It is with some awe and anticipation that I take up the Chair of Kindred’s Board this month.
My association with Liverpool City Region (if I discount my football fan visits spanning 40 years following the Wolves) began eight years ago when I visited Baltic Creative and met its early adopters. It was apparent even then that the homegrown, entrepreneurial spirit within the region had a scale, ambition, and audacity I have rarely encountered in 15 years of social investment work across the UK and internationally. The entrepreneurs of Liverpool City Region were about more than just making money, they were about changing the world for the better.
In taking up the role, I first want to give credit to Vidhya Alakeson and everyone at Power to Change who have incubated the idea of a fund owned by, and for, socially-trading organisations, that could last forever by paying forward the value we create together. Power to Change has worked with that kernel of an idea, and you all, over the last two years to establish Kindred. An organisation with a following of more than 500 socially-trading organisations; the support of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and key stakeholders in each of the region’s local authorities, universities and key institutions. We have a functioning Board and an initial £6.5 million to invest in a growing movement of entrepreneurs, capable of delivering an inclusive and more social regional economy.
A sincere thanks from me to Vidhya and all those who have helped set up this living, breathing adventure, exploring how we might re-organise our economies, so they serve us all a little better.
My personal ambition, at the start of my involvement with Kindred, is fourfold:
I hope to guide Kindred’s evolution as a member-led organisation that serves its fast-growing community of interest – you – to extend the scale, scope and impact of what you each do, individually and collaboratively.
I want to build on the excellent reputation the social economy has emerging from areas of market failure. New areas of growth and opportunity are already emerging around energy, land, manufacturing and technology. Equally, I acknowledge the continuing importance of STOs responding to the pandemic that has exposed the fault lines in traditional markets.
I want to share your stories and successes with traditional businesses because you provide compelling arguments that they too can make money whilst doing good. I want them to join the movement by building networks between STOs and local SMEs, nurturing local clusters and developing inter-regional connections.
And finally, I intend to trace and share the path you are forging here in LCR so this ‘national recovery pathfinder’ we are creating together maps a pathway that others across the UK and internationally can find. Kindred will be as collaborative as we ask you to be.
If you’d like to get in touch, you can contact me by emailing KindredBoard@kindred-lcr.co.uk.
I look forward to meeting you all soon.