This is part 1 of a 2-part interview. Part 1 sets the scene and part 2 will give far more context around what Richard is up to and where his future lies as a Social Entrepreneur.
Richard Leighton is Britain’s first male employed as a Social Entrepreneur in Residence. Apart from being entrepreneurial, creative and innovative, he has a proven track record in the design, development, implementation and management of projects, programmes, initiatives and enterprises.
And he started his vision at a very young age, he doesn’t even remember fully where he got the drive from. He puts it down to his father’s multiple redundancies in journalism and definitely the kindness of his parents ensured he subconsciously was drawn towards social causes.
2016 Participated in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneur programme
2015 Raised £2m investment to create new social enterprise initiatives
2014 Fashion Education in Prisons Programme awarded the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award for reducing reoffending and improving rehabilitation
2013 Fashion Education in Prisons Programme won the Times Higher Education Outreach Initiative of the Year Award for a University in the UK
2012 One of five short-listed finalists for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award and winner of the Youth-led Social Enterprise of the Year in England award for Forgotten Vintage in the Social Enterprise UK annual social enterprise awards
2011 Invited to become a Fellow of the RSA
2010 First male in Britain employed as a Social Entrepreneur in Residence
2010 Named as one of the Daily Mail’s Top 20 Young Social Entrepreneurs in the UK as part of its Enterprising Young Brits Awards
2009 Invited to become a Young Business Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and the government’s Make Your Mark Campaign
2009 Named in the Observer Future 500 list and named as one of the Guardian’s Top 100 Ethical Young Entrepreneurs in the UK
2008 Gained a scholarship to School for Social Entrepreneurs in London
2005 One of only three selected to display their portfolio at London Graduate Fashion Week on the BA (Hons) Fashion Design Management course
2004 Only student to have a collection displayed in the University of Leeds Graduate Fashion Show on BA (Hons) Fashion Design Management course