Social enterprise is a great idea, but still will not, and cannot, replace state social welfare programs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against social enterprise. Indeed, I have worked for social enterprises all my working life and I champion the causes across the University of Northampton in the UK, where I now work. I have started, stopped, advised, been a director of, researched and published about, social enterprises over the last twenty years.
Imagine being able to borrow an Alexander McQueen dress at the click of a button. To step outside on a rainy day and have a car waiting for you. To stay in someone else's New York loft apartment on your holidays, complete with all of the homely finishing touches and recommendations (a corner shop, a bar, a hairdresser) that you need.
Nigel is a veteran and pioneer of social enterprise and social finance; in fact, he was working in these spaces well before they even had names. He is the Chairman of The Big Issue, a social enterprise founded in 1991 enabling homeless individuals in the UK to earn a living, and the CEO of Big Issue Invest, a social investment business founded in 2005 that provides finance to social enterprises.
Leave school, go to college/university, find job in that chosen field, totter up that career ladder, receive pension, retire playing golf, making soup and joining a bridge club. This is what schools drill into us since our first times tables test, and when you don't take this path, you feel like you're on the whacky races with no guidance pit stops and a worrying lack of financial fuel.
The PR agency model is dying - but a shiny new type of PR is emerging; one that will flex to meet the demands of the digital age. More and more PR professionals are going solo, not just here but globally, and over the next ten years it's going to be these independent consultants, rather than the big agencies, who will - like me - be standing behind the most powerful people in the world.