My name is Adrienne Marsden and I am the Founder of a social enterprise which aims to support Hampshire based organisations who wish to do good as well as do business.  We were formed in June 2012 and have successfully helped many organisations from different sectors and industries to have a positive social impact through their working practices. We are called “The Business Collective”, a term that was coined as a way of demonstrating a sense of allegiance, a ‘better together’ philosophy, a way of demonstrating that, whilst many organisations aspire to do good, there is something compelling and unifying if we ‘pool’ our endeavours!

And it is with this philosophy in mind that causes me to reflect on the outcome of Thursday’s EU Referendum.  I have complete respect for the democracy of the Referendum and the opportunity for us as a nation to voice our aspirations for the future of the United Kingdom. There was never going to be a right or wrong; what it did demonstrate was a passion and urgency that is so often lacking in the normal democratic process and that, I think, should make us proud.  Whatever my personal views are, we have, as a nation, made a choice.

And for me, this is where The Business Collective has an opportunity to ‘Come of Age’.  The stage has been set and now, I believe that our members and supporters can come together and demonstrate collectively how business and society can move ahead in uncharted waters.  If ever there was a time for the ethical business agenda to take centre stage, it is here and now. Previously, we encouraged members to ‘engage in the conversation’, however now it’s more than just words, it’s action. The metaphor of a ‘stage’ may suggest that this is a performance, an act… that could not be further from my intentions.  What we are dealing with is real, palpable and now. The rhetoric, the commentary, the mud-slinging over the past few days has been bewildering and overwhelming and, fundamentally, changes nothing.  My ultimate desire is to see this historical milestone used to galvanise us as a nation and I believe that we are more likely to achieve this as a collective than as individuals. 

So my call to arms is a simple one.  We have an opportunity to re-write the ‘rule book’ and this time we ask ourselves:

“Is there a better way?”

Please share your thoughts and actions at #bizcollectivebetterway


Thank you


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