The Social Entrepreneur: Making Communities Work Paperback – 1 Jan 2008
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"'The Richard Branson of the social sector.' Libby Purves on Andrew Mawson '[Mawson] combines the conscience of the social activist harnessed to the can-do skills of the modern business shaker.' Independent"
About the Author
Andrew Mawson's career in the social sector has spanned over 20 years. He developed the renowned Bromley-By-Bow Centre in East London and co-founded the Community Action Network in 1998. He is currently involved in developing London's Water City. He was awarded a Life Peerage in 2007 and sits on the cross-benches in the House of Lords.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mawson describes a familar path of fulfilment and profound frustration. My experience is business- good - charities - bad, I'm so glad that Mawson agrees. If you 'make things happen', you seem to loose the ability to have a dialogue with councillors, think tanks and academics - Mawson explains why. He doesn't use statistics or quote from academic theorists, he just tells stories.
I ran a community website in Paddington and Bayswater for seven years, then I moved to Bournemouth and set up a creative group called BomoCreatives. I shall be urging my fellow members to read this book.
Mawson describes how he made his unique journey from protester to Peer in just a few short years. He challenged the bureaucrats who said no; he proved them wrong then uniquely, went on to win their support. He did what he did, not to prove that he was right, but to prove that what people said they wanted was actually what they needed too!
If you feel you're fighting a losing battle, this book will give you the strength to fight on!
Witty and honest, the book charts his account of his experience - warts and all - establishing the Bromley-by-Bow Healthy Living Centre, which gradually over 20+ years has demonstrated how run down areas and deflated communities can change, if only we truly believe in the capacity of individuals and empower them to make things happen, then leave them alone to get on with doing it rather than prescribing how it should be done by textbook civil servants.
Significantly, he identifies how the bureaucratic mindset endemic within the corridors of power, whether that be Whitehall, local government, or even much of the voluntary and charity sectors, with the obsession on process, procedure, policy, 'equity' and 'fairness', has not only undermined the opportunity for wide-scale social change, but actually exacerbated the problems and wasted billions of pounds of taxpayers money. Sobering stuff.
Still, if you really want to make a difference, but think it is all just wishful thinking then this book will make you think again and give you the impetus to get going.
I also felt it would have been really useful if the author had given more detailed advice on HOW to go about doing the things he did. Some good ideas in this though.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In Mawson's defence, The Social Entrepreneur is intended as a polemic, but even polemics should avoid self-contradiction. Read morePublished 5 months ago by G. Samson
Now, I work in a charity that recieves government funding through a successful tender. It's an area I know a bit about. Read morePublished 11 months ago by K. Jones
Really enjoyed learning from Andrew Mawson's journey. This book provides a great taste of the world of social entrepreneurship and I now feel ready to take that 1st step myself.Published 17 months ago by MR M MOLLOY
Some great and valid observations from Andrew Mawson. Given the current and upcoming pressures on public sector budgets, the changes required from the bureaucrats may well just... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Mark Hooper
Inspiring reading. Should be required reading for all those working in the NHS - and beyond. Surely this is the way to tackle health inequalities - and improve lives,... Read morePublished on 29 April 2013 by R. Cottam
Sorry, but there was little in this book that I found insightful. The bits I did find interesting were just padded out too much.Published on 18 April 2013 by Abales
This book is really inspiring. Fascinating story about how one man built partnerships and relationships that helped transform a community. Read morePublished on 28 Jan. 2013 by D. Kutar
Reading Andrew (Lord) Mawson's book I found myself unexpectedly conflicted. I felt inspired, and yet I disagreed with much of what he said, particularly about the role of... Read morePublished on 19 Jan. 2013 by MIKE CARHART HARRIS