21st Century Employers - Meet START

Escape the City aims to connect smart, talented, ambitious professionals with new opportunities at genuinely exciting organisations. But how to define “exciting organisation”?

Introducing “21st Century Employers”

“21st Century Employers” is our new campaign to spotlight the kinds of organisations you’d like to work for. Here we are in the second decade of the 21st Century – faced with massive challenges and even bigger opportunities. The employers of the future are building organisations to meet these challenges.

In this series we are going to celebrate the startups, SMEs, social enterprises, NGOs, charities and corporates (yes them too) building progressive organisations with innovative ways to solve problems, consciously adding sustainable value to the world (through impact, profits & jobs).

Our objective with this campaign is to celebrate employers doing things differently. We hope that by showcasing these organisations (and their jobs) we’ll provide you with the inspiration and tangible information to make a viable career transition to work that matters to you.

21st Century Employer #2 – START

Mission: to educate and engage underprivileged children through the medium of art.
Location: India, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and the UAE

START is exactly the type of organisation that we love to spotlight – an org that is entirely in tune with the focus of its employees and their desire to make a meaningful and quantifiable social impact. With activities spread across the middle east and India, START runs workshops with hugely disadvantaged children, including refugees, orphans and those with special needs. The effort that START puts in has a real impact – with over 1,000 children catered to each week through more than 50 art-based workshops – and it is the strength of this impact that START’s employees find really gratifying.

START workshops focus on using art as a tool to engage and educate children who have faced incredible hardship. For non-verbal, special-needs children in particular, this opportunity to engage through an alternative medium is immensely valuable. START works on the ground in refugee camps, in orphanages and in special needs centers, and helps to inspire children through partnerships with artists – at the same time giving children exposure to activities that they might otherwise not experience, and giving them touchstones to aspire to. The social consciousness of START is pervasive: more than anything, this is an organisation that wants to see evidence of its impact – it wants to see a change in the lives of the children that it works with.

The people that START counts on all believe in the project – these are not employees who are just there to pick up a cheque. “We’re not just working together,” Nicola Lee, START’s Director of Operations told us, “we become a family. And through our work and the medium of art, we help children to heal.” We asked Nicola which organisations she considered to be 21st Century Employers and her answer was indicative of START’s ethos: “any organisation who is working to make a difference and to make something better.”

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Our verdict?

This is a class act organisation whose primary concern is the strength of the positive footprint that it leaves in society. Tirelessly looking to grow its impact and make a real difference to the lives of the children that it supports, START is an org that demonstrates the importance of social consciousness as a facet of the modern employer. For those of you who are looking for a creative role in a forward-thinking non-profit, you could do a lot, lot worse than START as your 21st Century Employer.

Start are currently hiring for an Events and Sponsorship Manager and are always looking for volunteers.

[Which organisations would you love to work for? Who would you like us to profile? Who deserves celebrating as a progressive organisation doing things differently? Comment below to us know.]

[View the 21st Century Employers directory here.]


If you want to receive new Escape the City blog posts directly into your inbox just click here. We write about leaving big corporates, pursuing exciting careers, building businesses, and going on big adventures. We are hard at work over on the main site building Escape Profiles that help people make big career changes and find jobs that matter to them.

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