• Social Founder News

    Henry Stewart, Founder of Happy Ltd

    Our October Forum for Hackney Social Founders was inspirational

    Our lead speaker was Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd, a highly successful business that Henry founded in his Hackney bedroom 30 years ago.


    Happy Ltd has been rated among the top 20 workplaces in the UK, in the Financial Times/Great Place to Work institute Best Workplaces awards, for five successive years – as well as the very best company in the country for health and well-being.


    In 2022 Happy Ltd was top 2 in the Best Workplaces (small business section) and top 15 inEurope.


    This event was free for Hackney Founders and business leaders, thanks to support from Hackney Impact and Hackney Council.

    Book now for our next Hackney Impact Forum on December 6th.

    broken image

    Social Founders was awarded a free exhibition stand at the 3-day ChangeNOW Summit in Paris's Grand Palais in May 2023 by INSEAD's Impact Entrepreneurship Programme and the Cartier Women's Initiative .


    A non-stop stream of social impact founders came up to our stand to find out about us and join our network.


    The ChangeNOW Summit was amazing - with speakers, exhibitors and participants from all over the world, and 25,000 visitors across the 3 days.


    Many congratulations to the ChangeNOW Founder and CEO Santiago Lefebre, and a big thank you to INSEAD and Cartier Women's Initiative for your support for our network.


    To send us your Social Founder news, resources and stories: email caroline@socialfounder.org or post on our Facebook page.


    Sign up to our Newsletter now

    to hear about future events, features and Social Founder Stories

    Thank you!

    broken image

    Social founders from across London joined us in person for our fourth London Social Founders Forum in May 2023.


    Our three powerful speakers were

    Sara Nathan, Founder & Trustee, Refugees at Home.

    Nathaniel Peat, Founder & CEO, The Safety Box, and

    Margaret McCabe, Founder & Group CEO, Debate Mate.


    Hosted in EY's iconic Vista Suite, looking out over the River Thames, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, the event brought together 40 social founders in person for inspiration and connections, resilience and renewal - and a delicious breakfast!


    We were welcomed by Lynn Rattigan, COO of EY UK & Ireland, who spoke movingly about her own career journey and her passion to co-found the EY Foundation.


    And we loved hearing from Michelle Morgan, Founder of PJoys and Livity, and one of our previous speakers, about her new book Own Your Awkward.


    To send us your Social Founder news, resources and stories: email caroline@socialfounder.org or post on our Facebook page.

    Sign up to our Newsletter now 

    to hear about future events, features and Social Founder Stories

    Thank you!

    Mete Coban, founder of My Life My Say charity, with Kome Onuasu and Yvonne Lawson

    In March 2023, 30 social founders from Hackney, London, joined us to hear an in-depth and fascinating talk from Mete Coban MBE, founder of Hackney-based, and now global, youth charity My Life My Say. 

    My Life My Say is a youth-based non-partisan movement on a mission to change the culture of democracy and get every single young person voting. They work with the UK government, the Mayor of London and the United Nations, and reach over 2 million young people.


    Mete talked openly about the joys and challenges of his founder journey, and gave us useful advice about the importance of focusing on only 2-3 areas, income generation, and working with corporates.

    Thank you to our Hackney sponsors 

    Hackney CVS, Urban MBA, Support When It Matters (SWIM.

    Are you a Hackney Founder?

    Book now to join our 26th October Forum

    broken image



    Local Hackney businesses and cafes donated gifts for the Hackney social founders attending our event on 1st November 2022, to show their appreciation for what local founders do for Hackney communities.


    Gifts for our Hackney social founders included:

    Brunswick East: "Brunch and drinks for 2"

    Cafe Z: 2 vouchers for "Coffee and cake for 2"

    Camia Deli Cafe: "Coffee and cake for 2"

    E5 Bakehouse: Bread-making kit and recipe book

    Luminary Bakery Cafe: £20 voucher

    Marks and Spencer Hackney: Gourmet biscuit tin

    Ozone Coffee Roasters: 4 vouchers for coffee

    Shine Holistic: £20 voucher

    Stoke Newington Bookshop: £20 book token + Hackney Women book.

    Whole Foods Stoke Newington: £20 voucher plus gifts of teas, chocolates and prossecco.


    Belle Epoque Patisserie donated delicious cakes and pastries for our event.



    Hackney Social Founders is sponsored by Hackney CVS, Urban MBA and Support When It Matters (SWIM).


    To send us your Social Founder news, resources and stories: email caroline@socialfounder.org or post on our Facebook page.


    Sign up to our Newsletter now

    to hear about future events, features and Social Founder Stories

     Are you a Hackney Founder?

    Book now to join our 26th October Forum

    broken image

    On 1st November 2022 we held a second Hackney Social Founders event, sponsored by Hackney CVS, Urban MBA and Support When It Matters (SWIM).

    Our guest speakers Joyclen Buffong and Rachel Woolf were inspirational, moving and insightful, generating passionate discussion.

    Read about Joyclen's founder story here, and Rachel's guest blog here.


    Local Hackney businesses donated gifts for the founders attending, to show their appreciation for what our founders do for Hackney communities - see the list of donors in the news story above.


    To send us your Social Founder news, resources and stories: email caroline@socialfounder.org or post on our Facebook page.


    Sign up to our Newsletter now

    to hear about future events, features and Social Founder Stories

     Are you a Hackney Founder?

    Book now to join our 26th October Forum

    broken image

    In 2022 we piloted our first local group for Social Founders, in the London Borough of Hackney.

    We carried out a Hackney-wide survey, interviews and research.

    Read our report about our pilot work in Hackney.

    25 Hackney-based social founders joined us at our first Hackney event to hear from our founder Caroline Diehl, and from local Hackney social founders Peter Merrifield, founder & CEO of Support When It Matters (SWIM Enterprises) and Abdi Hassan, Founder & CEO of Coffee Afrik CIC.


    The group of social founders discussed their founder issues, and whether they might be interested in a local Hackney group of social founders. There was a resounding YES to that, and also to being part of our wider global and UK networks and events.


    Hackney Citizen, the local community newspaper, covered our event - read the feature here.


    "The Social Founder Network is an innovative initiative, that will help to reduce those inequalities by supporting budding founders, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, develop ideas into social impact businesses, putting those with lived experience in the lead allowing them to both prosper, but crucially drive social change. Hackney CVS looks forward to supporting Social Founder Network evolve and seeing the impact this will have for our community." Tony Wong, CEO, Hackney CVS (HCVS)


    "The network is critical; it creates a space for holding conversations, networking and offering in-depth support and partnership." Abdi Hassan, Founder, Coffee Afrik CIC.


    "I'm proud of what I've achieved with Carib Eats but there are areas where I know I need support. It's so helpful to have a community of founders I can talk to." Ali Kakande, Founder, Carib Eats


    Read about the founder journeys of some of our Hackney Social Founders in our Founder Gallery - Featured Founders


    Interested in joining our Hackney group, or creating a local branch in your area? Contact Caroline


    Sign up to our Newsletter now

    to hear about future events, features and Social Founder Stories.

    Are you a Hackney Founder?

    Book now to join our 26th October Forum

    broken image

    Dr James Partridge OBE, one of the founding members of the Social Founder Network, passed away in August 2020 suddenly and unexpectedly. We are heartbroken. James leaves behind a legacy of life-changing work and devotion to others, as the pioneer behind the face equality movement.


    James was Founder Director of ​Face Equality International, and for over 25 years was Founder CEO of UK charity Changing Faces​. He recently launched his memoir, manual and manifesto as a driving force behind the face equality movement: ​FACE IT: Facial Disfigurement and My Fight for Face Equality​, published on 15th June 2020.


    Professor Tom Shakespeare FBA​ (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) says: "Always honest, never dull, this wonderful book tells the engrossing story of one's man's journey through life with facial disfigurement. More than that: it shows how someone can change society for the better, and leave us all better off as a result."

    Listen to our in-depth podcast interview with James here

    Read James' blog for Social Founders here

    broken image

    Matilda MacAttram, founder of Black Mental Health UK, has been awarded an OBE. Congratulations!


    After 14 years at the helm of her charity, Matilda is stepping back to develop lines of accessories drawing inspiration from the traditional kente fabrics of Ghana. "It’s something that’s creative and fun, something that’s good for my mental health and wellbeing,” said Matilda.


    Congratulations Matilda, on all you have done to support Black Mental Health in the UK and we look forward to hearing more about your new line of business!


    Read more about Matilda's work as Founder of Black Mental Health UK in our Founder Gallery here

    broken image

    Majid El Jarroudi - knighted in recognition of his work as a Social Founder in France

    Chevalier de l'Ordre Nationale du Merite

    Majid El Jarroudi has just been appointed to the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre Nationale du Merite - Knight of the Order of Merit - by President Macron of France for his work as Founder Director of ADIVE - Agence pour la Diversite Entrepreneuriale. Majid founded ADIVE in 2009 to support black and minority ethnic young people living in the poorest urban quarters of Paris to become entrepreneurs. He is now an Ashoka Fellow, an Echoing Green fellow, and now a Knight! Felicitations Majid, Congratulations!

    broken image

    Jack Parsons, Founder of The Youth Group, launches new mentoring programme

    The UK's Chief Youth Officer

    Jack Parsons, Founder of The Youth Group, with 39.3k Twitter followers, is probably the youngest social founder in the our Network.


    Jack has sent us his founder story, some useful advice, and news about a new free programme called MentorMe to help young entrepreneurs.

    "Tough times inspired me to start a business and the tough times we are living in right now makes me want to continue and so it should with you too as an entrepreneur.

    My mum had very little money, education and community when I was younger... she was a serial alcoholic. I became her carer at the age of 5, so I had to learn to hustle for her.

    When I grew a little taller and older I said I would build all those things that my mum never had so I can do good and make sure other young people have them.

    I created a business that does just that. I grew that business and now I like to inspire others to do the same.


    In this global crisis, as a young entrepreneur in lockdown thinking about my perspective and the way I look at things, the message I have been sharing with other founders is:

    “When you’re too close to the elephant all you can see is grey, so sometimes it’s about taking a step back and looking at all the perspectives before deciding what action you take.”


    "At The Youth Group we have launched a new free programme called MentorMe to help young entrepreneurs to get the opportunity to speak with new people and some of the most senior business leaders in the country, so if you are looking to build a new conversation and learn from someone for a 45 minute conversation to help with any burning questions, just message me to find out more to help you."

    Follow and message Jack on Twitter or email Jack here. Thanks for your lovely advice Jack!

    broken image

    INSEAD MBA students support social founders.

    INSEAD - The Business School for the World:

    MBA Talent Available for Summer Projects

    We were able to offer MBA interns to our Social Founder Network for the summer of 2020.


    Other MBA support opportunities may come up, so let me know if you are interested. caroline@socialfounder.org


    INSEAD summer intern placements run over 6-8 weeks in July-August.

    Some INSEAD MBA students are keen to use their summer break to contribute to social impact projects. INSEAD is partnering again with the Social Founder Network to find suitable placements for 2021. If your organisation is facing a challenge that could benefit from this help, we can work to match you with an MBA student. The students come from a variety of backgrounds, sectors and geographies, but share a common interest for social and environmental impact. Apart from their proven professional and academic performance, they bring a unique global perspective, shaped by the international nature of the INSEAD MBA and their own experience.


    INSEAD MBA students are among the best in the world. They will have been working for at least 5 years prior to their MBA in senior roles in organisations including Asian Development Bank, McKinsey, Ashoka, CHAI, UNWFP, Omidyar Network. The MBA students come from all over the world, and include 80+ nationalities. For their MBA they are based at INSEAD's Paris and Singapore campuses.

    Average age: 29

    Average number of years of experience: 6

    80+ Nationalities


    Selected functions for 2021 Summer Internships: business development, supply chain analysis, consulting, pricing, impact assessment. The project must be challenging, test the MBA's strategic and leadership skills, and will have to be manageable as a virtual project this year, reporting into a senior manager, CEO and/or founder.

    Selected sectors for the internship: education, agriculture, energy, consumer, healthcare, technology, media - and others.


    Click here to read about Social Impact internships students have previously worked on. And here are 4 examples:

    A Social Impact Assessment Mission (Cambodia) Electrifying Rural Kenya (Kenya) Changing Lives, One House At a Time (The Philippines) My Summer with UNDP (Geneva).

    broken image

    Women for India partners with Social Founder Network on sustainability award

    The 2020 winners of the Women for India Social Founder Award

    Women for India, founded by Shelini Goyal Bhalla, has partnered with the Social Founder Network to launch a new award in India: the Women for India Social Founder Award.


    The award recognises the Founder's exceptional impact, clarity and growth as a social founder dedicated to furthering the SDGs.


    The Award Ceremony took place on 6th March 2020 at the beautiful India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.


    The overall winner was Anju Bisht, founder and director of Saukhyam Reusable Pads. Congratulations Anju!


    Runner up was Dr. Mona Mathur, founder and director of the Million Sparks Foundation.


    Read more about Shelini, Anju, Mona and their work in our Founder Gallery here, where you can also link directly to them and their organisations.


    Shelini, founder of Women for India, wanted to let us know that she has also recently launched Project ZERO. 

    "Project Zero helps institutions go ZERO WASTE (ZW). We work on the vision of sustainability and Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. ZW is an innovative program whose objective is to help institutions divert, recycle, reduce waste, thus adopting the Circular Economy. This helps institutes to reduce their C-footprint by making small but significant changes."


    We look forward to running the Women for India Social Founder Award again next year. Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter to be sure of hearing about the award in time to enter!

    broken image

    To send us your Social Founder news, resources and stories: email caroline@socialfounder.org or post on our Facebook page.


    Sign up to our Newsletter now

    to hear about future events, features and Social Founder Stories

    Thank you!

  • We are recruiting:

    Engagement Lead - Social Founders


    Job description: Engagement Lead, Social Founders.

    Freelance contract – 3-4 days/week for 18 months with likelihood of extension.

    About SocialFounders:

    Social Founders is a global network for and about founders of social impact organisations –
    charities, social enterprises, community groups and for-profits that have
    social impact at their heart. Our mission is to support social impact founders,
    at all stages of their founder journey. Our network includes founders from the
    UK, Japan, US, India, Sri Lanka and Europe. Over the next 12 months we will be growing
    our local network in Hackney and London, across the UK and globally.

    Role description – overview

    As our new Engagement Lead you will be responsible for marketing and promoting Social Founders to our target audiences of founders and to our wider stakeholders.

    You’ll engage them in our work via digital, media and face2face and online events and
    networking, and by creating and sharing inspirational social media, pr,
    creative design, written, audio, video and event content.

    Your main focus will be engaging and supporting social impact founders based in Hackney,
    working closely with our Hackney partners. You’ll also work across our global
    network, engaging and inspiring founders and growing our membership.

    You’ll also lead on managing data to build our network, develop new business and deliver

    Specific tasks

    ·     Creating and enabling inspiring and informative content and campaigns about founders and their stories, about the impact they have and the resources available to them.


    Creating content for social media, web and online, pr/media, slides, documents
    & reports, events etc.

    ·     Supporting, running and promoting a range of events, both face 2 face and online, including creating event content.

    ·     Playing a key role in engagement of target audiences, creating and responding to social media, emails, survey, polls, features etc.

    ·     Managing, growing and enhancing our database of founders and Airtable gallery.

    ·     Building membership andsupporting our network and communities.

    ·     Ensuring best practice for data protection and GDPR for Social Founders, our network and our partners.

    ·     Playing a key role in supporting the delivery of Hackney Social Founders,working closely with our partners to support founders in Hackney, and Hackney’s
    small business and social enterprise ecosystem.

    ·     Having opportunities to lead on developing social founder communities in one or more countriesof your choice, and in UK nations and regions.

    ·     Working with the Director and board to develop new business contracts and strategies
    for impact and growth.

    Person specification:

    Essential skills and experience:

    ·     Proven desire to support and create impact for founders of social impact organisations,
    charities and social enterprises.

    ·     Track record of digital content creation, marketing, audience engagement, audience
    growth, impact delivery and analytics - via social media, newsletters, web
    content and other communications channels. Good experience of design eg Canva,
    plus social media distribution and scheduling.

    ·     Excellent spoken and written English, including ability to write blogs and features,
    newsletters and edit guest blogs and interviews.

    ·     Proven skills in, and passion for using data spreadsheets, CRM and forms (Excel,
    Google Sheets, Airtable etc) and other tech & software relevant to growing
    and maintaining a local to global network, including managing data protection/GDPR.

    ·     Ability to work accurately, creatively and quickly, across creative and admin work, including
    under pressure and to deadlines when required.

    ·     Experience of, and enjoyment in, meeting, engaging and working with a wide range of people
    from different and diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences, at different
    stages in their lives and careers.

    ·     An interest in business development and growth, including the potential to grow
    your own role and responsibilities in our very small organisation.

    ·     Ability to commit to at least a year’s contract, ideally 18 months.


    Desirable skills and experience:

    ·     Technical digital development skills.

    ·     Good spoken and written skills in one or more other languages.

    ·     Hackney resident with good knowledge of Hackney’s diverse communities, small businesses
    and social enterprises.

    Freelance rate, depending on experience, for 3-4 days/week:rt our parallel project: www.ImpactMedia.global


    Freelancerate, depending on experience, for 3-4 days/week: c.£120-160/day, depending on experience. Potential to increase rate and/or hours depending on experience and
    further contracts secured. 5 weeks annual paid holiday (pro rata) at freelance
    rate, to be taken across the year. Mix of in-office and remote working.

    Timings: we are recruiting for this role now, to start work mid-October,

    and will be interviewing with immediate effect – please apply ASAP!

    Ideally for 18 months contract, with potential for extension.

    Please contact: Caroline Diehl MBE, Director, Social Founders: caroline@socialfounder.org

    sending a CV and letter of application, and/or any queries about the role.