Allan English: Innovation is the only way forward

Philanthropy, microfinance, social entrepreneurship, impact investing – Silver Chef’s Allan English has his fingers in a lot of pies, and the results are proving fruitful.

Allan English is the director of the English Family Foundation, founder and chairman of Silver Chef, Ltd., a non-executive director of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and chairman of The Funding Network. Here, he is in conversation with Frankie Airey, director of management consulting firm, Philanthropy Squared.

FRANKIE: I’m hearing a lot of new language about the crossover between traditional philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and impact investing. You do all three, so I’d like to hear from you about what you see as the difference between them and the impacts you’d like to see.

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From success to significance - Sunshine Coast Daily article

Sunshine Coast Daily article

The minute Allan English had a purpose that was greater than his business exploded with growth. The catalyst came about 10 years ago, when the founder and now non-executive chairman of Silver Chef was working on a microfinance aid project in East Timor with a group of mates. “I’d been growing Silver Chef at a fairly fast rate, and we are an equipment rental company, so the faster you grow, the more capital you need,” he said.

“I ran out of money and the bank wasn’t going to give me any more. “So I started volunteering for a not-for profit and I got involved in microfinance (giving small loans to the poor to build their own businesses).

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