Episode 60 Interview with, John Rendel the Founder and CEO of PEAS, (Promoting Equality in African Schools)

John is the Founder and CEO of PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools), a rapidly growing and multiple award-winning social enterprise that widens access to secondary education in Africa. 

Ten years ago John began working full time on setting up PEAS –the aim was to create a sustainable and self-sufficient network of schools, which can thrive with government support. The charity now has a network of 28 schools in Uganda and 2 in Zambia.

PEAS students tend to come from poorer backgrounds than government or private schools in Uganda. Even though many of the schools are in hard to reach rural areas, PEAS students are achieving exam results that are above the national average. Three
PEAS schools have recently been recognised by the Ministry of Education in Uganda as being amongst the top performing secondary schools in the country. PEAS’s ambition is now to lead a charter school movement by helping Africa governments create enabling education ecosystems that get millions more kids through quality secondary school.

john-rendelJohn has gone on to become a member of the Courvoisier Future 500, the Rockefeller Top One Hundred Next Century Innovators and the Charity Times Awards Rising CEO star.  In 2013, PEAS won the UK Charity Awards and the WISE Global Innovation Awards.  

Episode 59 Interview with Deep Joshi, co-founder of Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN)

Deep is an Indian social worker and NGO activist He co-founded the pioneering Indian non-profit organisation, Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), of which he was the Executive Director till 2007.

PRADAN is involved in building self-help groups, developing land and water resource, natural resource management, forest-based livelihood, horticulture and agriculture.

Deep was awarded the 2009 Magsaysay award for Community Leadership for his work for “development of rural communities.” He is also a recipient of the civilian honour of Padma Shri.

In this interview, Deep discusses: deep-joshi-magsaysay-313

  • PRADAN’s growth and success
  • PRADAN’s vision to improve productivity of natural resources
  • Insights from PRADAN’s pioneering apprenticeship programme
  • The impact of India’s falling levels of rural life
  • What it means for India to be a developed economy

Episode 58 Interview with Anushka Ratnayake, Founder and Executive Director of myAgro.

MyAgro is an award-winning social business which allows farmers in West Africa to buy fertilizer and seed by a series of small payments  via a mobile phone platform and a network of local village vendors

Myagro’s helps farmers move out of poverty and has led a doubling of farm income. It has grown almost five fold the last year, and aims to grow to 75,000 farmers over the next five years.

Anushka was an early employee at both One Acre Fund, where she served as the Director of Innovation and Core Programs, and Kiva.org, where she created the Kiva Fellows Program. 

In this interview, Anushka discusses:  anushka

  • The vital role small holders play in developing countries
  • The power of the layaway model
  • The MyAgro business model
  • How MyAgro works with “champion farmers” to spread the word about their services
  • How MyAgro helps farmers double their income

Episode 57 Interview with James Perry, Co- Chair and Co-founder of B Lab UK

James Perry is Co- Chair and Co-founder of B Lab UK-a UK registered charity, which exists to support a community of UK-based B Corps; he was also instrumental in managing the launch of B Corps in the UK

James is currently Chief Executive of Panahpur, where he has led the transition from  a traditional grant making charitable trust into a sustainable social impact investor.

James chaired the UK Mission Alignment Working Group for the UK Advisory Board of the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce and has been Deputy Chairman of the Social Stock Exchange.

In this interview, James discusses:  jamesperry

  • What is means to be a B Corporation
  • The growth of B Corps in the UK
  • Why B Corporations access great talent
  • Purpose and B Corporations
  • Why investors like B Corporations

Episode 56 Interview with Michael Norton, OBE, serial social entrepreneur

Michael Norton has had a prolific career in the world of social change. In 1975, Michael set up Directory of Social Change, the UK’s leading provider of information and training to the non-profit sector.  Twenty years later, he set up the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action. In 2000, he co-founded UnLtd, which supports social entrepreneurs.

Michael also co-founded the International Centre for Social Franchising and is also co-founder of Buzzbnk, an internet platform to enable the crowd-funding of social ventures. He is currently establishing a social investment find in the UK to invest at an early stage in emerging social ventures and he is encouraging and supporting social enterprise and better Corporate Social Responsibility in China, where he holds a Professorship at the China Global Philanthropy Institute.

In this interview, Michael talks about: michael_norton

  • The exciting role that foundations can play in funding social innovation
  • His plans for a new trust-based approach to social investment
  • The funding gap – and how to fill it
  • The right reason to measure impact
  • How social enterprises can enhance their impact