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SEC9: Jonathan Bland from E3M

Jonathan Bland is a world renowned expert in social enterprise and we had a chat with him about his social enterprise history and the genesis of E3M.


20th October 2015

Jonathan Bland has been at the forefront of the social enterprise movement for many years. He has worked and lived in many different countries across the world, bringing his expertise and knowledge to a number of different audiences whilst also looking to expand his vast repertoire of skills.

He is a passionate advocate for social enterprise, and firmly believes that it is vital that we share knowledge of good practice, good governance and growth measurement. To that end Jonathan created E3M, an initiative that allows a group of leaders from some of the UK’s largest and most successful social enterprises to provide knowledge and share expertise about the key ingredients for successful social enterprise growth.

With this in mind, E3M run a number of events each year with the focus firmly on sharing knowledge between social enterprise leaders. Such sessions allow members to discuss current issues in the social enterprise sector and help to identify current gaps in the thinking so that E3M can focus on strengthening the sector through research and publications, helping to fill these gaps.

Highlights include:

  • Jonathan relates when he became interested in social enterprise
  • A brief history of how social enterprise became what it is today
  • The genesis of E3M
  • The 3 Ms of E3M
  • The need to share knowledge
  • How to measure impact more effectively, including the latest European work on it – how there is not just one way of measuring impact, more a set of principles behind good impact measurement
  • Why E3M is important
  • The contentious issue of the definition of social enterprise
  • The ongoing issue of explaining what social enterprise is to people and making it mainstream
  • Obtaining true partnership working between public bodies and social enterprises
  • The issue of getting good investment
  • And Jonathan asks me my opinion on social enterprise (A FIRST!)

Jonathan is an international expert on social enterprise and carries over 30 years of experience in the sector. He has worked with the British and European governments to bring social enterprise to their attention, and has helped the British government create policy framework for social enterprise, winning cross-party support for this kind of business.

His passion, drive and sheer knowledge of social enterprise is clearly demonstrated in this podcast and I’m delighted that I had the chance to talk to him.


Jonathan Bland on Twitter
E3M on Twitter
Social Business International website
E3m website

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