The founders of two hugely successful social enterprises made moving speeches at the third annual Nick Baxter lecture at RGU on Wednesday, May 18.
Josh Littlejohn, who launched Social Bite cafes, was joined by fellow speaker Susan Aktemel, founder of Homes for Good, at the event in memory of Nick Baxter, the founder and former Chief Executive of Cornerstone, as well as in recognition of his ground-breaking work and entrepreneurial spirit.
Nick, who passed away in 2013 after a short illness, set up Cornerstone Community Care (as it was then known) in 1980 in Aberdeen, when he brought together a small group of people to campaign for services to be based in the community for people with a learning disability.
Josh and his partner Alice Thompson founded Social Bite in 2012, a growing chain of sandwich shops which are run as a social business. 100% of the profits go to good causes, and a quarter of their staff were formerly homeless.
Following the success of Susan’s organisation, Impact Arts, she utilised her skills in property development and commitment for social change to create her latest venture - Homes for Good and Homes for Good Investments, Scotland’s first social enterprise letting agency, and first dedicated private sector social landlord.
Edel Harris, Cornerstone Chief Executive, commented: “It is a great honour to have such high profile and hugely influential speakers such as Josh and Susan, imparting their knowledge and stories to our guests at the Nick Baxter lecture.
“Nick was an inspiration to so many and by holding these annual lectures we want to ensure Nick's legacy and his commitment to ensuring that everyone in society had a chance to live a valued life won't be forgotten.”