Social Enterprise, sustainability, and triple bottom line business have been a major focus for ReSource over recent years; we believe that personal and business growth and development go hand in hand – and we’ve been inspired and motivated by Muhammud Yunus and his Grameen Bank example, an enterprise which won Yunus the Nobel Peace Prize; by Lord Andrew Mawson who has been described as ‘Britain’s Social Entrepreneur’ – his groundbreaking Bromley-by-Bow Centre in one of London’s most deprived areas has transformed many lives and been a beacon for better ways of creating cohesive communities; and dedicated people such as Carole Spiers, Ida Horner, Getrude Matshe, who give their time, resources and expertise to projects around the world aimed at helping people to help themselves.
I recently heard Kevin Spacey talk about his projects ‘Old Vic New Voices’ at the Old Vic Theatre to help less privileged young people develop and grow through theatre training workshops and experiences -he described it as ‘sending the lift back down’ to bring up those not yet in a position to fulfill their potential and use their gifts and talents fully. It’s true that these days many people want a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ – and social businesses which offer an opportunity for gainful and worthy employment whilst creating social benefits are a proven way to achieve this.
Later today I’m attending a round table on ‘How to Change Lives with Good Business”, with Sally Reynolds of Social Firms UK giving a heads-up on her perspective as CEO of an organisation championing firms providing opportunities to find sustainable employment in the open labour market for severely disadvantaged people. My involvement with setting up our own humanitarian education and development organisation The ReSource Foundation as a social enterprise, and my recent partnership with a major network of Social Entrepreneurs makes this a highly relevant and topical event – I’ll be reporting with more information soon!
Here’s a brief video giving more information about Social Firms: