The A-Z of social enterprise

Posted on: 5 March 2015

One of the things l really love about the work I do is the mentoring of business leaders and social entrepreneurs. I have benefitted so much from the mentors I have had in my life. Opening doors, helping me solve tricky situations, making valuable connections, passing on advice and hard won wisdom – and always first to the bar.

And now I have somehow become the old grey head with 25 years experience – good, bad and bloody awful – of creating, leading, shutting down, investing in and advising social enterprise of many shapes and sizes. I’ve run manufacturing, logistics, recycling and retail social businesses and, with Jamie Oliver, grew Fifteen into a global brand. I help pick winners for two social investment funds with £50 million to back ambitious social entrepreneurs.

I have gathered my advice, warnings, insights and lessons learned into a book The Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z. I wrote it primarily for younger social entrepreneurs and change makers. No grand theories, theological disputations over definitions, canonical conclusions. Rather I deal with the nitty gritty of creating and leading an enterprise. The anxiety, sleepless nights, uncertainty, questions about money, the complexities of purpose,getting business basics right, dealing with failure.  I take a few potshots at the bullshit and hyperbole of the social entrepreneur movement. And there are jokes and a bit of swearing. One reviewer pleased me very much when he wrote : “Liam’s book is just like him; underneath what can be perceived as a hard cover is a truthful, encouraging and humble, yet inspiring, journey which leaves social entrepreneurs like me thinking ‘this is going to be hard, but we can do this'”.



The book is available to Hub members at the special price of £10 plus postage.

If you would like to order a copy please email liamsatoz@pioneerspost quoting reference number 123.

Liam Black

Liam Black is the co-founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Wavelength. He has created and led some dozen social business ventures including Liverpool’s pioneering FRC Group and Fifteen which, with Jamie Oliver, he grew into a global brand. He helped create and now advises two impact venture funds – IVUK and Ignite – and speaks and writes widely on leadership, entrepreneurship and social change. His latest book is The Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z.

Tags: Social Enterprise

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