Is it possible to change the world, simply by changing where you buy your coffee?
This was just one of many questions discussed at Alex Chisnall’s Entrepreneurs’ Summit in Bournemouth. It brought together a group of inspirational speakers, including Cemal Ezel, founder of the award-winning social enterprise, Change Please.
If you’ve not yet come across Change Please coffee, you soon will. It’s stocked in Sainsbury’s nationwide and it is Virgin Trains’ beverage of choice. If you live in London, Cambridge, Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester or Edinburgh, you might have spotted its distinctive grey carts with a bright yellow circle on the side.
What you might not know is that all the baristas at Change Please have experienced periods of homelessness – but with the right training and support, they’re able to make sleeping rough a thing of the past.
Perhaps the most inspirational aspect to Cemal’s work, is his conviction that businesses with a genuine social conscience will be leading the way, commercially and morally, over the next few years. It’s a point he makes powerfully, first in his presentation, and then in the conversation I had with him afterwards, on stage.