I had a successful career in the commercial sector as an entrepreneur and business consultant. In 1998 I set up and ran a charity that used web technology to benefit thousands of smaller charities.
In 2002 I set up Red Ochre, a social enterprise. Red Ochre specialises in supporting people and organisations within the ethical, green and social economies to fulfil their potential. Red Ochre is recognised as one of the UK’s social enterprise support specialist and an expert on income diversification and innovation. This has led to assignments and training across the UK and 20 other, mainly developing, countries.
I have the following specialisms:
- Strategy development and execution. I have worked with organisations of all sizes (including two of the largest charities in the UK) and across many sectors. Working closely with chief executives, senior management teams and trustees I have helped start, change or rescue many organisations. I facilitate many strategy workshops and awaydays annually. I recently delivered an intensive 3-part strategy workshop for 6 Egyptian government departments and agencies to develop assistance for small and social enterprise.
- Leadership and management support. I have mentored and coached over 100 chief executives within the charity, social enterprise and social housing sectors. I have assisted with recruiting at all levels, facilitating training and development, including specialist workshops for new chief executives and trustees.
- Governance. I have practical knowledge of governance issues, having been a trustee many times over, being part of a governance development charity and from the operational side as a charity chief executive. I run many workshops and facilitations on governance and am regularly asked to attend and improve board meetings and operations.
- Income diversification. I have fused my experience in the commercial sector with over 20 years in the social economy sector to develop methodologies and toolkits for income diversification and social enterprise. The toolkits and manuals have been published in numerous countries and I have run social enterprise start up programmes in 16 countries. My experience has involved me in speaking at conferences globally, publishing many articles and advising 5 governments on developing and supporting social enterprise.
- Finance- I trained as an accountant and have used this to practical effect in the enterprises and charities that I have managed and the many that I support annually. I run workshops on understanding financial management and charity accounts across the UK for senior managers, chief executives and trustees of charities of all sizes. My skill is also in developing financial strategy and supporting organisational development.
The support I deliver is to the not for profit sector. Some clients can pay for themselves, the larger charities, housing associations, cooperative but much of my work is commissioned through other entities. Commissioners include Grant Making Trusts, social investors, social banks, umbrella and membership organisations, local authorities, regional authorities, government departments and international NGOs.
The entities supported are from a very diverse sectors and come in all sizes. I have supported many community groups and pre-start-ups through to having undertaken very specific consultancy assignments for some of the largest charities and housing associations in the UK.
I am a Chartered Accountant, a Chartered Management Consultant and a Fellow of the Institute of Management, the Institute of Leadership & Management and the Royal Society of Arts.
Recent experience includes:
- Assisting a theatre company improve its governance and management. Working with the Board to develop a new strategy.
- Supporting the merger of 2 charities through facilitating both boards to agree a common vision and strategy and then facilitating the employees and stakeholders to understand, engage and deliver the merger successfully
Supporting a specialist school play area provider to change management, develop a new strategy, improve financial management, recruit and develop new managers and to scale the activities.
- Helping rethink, reshape and repurpose the activities of a specialist charity working with young people from deprived backgrounds so that it could present a comprehensive funding plan to scale its activities nationally.