New social entrepreneurs in residence are good for business

Centre For Entrepreneurial Learning Appoints Pioneers in field

The rise of the social entrepreneur represents an exciting challenge to current thinking about the role of business, particularly how to blend commercial and social values. There are a number of models emerging that have done this successfully.  To share this best practice, the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) based at Cambridge Judge Business School, has appointed two social enterprise pioneers – Dr Neil Stott and Tim Jones – as new social Entrepreneurs in Residence to give students the benefits of their experiences and insights.

Dr Neil Stott

Neil Stott is Chief Executive of the Keystone Development Trust, he developed a sustainability plan that moved the trust from a position where it was 99 percent public funded four years ago to 80 percent earned income as it is today. He says social enterprise is on the rise due to a number of factors:

“The desire to make a difference in challenging times and provide new opportunities for disadvantaged people and places is a key reason. Government policy has recently emphasised social enterprise and provided resources for experimentation and organisational transformation and this has provided new mechanisms for recycling profits into social action.

“However, necessity is also a key motivator.  With increasing public austerity, many charities or community organisations are forced to find alternatives means to raise income to achieve organisational purpose. This is creating new demands on their management teams and that is why programmes such as those developed by CfEL are so valuable for sharing best practice.”

Tim Jones - new Social Entrepreneur in Residence

Tim Jones, Chief Executive of the charitable organisation Allia, has pioneered the development of a new type of bond; it has raised £20m through social and charitable bonds over the last 13 years.  The latest, a social impact bond helps fund a project intensive support for young people with behavioural problems and promises a 12 percent return on investment.

The organisation provides a range of support for social entrepreneurs, since 2001 it has helped create 200 businesses and enabled 40 charities to develop sustainable business models.

For Tim – who built and then sold a successful business based on his own invention – supporting others develop their own businesses is ‘enormously rewarding’ with each day creating a ‘new set of challenges’.

“Behind every successful enterprise there is a good idea.’ He says.  “‘Ideation’ the process of formulating and developing these from their initial concept is exciting. At Allia we support businesses at every stage from first thoughts through to floatation on the stock exchange.”

Tim is also Chairman of Treatt PLC, a listed company with international operations that supplies flavour and fragrance products. The plant-based products are produced on fair trade principles helping small farmers gain a sustainable living. Treatt shows that operating on ethical principles doesn’t need to compromise growth.

Tim sees his role as Entrepreneur in Residence as making his knowledge available to students through coaching, mentoring and the occasional presentation.

“To be a successful social entrepreneur you need the same skill sets as a traditional entrepreneur but also you need to understand the legislative environment, for example how to set up a board, how to conform to the Charities Commission regulations and those of the Financial Services Act.  There is a lot more to get right.”

Neil agrees, “Passion is abundant.  The struggle is to turn ideas into viable businesses often working with limited resources and clients or customers with limited income. Social entrepreneurs face numerous problems, not least how to overcome the tensions created by blending social and commercial values.  They also require empathy, a sense of social justice, ethics and how to operate in multiple worlds with different languages and values simultaneously: business, public and NGO’s.”

Dr Joanna Mills, the Programme Director for the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship at CfEL says the working knowledge of entrepreneurs is invaluable to the programme and the centre greatly appreciates the contribution that Tim and Neil will make to the learning experience of students

“The Entrepreneurs in Residence are appointed on a pro bono basis. They mentor students through business plan competitions and courses, are available for panels, share their experiences and insights for workshops, presentations, case studies. They act as ambassadors to advance the work of the CfEL – it’s vision and mission.”

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Notes for editors follow 

Media contact; Rachel Holdsworth and Nina Beadle at Holdsworth Associates PR Consultancy.  Email: Tel: +44(0) 1954 202 789

About Tim Jones

View biography at

About Neil Stott

View biography at

About the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL)

The Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL), based at Cambridge Judge Business School, aims to spread the spirit of enterprise to both the University of Cambridge community and to wider national and international audiences through the creation and delivery of a range of educational activities that inspire and build skills in the practise of Entrepreneurship.

One of CfEL’s key teaching values is that the best people to teach entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs. This philosophy has led to the Centre collaborating with a network of over 300 experienced entrepreneurs, innovators and other practitioners to provide relevant, credible and practical training.

The Centre has developed an enviable track record in the field of entrepreneurship education with a number of flagship programmes designed to provide skills for students, graduates, researchers and aspiring entrepreneurs from different backgrounds and at different stages of the entrepreneurial journey. These programmes areEnterpriseTuesday, ETECH Projects, Ignite, Enterprisers and the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship.

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 766900; Email:; Web:

About Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Cambridge JudgeBusinessSchoolis internationally recognised as one of the leading providers of innovative, intellectually challenging and practical business management education across a portfolio of undergraduate, graduate and executive programmes. As a fully integrated department of a world-renowned university,Cambridge JudgeBusinessSchoolhosts one of the largest concentrations of interdisciplinary business and management research activity inEurope. Built on an ethos of collaboration, the School is a unique place where policy makers, regulators, industry leaders, not for profit organisations, entrepreneurs and academics can meet, interact and share ideas.

Cambridge JudgeBusinessSchooldelivers business education for the 21st Century networked economy, fostering collaborative leadership skills, developing communities of partners to meet the challenges of the new global business landscape. Ranked joint 16th in the 2013 FT Global Rankings of business schools, 33rd in the 2011 Economist Intelligence Unit Global MBA Rankings, 10th in the Bloomberg Businessweek 2010 Best International Business School Rankings and 5th in the 2011 Forbes Global Rankings for one-year MBA programmes, the Cambridge MBA sits alongside the very best in the world.

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