Mast Aladewolu is the CEO / Founder of Mastroe. Mast left his career in Business Systems Consulting to focus on his lifelong vision of Strategic Poverty Relief using Enterprise models.
Mast is a Business Systems Consultant and has several years of experience with multinationals in the manufacturing, Retail, Pharmaceuticals and Service sectors. His experience covers Logistics, Manufacturing, Sales, Purchasing, Finance & Controlling, Warehousing, Business Intelligence and technical areas like EDI Interfacing and Web Integration.
Some of the companies he worked for include The Big Food Group – Booker, Woodwards, Iceland, Britvic Soft Drinks – Pepsi Cola, Astellas Pharma, Movianto where he worked as a Senior Specialist Applications consultant and Cocacola. Some of the companies he contracted for include Pink Roccade, Axon Consulting and Cap Gemini.
He has a BSc (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nottingham and a Masters degree in I.T and Management from Sheffield Hallam University.
“I love helping people. I used to think and talk about these strategies all the time knowing the potential of helping thousands of people not just in the UK but around the world. I grew in a country with millions people – many of them graduates that spend years learning only to realise that they cannot get a job or improve their situation. I started to think about these strategies from around the age of 14. I was blessed to be able to achieve the majority of my goals at an early age and ultimately decided to pursue the Mastroe vision full time. I particularly enjoy observing the transformation in the lives of our beneficiaries and still get very excited when I see a Mastroe trained beneficiaries in work around the town. We are however aware that there is still a lot to be done.”
- Questions’s Listed Below
Question: What makes Mastroe different and unique?
Something unique does not have to be entirely new. I would describe Mastroe as “innovative” as it combines existing strategies to create a new – unique idea to better solve a new or existing problem.
At Mastroe we combined the strategies for Education & Training, Business & Enterprise as well as charity to create a unique Social Enterprise model. Mastroe uses a unique combination of training and enterprise to upskill, empower, develop and ultimately help individuals into work and other opportunities.
Mastroe is actually a Training organisation that has an Enterprise attached. There are many unique benefits to this hybrid model but I will mention a few here.
- The practical nature of the training means trainees & Beneficiaries can learn and apply their learning within weeks / months what will normally take years and cost thousands to learn.
- Beneficiaries can recieve practical training but have the opportunity for work experience within the same organisation. This is important as employers usually value experience
- Organisations can send their beneficiaries to Mastroe for work place experience and the extra step required to bridge the gap into employment.
- Mastroe helps to provide access to industry equipment and software that will otherwise be unaffordable and when required provide a plan to help the individuals structure their development.
- With the increasing difficulty in attaining grant funding, Mastroe projects can become self funding within relatively short periods of time. Mastroe social enterprises provide an ability to raise funds internally. Internally generated funds coupled with donations and grant funding can help Mastroe to help and support more people.
When we setup Mastroe, we simply wanted to conmbine enterprise and training together. Above are some of the advantages that we have percieved since starting to run the social enterprise.
Question: Can You Please Provide Examples of How Mastroe Has Helped?
We have so far trained a lot of people so we have many examples but I will give two examples that complement your first question above.
- LC was unemployed for around 12 years when she came to Mastroe. She was very creative and ultimately went on our creative work experience programme after completing our starter programme that focusses on work skills and behaviour in the workplace. LC on completing the programme is now in full time employment as a graphic designer in Bedford.
- Mastroe has helped a lot of people over the years. I believe you can click here to read some of their stories.
Question: Why Did You Setup Mastroe?
Like I said, I got the idea for Mastroe at the age of 14 and Initially started thinking about these strategies because I grew up in a country where there was poverty all around me. As I began to look carefully at the figures, I realised that the problem was not just local but global – around the world 1.4 billion people live on less than $1 a day, over 3 billion on less than $2.50 a day and over 80% of humanity on less than $10 a day. For many these are just figures and statistics but for me, this is heart breaking. Its one of those visions that become a mission as one realises its importance.
My personal goal is to help 1 million marginalised people by the age of 70. However if I am able to help just 1 person – it will still have been worth the effort.
Question: How difficult was it to leave your career to start Mastroe?
I believe that life has an easy wide path that most thread. Unfortunately on all sides of that path there is risk, uncertaintly and fear. Most of us are risk averse and dislike any form of pain so we stick to and enjoy the comforts of the easy wide path. For me the vision was about how many lives I could impact and positively affect. It was a vision that was based on love and compassion. For me the real risk was not starting.
Was it difficult? initially it was not too difficult as my father helped to develop a personal philosophy where value of life came from how many people we have helped and how many lives we have touched rather than from the accumulation of wealth or other things like that. I am also a Christian so that really helped. However, I had recently got married and had our first baby on the way with little or no funds to start. When people see Mastroe now, it is difficult to imagine that we started with very little.
Question: Would You Have Started Mastroe if you were not a Christian?
To be honest the answer is No. The risks for leaving my career to set up Mastroe was very high and the physical rewards for me personally were very low because Mastroe is set up in a way that mainly benefits our beneficiaries. As a Christian one has to first learn and understand Faith, Hope and ultimately Love which is the selfless act of prioritising the needs of others. This is what we are doing at Mastroe.
Question: How did you come up with the name ‘Mastroe’?
In trying to come up with a name we focused on what we wanted our beneficiaries to become after their time with us. Words like Emancipated, Empowered, Aspire, Transcend, Expert came up but we finally agreed with Maestro – which can mean, expert, talent, whiz – however the name maestro was already taken so we moved the letter “e” to the end to create ‘Mastroe‘. And the logo “Emancipated” represents a person in flight.
Question: How have you found the charity sector so far?
Great People sacrificing a lot and doing so much to Help with very little.
Unfortunately, there has not been much funding available and I believe that has affected so many charities and many are trying and doing what they can to survive. I wish there was something I could do to help.
However, I think more charities should work together and help each other – I believe we are stronger together.
We have recently been in contact with some really caring charities and individuals who have been very helpful, supportive and who themselves are really motivated to help and bring lasting change to our community.
I am very grateful and thankful to all charities, funders, individuals and volunteers who have helped and supported Mastroe so far.