What is it like to work in Social Enterprise?

Richard tells some stories of working in social innovation and with social entrepreneurs in the UK, to potential students of the first Integrated Business and Humanities class at McMaster University, Canada.

  

If you’d just like to read what I said, I have included the full transcript here:

I have supported many social enterprises since 2010 

(I would like to talk to about..) the kind of social innovation and social enterprises that I worked in over the last 6 years, to give you some ideas of the kind of interesting organizations that perhaps you’ll go on to work with, support or start after this course. 

As you can tell from my accent, I’m not from Canada. I’m actually from a small island called the Isle of Man but that’s a story for another time.

I was working in London from about 2010 until recently, supporting many social enterprises, and I’d like to tell you some examples of that work that hopefully you’ll find interesting and inspiring.  Continue reading

How I Built a Location Independent Business

I love supporting people to create and grow their businesses. For the last two years, I’ve quietly been taking my own advice.

In early 2015 I started looking for more ways to grow my own business. I wanted to create something not only of value to my customers but that I could also happily work on from anywhere in the world. And would you believe, I did it.  Right now, I can run a profitable business from anywhere with a wifi.

What’s the business? Inspiring Adventures, of course!

Inspiring Adventures now makes travelling easier and safer. I know that simple precautions can save time and money later. That’s why I have started by offering a range of products that help protect and organise your most valuable goods on your travels.

The main way I reach customers is via Amazon in the UK and the USA.  I shop on Amazon, and probably you do too, so it makes sense to also be selling my products there. For my British readers, I’m afraid my website does link to the US version of Amazon, but most of the products are available in the UK too!

This business has given me the opportunity to work for myself from anywhere in the world.  And this year, we are also aiming to plant 1000 trees for our customers.  I hope I can plant a tree for you!

How I started – Inspiration! 

I found out about this opportunity two years ago.  As mentioned in this blog, I went to Bali.  I met lots of great people, including those that helped me publish my book. I also met an entrepreneur selling his products online, and he helped me learn how to get started.  He still helps me to this day – Thanks J B!

Together with a small group of entrepreneurs, we launched our businesses together in 2015, helped each other find our stride in 2016, and continue to help each other grow in 2017.

There are always challenges with every business, and with every business model, and I continue to face these every day.  That’s part of the learning and growth that entrepreneurs love.

Is there something stopping you?

If this kind of business is something that you’d like in your life, this short story is my inspiration to you. You can grow a business, work from multiple locations, on your own schedule, it is possible. It’s not always easy and straightforward, but it is possible. And once you know it’s possible, you can work towards it.

Stay strong, and take action!

If you want to learn more, let me know in the comments below 🙂

Your next travel inspiration is now on Amazon – My New Brazil Travel Guide

Do you want to know where you can swim with enormous fish in crystal clear hidden rivers, without harming the ecosystem? Or how you can safely visit the inner city favelas, and help support the people that live there at the same time?

Perhaps you’d like to stay at the most beautiful hotels and guesthouses in Brazil while knowing that your choice is benefiting the local community and environment?

Remarkable experiences like these might not be obvious to find on the front page of a traditional tourist guide, so I selected them in my book for you to enjoy the most of your stay in the largest country of South America.

And if you are not travelling right now, the adventures and stories will entertain and encourage you to get planning and start packing!Tucan

I have published a collection of my travel stories from around Brazil and produced a new type of travel guide. I’m very proud of it, and I’m happy to say that it’s available now everywhere on Amazon.

If you are in the UK – Find it here

Or the USA – Find it here

Continue reading

6 simple things that give you more energy right now!

Would you like to have unlimited energy every day?  Would it mean you’d exercise more? Play and travel more? Give more to your work? Use it to inspire, motivate and connect with more people?

Below is my list of top tips from some of the recent health and energy programmes I’ve been on, including the juice fast at YogaBarn in Bali. and Unleash The Power Within, (UPW). They are working for me, and they might just work for you too!

Why not pick one and give it a try? Or pick all seven and you’ll be on an unstoppable force of nature.

1. Move more!

The fastest way to change your energy is to move! Change your physical state. Act like you have energy, and you will feel it. Try it now. Stand up! Shake your body, put your hands in the air and jump a few times! You’ve been sitting down too long anyway. If you are feeling brave, shout “I FREAKIN ROCK” as loud as you can too! That will wake you up.

Your physiology has a profound impact on your psychology. You already know this, right?  Tony Robbins knows it too. That’s why he had us up, jumping, dancing and shouting regularly for 4 days during UPW.  Here’s my video of us at 9 Saturday morning. We look a little crazy don’t we, but we had energy!

2. Breathe more!

The yogis amongst you will have been practising this one for a while. They call it pranayama. It can be as simple as sitting still and breathing deeply into your stomach for a few breaths, to specific breathing patterns, regularly throughout the day.  My preferred pattern uses the ratio of 1:4:2. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 16, exhale for 8, repeated 10 times. (Listen to Tony describe the 4 in 4 out version here at 1:10:30)  Depending on the pattern you use, It’s an instant de-stressor and energiser!

3. Poop more!

Continue reading

Why detox and juice fast? Because you don’t want these little guys inside you

I’d never done a juice fast before.  I need to eat every three hours just to stay alive. 6 small meals a day, right? Seven days with no food? How am I going to do that? Why am I going to do that?

I don’t need to lose weight. I eat a normal healthy diet. What am I going to get out of it? And what is it going to get out of me? That was a big surprise.

The most fascinating part of a fast is not just the lack of what goes in one end, but sometimes it’s the observations of what comes out the other.

Continue reading

How to Live and Work in Bali

3°C and snow.

Snow

London Snow

That’s what I woke up to on 3rd February 2015 in London. Not that unusual I suppose, it is winter after all. Winter in London. Then I smile. I know that from today, I’m going to Bali for 6 weeks.

I’m going for a number of reasons. Because I want to. Because I can. Because I’ve just finished a big project helping social entrepreneurs become investment ready.  Because other entrepreneurs are going to be there too, working on their businesses. Because I want to take care of my health. Because I want to learn new skills, have new experiences, make new friends and meet new role models.

I love my life, work and friends in London, but it’s great to be able to spend weekends playing on deserted sandy beaches. One of my favourite hobbies.

And here’s a little video update from me: Continue reading

How to raise money for your Social Enterprise

Looking for capital? In collaboration with Impact Hub Westminster, I’m running their first ever Impact Investment Readiness programme. We designed it to help social entrepreneurs find impact investment within the next 12 months. participants-2-500x500

In October 2014, we took our first cohort through the programme (pictured above), and got some great feedback.  If you are a social enterprise based in London, you can apply for the free programme until December 1st 2014.

Below you’ll find just a taste of some of the skills, tips and tricks that the #SocEnt startups were able to learn, and put into practice on the programme.

Play at the right level

You’ve heard of crowdfunding, you’ve watched Dragon’s Den, and you know you could get a loan from the bank. But which is right for you now?

Paul Grant talks about the different levels of the funding game. Continue reading

How to inspire young people for 30 years – The Venture Centre

It turns out I might have been inspired to start this blog more than 20 years ago, and this story goes back even further than that.

This summer, I spent time on deserted beaches, lush hillsides, and walking in an unusual way up a beautiful glen in the Isle of Man.

And it’s not just me that thinks it’s special.

Biosphere Vannin

I was happy to learn that the Isle of Man is preparing to become a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

No, this doesn’t mean it’ll have a huge dome placed over the top of it, and the government will preserve it as it is for the next 100 years.

It means that the Island has a balanced and diverse mix of ecosystem and population, and that it’s worth well managing that mix.

Biosphere reserves are places where nature can flourish and the local economy can grow. I’m looking forward to seeing this project develop, especially as it will almost certainly help outdoor adventure and education organisations like the Venture Centre.

For more details and videos, go to the brand new Isle of Man Biosphere Vannin website.

The Venture Centre

About the same time as I was becoming a 13-year-old social investor, I visited the Venture Centre with school friends. Continue reading