Meet our Social Leaders


Full list of Fellows
Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson

Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2011

The Calouste Gulbenkian Fellowship for an aspiring leader committed to innovative approaches to policy and practical work with people experiencing multiple needs and exclusions.

Mark is a pioneer of social franchising, a social entrepreneur, consultant and researcher.  He has been a leader in the social enterprise sector since the age of 21 when he founded Aspire, a ground-breaking social enterprise that employs and trains homeless people. He pioneered a social franchise model establishing the business in eight different cities providing supported employment for over 100 homeless people a year. As a result he was asked to advise the Prime Minister and the UK Government on homelessness and social enterprise.

As a Regional Business Advisor in North Wales he supported the development of 107 different social enterprises and community co-operatives in two years.  In 2006 he became Chief Executive of Fair Trade Wales, partnering the Welsh Government to make Wales the world’s first Fair Trade country and launching a specialist Fairtrade wholesale business.

In 2011 he was appointed a Fellow on the Clore Social Leadership Programme, became a Fellow of the Third Sector Research Centre and established Social Impact Consulting, developing innovative social enterprise ideas to improve the opportunities of people experiencing poverty, discrimination or disadvantage.  He is an associate consultant with ClearlySo and the Shaftesbury Partnership and has written substantial reports on social enterprise and social franchising for Big Society Capital, the National Housing Federation and Groundwork, and TSRC.

Mark is also Director of Social Enterprise at Bangor University, where he has recently launched a modular MA in Social Enterprise for social entrepreneurs, and Fund Manager for FranchisingWorks, a £2,5 million social investment fund. 

Mark's research is available here




Twitter: @social_impact_

Current principal role: Director
Current principal organisation: Social Impact Consulting
Other leadership role 1: Director of Social Enterprise
Other organisation 1: Bangor University

Research: Social Enterprises & Homelessness. Sustainability or Social Impact?
Research topics: Employment; Housing; Impact; Social enterprise;
Secondment host: Barnardos

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