Tamma of Imvelo Ltd was delighted to be invited to support this North East Ambition event.
The North East Ambition programme is brought to the region by the North East LEP, the STEM Ambassador Hub North East, The Edge Foundation, NY Foundation and STEM Learning Ltd and helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) engage effectively with educators and young people to influence careers, impact the curriculum and build industry-relevant skills in our schools, communities and future workforce.
Companies with good CSR are great at incorporating their CSR strategy into their Brand identity. Creating positivity around the brand of the organisation can help to raise the profile and increase customer engagement and satisfaction.
During this event, we will hear how Imvelo Ltd have achieved this, through their great work with young people. With a focus on developing a future workforce that is not only equipped with relevant skills but is also inspired and local, which in turn helps to boost the North East economy.
Tamma is an environmental consultant and trainer who set up her company in 2015. Being from South Africa, she named the company Imvelo which is the Zulu word for the environment. The company is grounded in environmental awareness and this is her passion.
Tamma never thought she’d end up setting up her own business which shows that you never know what the future holds. Tamma is a professional environmental consultant so she’s had to learn all of the other skills needed to run the business, Marketing, in particular, is a key skill which she’s learned as she’s gone along.
The role of environmental consultant has changed over the years as our knowledge and technology has developed. Her company helps other companies to meet the UN sustainable development goals which are centred around the 3 Ps – People, Planet and Prosperity. Each of these get equal effort and energy leading to an equitable, fair and just world. Tamma is there to help companies integrate systems to achieve these goals whilst also making sure that all the relevant legislation is adhered to.
Tamma is focused on the bigger picture of sustainability and this is where her passion lies and where the STEM Ambassador role really comes into play. STEM has always been a passion of hers, even before involvement with RTC and the STEM Ambassador Programme. Her first job was for Newcastle university as a graduate ambassador, working with students in schools to inform them about the options available to them as potential career paths. Her aim was never to push anyone down a specific route, but just increase their awareness and knowledge of what’s available and where their career could lead. Her philosophy is that there’s no hard and fast way of getting to your ultimate goal.
STEM Ambassador volunteering is core to Tamma’s business, and she strives daily to contribute to the UN sustainable goals through her work with clients as well as her own personal achievements. It’s a daily challenge and it’s a moving science and that’s what she loves. Her company’s strategy is linked to the sustainable development goals and through her STEM Ambassador work and gender equality focus she’s able to support this huge passion and bring this topic to the fore.
Recently she’s had more time to think about the impact that being a STEM Ambassador has had on her business and the direct and indirect business benefits it has provided. When Tamma first signed up, her instinct was to go to every event and try it all, but very quickly she realised she must rationalise these activities. Only by being selective could she be successful in her business as well as carry out some inspirational STEM Activity.
At a recent North East Ambition event Tamma stated the reach her ambassador work has given her :
‘Any opportunity you engage in gives you great material for social media and digital marketing. Posts that I’ve posted myself and also other organisations tagging me in are great publicity as it goes to all of their contacts too which engages people and organisations you wouldn’t have reached previously. If the school posts too then that also goes out to all of their contacts and parents who may well share the post so all their contacts and friends see it too and soon it’s gone out to thousands of people. This is a really good way to build a network that care about the same things you do. These posts get far more interactions, likes, retweets etc than any other posts I put on my social media. It has led to media opportunities that I never would have thought possible. I’ve been featured in the Journal twice (I didn’t ask them, they found me) as a result of a post that I’d put out about my work in school. I’ve been invited as a guest to talk on podcasts etc. the reach is huge! This has given me opportunities to get local and national recognition for what I do, and this demonstrates to current and future customers that I live and breathe what I do. I have won and shortlisted for several awards. Having STEM Ambassador stories there to back these up really has helped and gives me some great examples to use. An unexpected benefit was when proactive students have got in touch and asked for work experience and I’ve used this to get expert advice on area of the business where I’m not as strong e.g. marketing. The best business benefit was a couple of years before I set up my company I did a talk at Newcastle uni and spoke at an event. Two years later a student who had been at that event was now working in business and got in touch. I ended up with a business opportunity as a result of that interaction. ‘