Telling the truth about SME life today

Category: Profits to charity

Mission: Fund sanitation projects in Africa

Duncan Goose founded One Water in 2004 to raise money for water pumps in Africa. Today the One brand is the most prominent social enterprise brand in the UK.

Goose says: “You can buy One Condoms, eat One Snacks and wash them down with One Water or Vitamin Water, take a shower with One Soap then use One Loo Roll. Sounds like a great night out!” All profits go to the One Foundation. To date £7m has been raised.

The success Goose has enjoyed with One means he is now regarded as the elder statesman of social enterprise. He is the keynote speaker at the biggest conferences and is frequently cited as the inspiration for other social entrepreneurs.

His message: “Starting a social enterprise is, in my view, much harder than starting a normal business. There are more questions to answer. Retailers want to know how you are going to invest in the product if all your profit is being given away every year, which is of course a massive challenge.”

Now that One is famous, big brands are falling over themselves to help. A new investment division will create co-branded products with large corporations. “For example, we have a partnership which will sell broadband in the UK, with money going to supply satellite broadband in the developing world. In total we have 14 projects which will all raise money for the One Foundation.”

Goose says he has no regrets using formidable commercial talents to run One entirely for charitable ends. “We get to go home at the end of every day knowing we’ve helped people in Africa drink clean water, or helped someone with Aids. It is the best job in the world.”

Read the full feature on social entrepreneurs:


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