Kasia Owczarek was seven years old when she arrived in Paisley. Originally from Poland she didn’t speak much English. Kasia always carried with her that feeling of struggling to understand what other people were saying and trying to access the services she needed.

Working at Renfrewshire Council she understood the challenge new residents have, but also knew the challenges of providing translators across all of the Council’s services. At a cost of £174 an hour it simply wasn’t feasible. But she had an idea. What if they could design a model that upskilled local residents and provided them sessional work?

Through her participation in our Intrapreneurship Programme Kasia has prototyped this radical business model across six schools in Paisley. She has reduced costs by 61%, created employment opportunities and allowed kids like her the opportunities she didn’t have. The Council are now looking at how they scale this idea across the organisation and beyond.