Having conversed and had numerous correspondences with Robert Ashton, finally we meet in person. Our chosen meeting place, 06 St Chads Place in Kings Cross really helped set the tone for our lovely morning coffee. It is a light-filled, brick Victorian warehouse with high ceiling, railway murals and eclectic all-day menu. You know what they say about how first impression counts? Well, I think he was rather impressed with this new found venue.
If you do not know Robert Ashton, he is well known as the barefoot social entrepreneur, a leading small business troubleshooter, thought provoking speaker and a bestselling author of many business books including How to Start a Business for Entrepreneurs, Instant Entrepreneur and The Entrepreneur’s Book of Checklists. He’s even got his own website which you can check out here: http://www.robertashton.co.uk/
We really could not have a more equipped Keynote Speaker to open and chair the 2015 Social Enterprise Conference in October. We’d shared many stories, from our corporate work, celebrating mile stone birthdays, to the love of running and of course nothing escaped the topic of social entrepreneurship. However, not to get too off track, I did manage to get my key questions in. So here we are:
What excites you about working in Social Enterprise?
The opportunity to become the change I want to see in the world, plus as a writer, the chance to help others deliver the social impact that they feel driven to deliver. And of course as a social entrepreneur I set out to do all of this in ways that can quickly become self financing.
What is your current focus or mission right now?
Right now I’m focused on growing my own social business, Swarm Apprenticeships. I’ve recruited a brilliant MD to lead the team & with support from Big Issue Invest we’re already changing lives andhelping young people prove their worth.
What do you plan to share with the audience?
Gosh, I’ll probably share more than I intend to about the ups and downs of my social enterprise journeys! Perhaps my most important point will be to encourage delegates to strike that happy balance between delivering what funders demand & their conscience says is required of them.
What will be the one piece of advice you will give to a Social Entrepreneur?
You have a golden opportunity to really make a difference to something you feel passionate about. Don’t lose faith when you hit the inevitable barriers, but equally, never risk more than you can afford to lose. Your beneficiaries need you to be healthy, happy and solvent so don’t neglect your own wellbeing for that of others.
Why should people attend?
This is a day when the right people, will assemble in the right place, united in their commitment to do the right things. It’s not about the usual suspects offering the usual solutions. It’s about everyone in the room helping each other create a better future for us all. The conference is the beginning of an exciting journey; come prepared to travel further than you thought was possible
To join Robert and many other speakers, please make sure you get your ticket via the registration page today: http://www.socialenterpriseconference.info/tickets/
We are looking forward to an unconference!
by Lily Chong
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