17, is a social entrepreneur who combined his love of cinema with his experiences of living with a disability to start a successful business while he was still at school. YourLocalCinema is an information and listings service for ‘accessible’ cinema. He has worked with disability organisations and the film industry to create an audience for accessible cinema and change the lives of thousands of people every year for the better.

Dean was born deaf, which meant that he’d usually have to wait for a captioned video to be released, rather than enjoy a trip to the cinema. His first experience of accessible cinema – subtitled and audio described cinema – was in 2000, when his parents took him to a special captioned viewing of Chicken Run.

When Dean discovered that there were captioned viewings happening across the country, he spotted a gap in the market for a specific listings service and started YourLocalCinema.

“My company spent a lot of time building relationships with useful people in the film and disability fields,” says Dean, “and rather than just campaign we decided early on to work with the film industry to try and build audiences for 'accessible' cinema shows. We also worked with the main groups representing sensory impaired people, to create awareness of access to cinemas for disabled people.”

Dean’s big break came in 2004 when he decided to approach people in the film industry for financial support. He says, “When we started out there were no accessible cinemas, and now there are over 200. We felt it was only fair to ask for financial support, as we were helping to create a new audience for them. They were very happy to help, and our not-for-profit service is now sponsored by, amongst others, the cream of the UK film industry.”

Dean, who is just about to start his A-levels, was a finalist in the Teen category of the Enterprising Young Brits awards 2006, where he was congratulated on his efforts by Gordon Brown.

The Make Your Mark campaign is the national campaign to create an enterprise culture in the UK. It aims to inspire young people in their teens and twenties to have ideas and make them happen. The not-for-profit campaign is backed by an unprecedented coalition of businesses, charities, education bodies and government.

It was founded by the four leading UK business membership organisations – the British Chambers of Commerce, the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors. Their Director Generals sit on Make Your Mark’s board. It is also supported by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and is endorsed by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

National organisations working closely with the campaign include: Arts Council England – Association of Colleges – Black Training and Enterprise Group – Business in the Community – Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform – Department for Children, Schools and Families - Enterprise Education Trust - Learning and Skills Council – National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship - National Education Business Partnership Network – National Federation of Enterprise Agencies – Prowess – Quality Improvement Agency – Scottish Executive – South-East England Development Agency (representing Regional Development Agencies) – Shell LiveWIRE – Social Enterprise Coalition – Specialist Schools and Academies Trust – The Prince’s Trust – UnLtd – Young Enterprise

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