Everyday legends: the stories of 20 great UK social entrepreneurs

Everyday legends: the stories of 20 great UK social entrepreneurs



James Baderman & Justine Law

WW Publishing: York, 2006


For information on how to buy the book, visit http://www.whatifinnovation.com/Everyday_Legends. On the left hand side of the page is an option to buy the book direct from WhatIf.





What makes a social entrpreneur

The thoughts and theories behind what makes these people special


And what is social entrepreneurship

How the sector combines the best of ‘other worlds’


Who we are and why we’ve written this book

A brief lntroduction to ?What If! and UnLtd


The stories of 20 great UK social entrepreneurs


John Bird – creator of The Big Issue


Reed Paget and Marilyn Smith – bottled water with an ethical twist


Eric Samuels – reducing food poverty on inner-city estates


Jamie Oliver – the nation’s favourite serial social entrepreneur


Eugenie Harvey – inspiring normal people to ‘Change the World for a Fiver’


Norma Redfearn – the head teacher who transformed her community


Carne Ross – a diplomat for new nations and marginalised groups


Fergus Chambers – using high-street techniques to get kids eating healthy food


Amanda and Stephen Argent – revolutionising after-school care in the UK


Gib Bulloch – enabling a commercial consultancy to tackle international development issues


Jo Contino – ensuring The Guardian’s values are ‘lived’ throughout the organisation


Sir Bob Geldof – living saint and self-proclaimed gob shite


Matt Scott – bringing affordable solar lighting to the developing world


Sue Weiland – making it possible to offset your impact on the environment


Trevor Baylis – the inventor of the wind-up radio


Carmel McConnell – providing breakfasts so that school children aren’t too hungry to learn


Siobhan Freegard – providing new mums with a supportive online community


Jonathan Robinson – giving social entrepreneurs the environment they need to flourish


Colin Crooks – saving office furniture from a landfill fate


Tim Smit – creator of the world-famous Eden Project


And one special tale from America

Jordan Kassalow – providing eye care in the developing world


Getting off the sofa!

A few tips on what you can do next


And a big thank you to…

Please take a look at all those people without whom this book wouldn’t have happened



From the Introduction:


What makes a social entrepreneur?


Put simply, social entrepreneurs are people who want to change the world. That doesn’t mean they necessarily develop complex, global solutions to large-scale issues; often, social entrepreneurs simply take a problem in their own community and make a commitment to tackle it. This may lead to something bigger, or it may not; what makes a true social entrepreneur is that they have the will to make a difference, the vision to know how to go about it and the determination to make that vision happen.


And what is social entrepreneurship?


Traditionally, ‘doing good’ has been very much the role of government or the voluntary sector; fully committed people but often bound by rigid and bureaucratic structures. Then you have the business world, for whom doing good tends be limited to ‘doing less bad’, or writing cheques to charities. We find social entrepreneurship really exciting because it represents those traditionally exclusive sectors beginning to overlap, and the best of all three sides meeting in the middle to approach social issues in new ways.


In that middle space you find social entrepreneurs who can combine the heart and commitment of the voluntary world, the scale and remit of government, and the discipline and dynamic nature of the business sector. We’d go so far as to say this is where the ‘nirvana’ of social change is at.