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This content is taken from the Middlesex University Business School, Jindal Centre for Social Innovation + Entrepreneurship & Living in Minca's online course, Social Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Action. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds In this video, Tom, the founder of the Big Lemon explains the importance of having the community participate actively in the decision making process of the business. Let’s see what he says.

Skip to 0 minutes and 27 seconds I’m Tom Drewitt. A friend and I started The Big Lemon in 2007 and we run a small fleet of buses on waste cooking oil from local restaurants and we have a range of things going on, local services and all sorts of other things, all running on environmentally friendly vehicles. I think the most important thing is that it’s driven by the community itself. You know, we just don’t wanna run services everywhere just for our own benefit. It’s more about offering a template of what we do, so that local communities can essentially run their own services.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 seconds We felt that Community Interest Company had the right balance of being a business and also making it very clear in our structure that we are a social business and we’re there for the community. The assets belong to the community. And essentially, essentially the company belongs to the community. And if we wind up the company any assets have to go to another asset-locked body. Another charity or another Community Interest Company.

Making the community a part of your team

In addition to building a core leadership team, social enterprises draw their organisational strength from the ways in which they involve local communities in their decision-making processes.

A distinguishing feature of ventures like The Big Lemon is the importance of the community as a contributing stakeholder in the social enterprise team. How does your social enterprise, or a social enterprise that you know, take community inputs on the provision of its products and services?

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This video is from the free online course:

Social Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Action

Middlesex University Business School

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