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?
Bio-Bean have opened a factory in Cambridgeshire to process waste coffee grounds and are busy turning tonnes of it into sustainable fuels. Their latest product is Logs, made from compressed coffee. Founder and chief executive Arthur Kay, who guides Linda Lewis through the process of converting coffee beans into fuel. He also explains how the company has already won a string of awards, including the first prize in Sir Richard Branson's annual VOOM competition.
BillHub is a fin tech company that provides a platform for sending, spending and managing household bills between housemates. Bill payers can also take photos of their bills using a mobile phone and upload them to the hub. Founder James Harrison meets Linda Lewis and explains how the company aims to provide a product for the ‘generation rent’. BillHub, he says, aim to be transparent, safe and secure product for all.
Linda Lewis meets Simon Gosling, Managing Director of Energy Net, a conference company which has been producing events and investment summits for Africa for nearly 20 years. Simon explains his latest initiative, Off the Grid Club, which aims to connect poor areas of Africa to the electricity grid. Linda also meets the supporters and founder members, taking part in the Off the Grid Club, such as the Solar Turtle Company.
With less than a week to go until the EU referendum Linda Lewis meets Will Moy, Director of Full Fact, and his team in action. Fact-checking as an industry is growing, and Britain is in the lead when it comes to finding innovative ways to pay for it. Will explains why it was important to set the company up, and how they work with journalists, academics and political parties on a daily basis to deliver accurate facts and figures.
JustLoans Group is an alternative lender aiming to disrupt business banking. Founded by serial entrepreneur John Davies who's been involved in the lending industry for over thirty years since 198, the company only lends to SMEs and they've developed a fintech platform which gives initial lending decisions in ten minutes. Linda Lewis finds out why their CEO is on a mission to disrupting business banking.
Linda Lewis meets two Americans who've come up with a drink they describe as a 'mini bottle of goodness', a hydration boost with a concentrated shot of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Douglas Wolfson and Sanam Petri tell their exciting story.
Linda Lewis meets the father and son duo behind Ajuve- a new online platform intended to help businesses and individuals resolve legal disputes over contracts quickly and cheaply. The young CEO Alex Bargate explains how the company works and how, with the help of his father Quentin, they set it up.
Pavegen are a company who have come up with revolutionary technology that transforms the power of people's footsteps into energy. Linda Lewis meets the CEO Laurence Kemball Cook, who reveals how the company has teamed up with Tribal Planet in Silicon Valley to turn the data from footsteps into a 'digital currency' which people can spend using their mobile phone.
Linda Lewis heads over to Snact this week, a company that makes fruit jerky from surplus fruit. She meets founders Ilana Taub and Michael Minch Dixon, asking them how they set up the company. The pair convey their passion for cutting food waste, their aim to collect unwanted fruit from markets and suppliers, and turn it into something that people would want to buy.