For around a decade now, Dffrnt (previously known as Yena) has focused specifically on unlocking opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to get started in the world of business. 

It’s been a fulfilling journey, we’ve seen literally thousands of individuals through our community, including some incredible successes. 

Locally speaking, many a Bristol success story has origins that include some time spent in the room at one of the meetups (where the first exposure to what we do often begins) – Office Pantry, Caleño Drinks, Ecologi, SR2, Novel Wines, Canned Wine Co., Wriggle, Enviral, tumelo, to name just a few! 

However, times change, as does the world and what it needs. And so our business must change too. 

Over the past decade, I’ve observed a number of interesting factors that connect those in our community and what makes them different.

Somewhat paradoxically, it’s the fact that those within our community are aspiring to be, or are already doing ‘something different’ to that of their peers, that inherently connects them.

They’re contrarians. They’re ‘rebels’, though ones invariably with a cause. 

But how do you nurture difference? How do you develop… ‘conscious rebels’?! 

In our bid to continuously develop an ecosystem that supports the next wave of leaders, we’re now refocusing our sights on specifically developing the super-skills that exist between the more obvious technical specialisms that enable those within our community to realise and utilise the differences they naturally posess. The things that make for great leaders, great managers, great founders, great staff. 


Soft Skills and our Supporters Initiative

Through a new curriculum of premium content, ongoing community connections and regular virtual events & interviews, we’ll begin to refine and unlock the soft-skills that enable the next wave of leaders across industries; doubling down on work we previously hadn’t realised we were already doing. 

We’ll teach people about the power of personal brands, how to present well, good time management, decision-making, psychology, sales and more and, in doing so, help develop skills that are often left untouched by traditional education systems, workplaces and even modern incubators. 

Moreover, thanks to new key partner relationships and specifically our new Supporters Initiative we’ll be doing this not just for those who already have the ability to access our services but for everyone who needs us. 

In addition to the ability to subscribe to Dffrnt as members have always been able to do, we’re now partnering with brands to provide free memberships to those who might otherwise not have access to our community. While our pricing remains as affordable as possible, this still is a barrier for some and in a bid to remove this completely, we recognised an opportunity to work with brands to unlock this opportunity for all. 

Companies are now pledging their annual support for a number of members, via sponsored memberships, which we will gift each year, via reputable organisations relevant to their company agenda, often aligned with DE&I and recruitment initiatives, in order to deliver measurable impact in partnership with companies that truly care, while developing a generation of greater talent, and inherently improving access to opportunities for them. 

Thanks to our inaugural partners, Atomic Smash, Basekit, FD Works and Fuelled, we’re going to be providing 50 free memberships to kick off the Supporters Initiative, and we’re delighted to be doing this in partnership with Codebase, starting this International Women’s Day, where the recipients will all be women working or seeking careers in technology. 

Over the next year, these individuals will get access to our content, community & events and be able to grow their skills & networks to markedly improve opportunities in their careers & business aspirations as a result. 

Stay tuned over the coming year as we track the progress of the recipients with our partners and hopefully see some brilliant success stories as a result. 

Our mission to deliver 1,000 gifted memberships via charitable organisations begins now and we invite more brands to take the pledge. Join us in developing the next wave of leaders and access a growing pool of incredible talent to help you build brilliant teams too.