Brown searches for enterprise ambassadors

Brown searches for enterprise ambassadors

Emma Thelwell
Daily Telegraph

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is searching for 20 ambassadors to join the ranks of the Social Enterprise Action Plan he launched last year.

In a speech outside Number 10 yesterday, he revealed recruitment plans that will boost the current group of seven ambassadors, which include Big Issue founder John Bird and the first winner of the television show The Apprentice, Tim Campbell.

Mr Brown said the ambassadors will ‘do more to inspire more people across the country to combine their business skills with a desire to deliver lasting social and environmental change’.

At the launch yesterday Ed Miliband, the new Cabinet Office minister, pointed out that only one in four of us know what a social enterprise is. For those in still in the dark, social enterprises are businesses with social and environmental aims, such as Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, Cafe Direct, or The Big Issue.

There are at least 55,000 social enterprises in the UK with a combined turnover of £27bn a year. Social enterprises account for 5pc of all businesses with employees and contribute £8.4bn per year to the UK economy – almost 1pc of annual GDP.

Mr Miliband said: ‘Raising awareness is key to ensuring consumers, investors and entrepreneurs who are motivated by more than money alone know what options are open to them.

‘The ambassadors will take up the gauntlet to open up the opportunities of social enterprise to as many people as possible.’

The Social Enterprise Coalition is the chief delivery partner behind the programme. In a further appeal, the Coalition’s chief executive Jonathan Bland said: ‘If you are passionate about using business to create social change and you can motivate others to feel the same you should apply to be a social enterprise ambassador.