Growing up my Dad was always talking about business. How hard could it be, I thought? So I started a business selling toasted cheese sandwiches to my friends. Soon I was serving more food than the school canteen. But the school didn’t like that so I was shut down. I was confused and frustrated – but I learnt a lesson: you need to surround yourself with people who can advise you and see the things you can’t.
This lesson resurfaced later when I was disillusioned in the year 2000. I was part of the London tech scene, delivering mobile and web projects for blue chip clients. But I was unhappy. I went to speak to my grandmother and she said people of her generation had a trade. What was my trade? I decided I needed to build a profession and make a positive contribution to the world. So I enrolled in a masters programme in international development, and studied hard. When I graduated, I went to practice what I’d learnt in Guatemala.
Fast forward to 2013 and I was looking for a way to apply my business experience to address sanitation problems in emerging markets. I co-founded a sanitation social enterprise in Ghana, and lived in Kenya for 5 years while leading an incubation team growing a portfolio of water and sanitation companies. I later helped scale a clean water program at Evidence Action to reach 5 million people in East Africa.
The experience building a social enterprise gripped me. So I decided to go on a long journey to find out how remarkable social entrepreneurs all over the world are finding impact in business. The Finding Impact Podcast was born.
Since February 2016, I have interviewed over 100 subject matter experts with an unrelenting thirst for the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of building an impactful business.
While it’s fun to talk to people and satisfy my own curiosity, the best feeling comes when I’ve made information useful that actually helps people do more good in the world.
Connect with me on Twitter @AndyNarracott or on my personal blog AndyNarracott.com. Thanks for reading! Now have a browse around…