As ethical business owners and social entrepreneurs, it can be all too easy to get carried away with our passion and our purpose, and to then find ourselves struggling with that other pesky ‘P word’ – Profit.
When we are starting out it is really important that we test the validity and sustainability (financial and environmental) of our business idea, and that we develop a really robust business model – i.e. we get really clear about how we are going to generate revenue!

In this episode, Sophie Unwin, founder of The Edinburgh Remakery, and Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, shares her story, and her experiences of starting a business with just £60 in her pocket and building to the point it is at now, where it is both scalable (i.e. can get bigger) and replicable (can be repeated in other places across the country).

She has some amazing statistics about the value to the economy of repair based jobs, and for a mending and fixing nut like me, it was so inspiring to hear from someone who has developed a financially sustainable business model repair.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The importance of scoping out and testing your ideas
  • How Sophie adapted her own business model in response to her initial feedback
  • How to make 2+2 = 5
  • How a successful social enterprise can affect change at local, national AND international levels
  • Some sources of support and funding for anyone wanting to start up or grow their own social enterprise
  • How helpful it is as a business owner and social entrepreneur to take time out of the day to day running of the business, for learning and reflection

Useful Links:

Episode 004- Sharing Tools and Building Futures with Chris Hellawell from The Edinburgh Tool Library

The Edinburgh Remakery

The Edinburgh Remakery eBay shop – where you can buy refurbished laptops and computers, and support their work

Edinburgh Remakery’s Weekly Repair Surgeries

Transition Towns

Brixton Pound

Brixton Remakery

The School for Social Entrepreneurs


Social Enterprise Academy