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on 28 November 2011
As a County Councillor Dearden Phillip speaks the language. As a proven social entrepreneur he also walks the talk. And his book spells this out, in language made all the more powerful by the ghost writing skills of co-author Mark Griffiths. If you're a public sector manager being asked to walk the plank, this book will tell you how to hold your breath as you plunge into the unknown. You'll also learn not to be afraid because the sea is warm. And you'll learn how to dodge the sharks and find funding as you become accustomed to your new more commercial environment.

The book is littered with quotations. Not those erudite ones people use to impress, but spontaneous heartfelt comments uttered by those reflecting on their struggle to live the dream. I particularly liked the metaphors; `It was like being made to run a marathon in a Gorilla suit on a really hot day,' was one of my favourites.

The book also firmly grasps some of the nettles that can sting the unwary. `Social return on investment' is just one of many potential shibboleths that is fully explained. And let's be frank, you do need to understand the jargon or others will pick up on your naivety and take you for a ride.

Oh and as they say, if you like this book, you'll like mine too!

How to be a Social Entrepreneur: Make Money and Change the World
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on 4 January 2012
Having worked in the social enterprise movement over the last 5 years I have had to carefully navigate through the 'expert' rhetoric of consultants, advisers and intermediary support bodies in order to first set up and now (through my company) help others to set up social ventures. There are very few people who I would recommend in terms of the kind of true knowledge and understanding that comes from actually setting up and running a social business - Craig is one of them. I first met Craig at a third sector commissioning event he was speaking at back when he was the founding CEO of Speaking Up (now VoiceAbility) and was impressed with his ability to concisely and honestly tell it how it is - the same qualities that he has encapsulated in this his second book.

In 'How to Step Out' Craig has followed on from Your Chance to Change the World: The No-fibbing Guide to Social Entrepreneurship in delivering another seminal book, this time about making the transition from the public sector to an independent social enterprise - one that is based on Craig's experience of working with public sector commissioners coupled with a genuine desire to 'make our public services great again' alongside the stories of leading experts who have successfully 'stepped out'. The book answers all practical questions and any nagging doubts leaders may have in not just spinning out but also staying out such as 'are you concerned with losing your contract to a much bigger player'. As an aside, the book is beautifully designed and typeset which, coupled with the tactile choice of paper stock, means that it won't be long until you have read it from cover to cover.

Richard Patey
Director
Profit Is Good Ltd
[...]
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on 17 September 2012
The physical quality of the book and the delivery were fine. The contents are as I feared - a guide for public sector managers on how to take their service out into the private sector and preserve a living for themselves, at the expense of employee terms and conditions. All public sector workers should read this book and then redouble their efforts, along with their Trade Unions, to resist this creeping privatisation of public services. Remember, Social Enterprises make profits for Social Entrpreneurs!
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on 6 June 2015
really good read
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