Shaper: Josh Littlejohn

Show aired on 17th December 2016

Transcript

Josh Littlejohn

Josh is one of the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs. He is the co-founder of Scottish sandwich shop chain Social Bite, which shot to global fame when Holywood A-lister George Clooney visited an outlet in 2015.  Social Bite competes in the high street takeaway food market, but does so for a social purpose. 100% of Social Bite’s profits are donated to good causes and 1 in 4 of its staff are people from homeless backgrounds. Social Bite also feeds the homeless with food that their customers pre-pay for. Recently, Leonardo Di Caprio visited Josh’s restaurant and met staff from homeless backgrounds.

Josh is also the founder of The Scottish Business Awards and as well as George Clooney, he has has also enlisted the help of world leaders such as President Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson to support his social endeavours.

In March 2016, along with business partner Alan Mahon, Josh launched a beer brand called BrewGooder, where 100% of the profits go towards providing clean water. The brewery plans to provide clean drinking water for 1 million people in five years.

In just four years of business, Josh has raised over £4 million for charity and made a significant impact on the issue of homelessness in Scotland. Josh is an originator of social businesses which not only tackle specific issues but radically challenge how we think about doing business.

Follow Social Bite on Twitter @SocialBite_.

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“Growing up as a teenager, I was always kind of idealistic…my ambition was never to set up in business, my ambition was to try and change the world in some way.”

“Ultimately the whole thing exists for a social mission…all the profits we make go back into good causes.”

“Customers can pay something forward for homeless people to come and eat later so maybe buy an extra sandwich or buy a meal in the restaurant…”

“Roughly a quarter of our workforce are people that have previously struggled with homelessness themselves.”

“I find the entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial process very addictive.”

“The first event I ever created was a fashion show that I put on during the Edinburgh Festival…and that was largely an excuse to try and hang out with good looking girls and get a girlfriend.”

“I think there is a bad misconception in the UK and perhaps further afield that people have ended up homeless as a result of making bad decisions.”

“I think the Scottish business community has been awesome. I feel like there are a broad array of people in Scotland who have given us a lot of support.”