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Anna Nelson

Meet Anna – Strategic Change Manager at the social innovation organization Inkludera. Anna is an SSE graduate from the BSc program in Business & Economics and MSc program in Business & Management.

Describe your role and what you do?

I work as a Strategic Change Manager at a non-profit organization called Inkludera.  Inkludera selects and works with strong social innovations developed at the grass root level. Together with the entrepreneurs we build financially sustainable and scalable organisations. Our aim is that new ideas become national solutions.

My role includes all the work that it takes to build a financially sustainable and scalable organisation – for example business development, pricing, sales strategy and ensuring sustainable financing. For me, the role offers the rewarding combination of challenging tasks and a meaningful purpose.

What inspired you to work with social innovation?

I have always been very interested in how to challenge social structures and I have always been inspired by how all people, no matter their prerequisites, can innovate and become entrepreneurs. During my MSc thesis that I wrote in Kenya, I met a woman from Nairobi who quit her well-paid bank job to start a midwife clinic in the middle of the slum. Her entrepreneurial journey from identifying a problem (women having to travel far to give birth) to investing all that she had in the solution was extremely brave, touching and inspiring! To be able to work with brave and passionate entrepreneurs just like her, and to be a small part of their solution, is truly amazing!

How did your education at SSE help you get to where you are in your career?

The first things that come to mind is business sense and analytical thinking. My education at SSE has helped me gather the knowledge, tools and skills necessary to be able to quickly assess an industry or a specific organization. In that way, SSE has given me a wide and solid foundation to rely on when faced with high complexity and ill-defined tasks.  

What have you learned in the past few years that has contributed to your success?

One thing that I have improved over the years is time management. At the beginning of my studies at SSE, I was not really able to accurately estimate how much time different tasks would require. However, with experience, I’ve become better at estimating how much time a task will actually take – which is invaluable in a business context.

What advice would you give to students considering applying to SSE?

Dare to question what you really want out of life and do not just do what all your peers are doing. After my studies at SSE, I initially went into management consulting, which is known to be one of the best ways to start a career. What everyone forgets to mention is that it is not always the best way to start a career for everyone. Sure, it was challenging and interesting work – but it was not my passion. That’s when I realized I had to think about what my passion is and what purpose I truly want to dedicate my time and career to. For me, that is social innovation!

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