This episode is part one of a two-part interview featuring two inspiring guests. Earlier this year I covered the CEIS Policy and Practice Conference, and the threads of that have permeated every episode since. The day after the conference however, I hosted James Dunbar from New Start Highland and Bill Morris from Blue Star Recyclers down here in The Experience for a wide ranging and fascinating conversation. Both were in Glasgow for the conference and since both had come from far afield, I felt it would be a good idea to put them both in a room together to talk about their experience of social enterprise and the powerful things that it can do for our society.
Bill came all the way from Denver in Colorado for the conference, and his company Blue Star Recyclers were featured in one of the panel discussions. The most impressive thing for me was how we were all speaking the same language when it came to the aims of social enterprise and the purpose of it, but Bill’s experience of being a social enterprise in America is wildly different from anyone I’ve yet spoken to about social enterprise. It was great to hear about the difference and similarities in the Scottish and American approaches.
James Dunbar is a man that needs little in the way of introduction. He is an award-winning social entrepreneur, and even holds an OBE for services to the development of the economy and community in the Highlands and Islands. He has grown New Start Highland from an organisation with one employee to one with 70, and a multi-million pound turnover. In the 16 years since he started New Start Highland, the culture and landscape of social enterprise has changed in many ways, but as you will be able to hear in this interview, his passion for it has not diminished in the slightest.
So please sit back and enjoy part one of this cross cultural take on social enterprise.