The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School announced today that it has appointed two social enterprise pioneers as Entrepreneurs in Residence for its Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning to give students the benefit of their expertise.
One of whom is the CEO of Keystone Development Trust, Neil Stott, who has developed a sustainability plan that transitioned the trust from a point when it was 99 percent public funded four years ago to 80 percent earned income as it is today.
“With increasing public austerity, many charities or community organisations are forced to find alternatives means to raise income to achieve organisational purpose. This is creating new demands on their management teams and that is why programmes such as those developed by CfEL are so valuable for sharing best practice,” said Stott in a statement.
The other is Tim Jones, who is the CEO of charitable organization Allia and has pioneered the development of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs). On February 4, Allia launched the Future for Children Bond to support young people. It’s the first SIB for retail investors and promises a 12 percent return on investment.
“Behind every successful enterprise there is a good idea,” said Jones, who built and sold a successful business based on his own invention. “The process of formulating and developing these from their initial concept is exciting.”
“To be a successful social entrepreneur you need the same skill sets as a traditional entrepreneur but also you need to understand the legislative environment, for example how to set up a board, how to conform to the Charities Commission regulations and those of the Financial Services Act. There is a lot more to get right.”
Stott agrees, “Passion is abundant. The struggle is to turn ideas into viable businesses often working with limited resources and clients or customers with limited income. Social entrepreneurs face numerous problems, not least how to overcome the tensions created by blending social and commercial values. They also require empathy, a sense of social justice, ethics and how to operate in multiple worlds with different languages and values simultaneously: business, public and NGO’s.”
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