WOW Blogs: Issue 13 – Lucy Findlay

Lucy FindlayLucy Findlay
Social Enterprise Mark CIC

Lucy Findlay is the founding Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, set up in 2010 and now internationally acclaimed.

Publicly recognised as a key female in the social enterprise sector (WISE100 index), her primary motivation is ensuring that genuine social enterprises are recognised as a legitimate and different way of doing business to change society for the better.

Lucy has played a leading role in UK social enterprise pretty much since the phrase was first coined and has, amongst many other things, advised the Treasury’s Working Group for tax relief on social investment and the DEFRA Civil Society Advisory Board.

Over the years she has advised many ministers and departments – including taking Ed Miliband round in a bus in Cornwall for the day whilst the rest of the country was snowed in and helping persuade David Cameron to award the first national Social Enterprise Mark.

What do you love most about the work you do?
I love the variety and different experiences but most of all the people I encounter doing this job. All these people are driven so much to try to make a difference to people’s lives. When you put it all together at gatherings (such as at our annual conference) it gives me such a lift! I also really like going out and about to see what people are doing and hearing their stories.

Who inspires you?
Strong women! Judith Reynolds (now at Plymouth University) and Julie Harris (multi-award winning social enterprise leader of COSMIC), to national figures such as Baroness Helena Kennedy who has done so much to stand up for facing adversity.

What would be your 3 top tips to someone looking to do what you do?
1) Stick at it and don’t give up.

2) Get someone good to help you with the things you are not good at.

3) Value your people and those that are true to you and your business.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
Probably still being here at 8 years old and having a social impact. Many thought we would be a flash in the pan, but we have fought our corner and overcome many challenges. We have made significant inroads into the university sector too, as well as becoming international. My old headmaster used to call it ‘stickability’!

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