In the last of her four discussions with writer and consultant on responsible business Tom Levitt, Linda Lewis probes further into what it means to be a responsible and sustainable business in the 21st century. The two discuss what it is that engages employees within a business setting, the growing phenomenon of “social enterprise”, and how such businesses differ from the mainstream. The role of “purpose” in business is explored; as is the changing nature of investment, which is increasingly being used to support businesses in creating positive social and environmental outcomes. The discussion is further explored from a historical perspective – what can we learn from hindsight that could improve business today?
Linda Lewis and former Labour MP Tom Levitt are back to discuss Tom’s latest book, The Company Citizen: Good for Business, Planet, Nation and Community. In this episode, they focus on the role of businesses in the future of water availability, community, and the economy; and the future of humanity and the environment in general.
The food sector might look like an attractive place to start and grow a business - it certainly did to Joe Chakra of Sloane Brothers. On this week's edition of Company Casebook, Linda Lewis goes behind the scenes to find out more about his frozen yoghurt shops, his search for sites to expand to, and why he wants to become a global ambassador of "British quality, taste, and creamy dairy".
It's been dubbed business class coffee - where art and food science combine. Meet Malaysian-born entrepreneur Kia Boon, who hopes his venture, The New Black, will be the start of a modern-day coffee empire. He joined Linda Lewis on Company Casebook to spill the beans.
Linda meets the team at GapCap, an easy, fast and flexible cashflow solution, facilitating growth for SMEs, by providing capital to fund the gap between what companies are selling and the day the money arrives in the bank
Linda learns the fascinating story of Efoldi, finalist at Voom 2016 this summer, a fold up electric scooter for less able people. It was invented by a woman engineer from Redhill in Surrey, Sumi Wang, and her father. They're just about to go into mass production and the first units go on sale at the end of October.
This week Linda meets the company bringing live music to rooftops, gardens and offices. Little Concert is an online global music marketplace where musicians can sign up to showcase their acts, and music lovers and venues can book artists for parties and events.
They describe themselves as the UK's longest running coding and engineering camp for youngsters aged 9 to 17. And they were set up over 10 years ago by Tom Ward. At the time he was a school teacher, though previously he'd been an electrical engineer. But it wasn't long before he gave up his day job to run the camps full time - in London and Hampshire, day and residential. During the Easter holidays Linda saw the young scientists and their tutors in action at their regular centre just outside Winchester.
Linda this week visits Regent Foreign Exchange to talk about its online service, Currency Cart. Boss Alexander Chagoubatov says most businesses are paying far more than they should for foreign currency transactions - maybe up to eight times what some big banks would charge. Most of Regent FE'ss clients are businesses, but they do deal with individuals as well, through their separate website www.currencycart.com
This week Linda is with geo, a Cambridge-based company and a pioneer in smart heating (smart meters, thermostats and solar). Now celebrating their tenth anniversary, the company has delivered over two million systems in the UK and Europe. They sell via utilities, distributors and now direct to consumers.