THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Innovation and enterprise blog

05 September 2017

Profit with Purpose – Can you make money whilst also making a difference?

The days of profitable business meaning a heartless, soul-less, money-grabbing monolith are long gone. These days, more and more businesses are seeking to make a genuine social or ethical change. Whether through innovation, environmental conscience or simply ‘giving something back’, and in sectors as diverse as food and drink to Fin Tech, the best new businesses know the value of an integrated approach both in terms of consumer appeal and growth prospects and the rise of social enterprise shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, a recent Business & IP Centre survey revealed that 60% of respondents stated that making a ‘social and/ or environmental impact’ was an important motivating factor for their strategy.

In response to this trend, Expert Impact and The British Library Business & IP Centre have partnered to launch a new series of events which explore the question ‘can I make money and still make a difference?’

The new Profit with Purpose series will involve engaging evenings of stories, advice and lessons learnt from entrepreneurs who have created impactful businesses in sectors ranging from the food and drink, education and retail to the healthcare, sciences and tech., sharing their personal experiences of starting and growing a business that has made a positive impact or social change.

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(Cemal Ezal)

Our first evening, ‘The Tastemakers’, takes place on Wednesday 6 September and will be chaired and introduced by award winning business coach and motivational speaker Rasheed Ogunlaru. Throughout the course of the evening we’ll be hearing from a diverse panel of impressive social entrepreneurs:

  • Cemal Ezalfounder of Change Please, a coffee social enterprise, run in connection with the Big Issue, empowers homeless people with the skills, equipment and speciality beans they need to become fully-fledged baristas
  • Jenny Dawson Costa – founder of Rubies in the Rubble, creating award-winning condiments from fruit and veg rejected for being too ripe, the wrong size or a bit ugly. Others see rubble, they see rubies
  • Shaz Shah – founder of Harry Specters, an award winning chocolate company that creates employment for young people with autism
  • Jamie Crummie – co-founder of Too Good To Go, an app that makes it possible to order delicious food from local restaurants, cafes, bakeries and other food businesses, collect it up to an hour before closing time and enjoy on-the-go in an environmentally-friendly TGTG sugarcane box.

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(Jenny Costa-Dawson)

As well as top tips, you can expect the founders to share entertaining insights like their biggest mistakes and to provide answers to your most pressing questions; build on their experience to achieve your own success and improve your social impact.

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(Shaz Shah)

Kendra Walsh, Programme Director at Expert Impact added:

We are delighted to be working with the British Library to deliver this important new event series. Expert Impact helps social entrepreneurs to scale their work and their impact. We do this by connecting them with those who have done it before; advice, support and pertinent introductions from successful entrepreneurs can play a huge part in generating success.

The Business & IP Centre offers a perfect environment where businesses can receive impartial support, learn new skills and get access to a wide range of valuable data and resources which enables them to launch their idea more quickly and make a bigger social impact’. 

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(Jamie Crummie)

The Business & IP Centre are thrilled to support this new initiative to encourage more start-up businesses to consider the social and ethical impact they can make as they turn their business dreams into a reality. Come along on Wednesday 6 September to hear word of wisdom from our ‘Tastemakers’ and don’t forget to check back to our website to be the first to find out about forthcoming events in this series.