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Holbrook Takes on The Apprentice


24 July 2013 at 10:26 am
Lina Caneva
Social Enterprises UK has stepped up its campaign to see social business on British TV screens with a petition sent to the country’s national broadcaster, the BBC.

Lina Caneva | 24 July 2013 at 10:26 am


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Holbrook Takes on The Apprentice
24 July 2013 at 10:26 am

Social Enterprises UK has stepped up its campaign to see social business on British TV screens with a petition sent to the country’s national broadcaster, the BBC.

Led by charismatic SE CEO Peter Holbrook, ‘The Social Apprentice’ campaign targets US billionaire Donald Trump’s business-centred reality television format ‘The Apprentice’ for being out of touch with business trends and ignoring social and environmental considerations.

The campaign’s petition, signed by the public and business leaders, corresponded with a piece Holbrook wrote for The Guardian last week, where he urged the BBC to “wake up and smell the social-enterprise produced coffee”.

It also follows a letter sent last month to the Controller of BBC One signed by business leaders and social entrepreneurs including John Bird MBE, founder of the Big Issue, and Jerry Greenfield, Co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream.

“The Apprentice’s teacher of entrepreneurship is way off the mark. Social enterprises are using business to challenge the social problems plaguing the country, but their stories remain largely untold in BBC television programming,” Holbrook said.  

“This petition reinforces the demand from the general public for BBC business shows that feature social entrepreneurs, business leaders that can inspire and educate viewers, not only entertain.”

There are 70,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing more than a million people.

A report published this month found that in the country, social ventures are starting up at three times the rate of traditional SMEs. 

The People's Business report was commissioned by Social Enterprises UK and saw the business model perform strongly across several additional criteria.

38 per cent of social enterprises had a female leader compared with 19% of SMEs and 3% of FTSE 100 companies.

Holbrook toured Australia in May and was a guest presenter at the Social Enterprise Awards in Melbourne.  

Read our coverage of Holbrook’s Australian visit here: https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2013/05/australia-%E2%80%98perfect-storm%E2%80%99-social-enterprise


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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