Eric Ries, in his book "The Lean Startup", states that mistakes are beneficial to the development process of a new business. However, he says that it is important to fail as soon as possible and to learn as quickly as possible! In other words, entrepreneurs should keep their failures small and should also eliminate them while they are not creating bigger problems..
As much as "social enterprise" is a buzzword these days, there are people who reject this label entirely. 'Reluctant social entrepreneur,' Iqbal Wahhab is one such person. Sitting in Roast Restaurant in Borough Market, London, enjoying a delicious macchiato and the exceptional service of their highly-rated staff, I questioned Iqbal's hesitation to embrace this categorisation of his long-standing work supporting the community.
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.