But let’s get back to that stadium in Swansea. I was opening keynote speaker at a conference entitled: ‘Sustainability – not just surviving but growing in recession’. It was a bold objective and the audience eager and willing.
Organiser Bev Garside, founder of training consultancy Empower SVS opened the day with a very personal, passionate message to the audience. This was a self-funded event, free of the often unhelpful influence of a public sector funder. Bev had organised the event because she saw the need and was prepared to take a commercial risk. A risk that I’m glad to say paid off because the day was a great success.
But here’s the rub. Bev’s company is not a CIC but a limited company with shareholders. She’s chosen to work where her company can make a difference, not where the greatest profits can be earned. You only have to meet Bev to see she has the drive and determination of a social entrepreneur. In fact, in my book, she is a social entrepreneur.
You see for the right people, who do the right thing; social entrepreneurship is never for personal profit. You know that because of the choice they have made to ignore more lucrative corporate work to focus on doing what they do. You don’t need a spreadsheet to work out the sacrifice they are making.
So let’s stop trying to tie people like Bev down with structures, kite-marks and procurement rules. Instead let’s look into their eyes, see their fervour and simply trust them to do what you can tell they know is right. Let’s keep it personal!
Robert Ashton is a social entrepreneur, best selling business author and increasingly a Big Society troubleshooter. Follow Robert on Twitter @robertashton1
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This entry was posted on Wednesday 29th February 2012.
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