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“Entrepreneurs have a social responsibility”

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"Sure, it’s difficult for entrepreneurs to devote their energies to anything other than their own businesses," admits Sir Ronald.

"But remember this: outstanding people want to join outstanding firms. Outstanding firms put something back into society."

Rod Aldridge, one of that rare breed of entrepreneur to lead a company from formation all the way to FTSE 100, agrees. "Those who have created wealth have a social responsibility."

Aldridge now works in what he calls the "third sector". He set up The Aldridge Foundation in 2006 to help disadvantaged children.

Steve Leach, founder of Bigmouth Media isn’t ready to describe himself as a "social entrepreneur": "I think most people would be lying if they said they set up a business out of social responsibilities.

"However, there comes a point when you’ve feathered your nest and you start to think about the rest of the world.

"Imagine if all businesses, once they’d reached a certain size, donated one per cent of profits to charity. That would go a huge way to ending poverty. One per cent… that’s not much to ask, is it?"

Sir Ronald Cohen, Rod Aldridge and Steve Leach were all guest speakers at The Entrepreneurs’ Summit

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