Every month we take the time to acknowledge and catch up with one of our very talented School for Social Entrepreneurs graduates. This month it’s the founder of The Recycled Assets Company , the ethically minded and driven, Jason Bentley.
What does your organisation do?
The recycled assets company (tracouk) is an innovative Hampshire based social enterprise that prides itself on providing organisations of all sizes with ethical office moves, smart storage and clearance services. We provide eco-friendly furniture, equipment clearances and recycle and reuse furniture and equipment.
What was your motivation for founding your organisation?
Honestly?! I think I have a hoarding complex which means I can’t throw anything away or bear to see anything thrown away! Coupled with a natural zeal and zest to serve and to solve problems, recycling and removals was an easy decision for me. I’d also spent the last 5 years working for large charity so starting my own social enterprise was a natural step.
What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made as a social entrepreneur?
On the operational side it was agonizing whether to take on a bigger unit which would see us take on more overhead cost and place us under more financial pressure. In the end we went for the bigger unit as a calculated leap of faith.
Are you ever tempted to stop being a social entrepreneur and get a “normal job”? What keeps you going?
Yes! There are days when you just want the world to stop. Being your own boss means you never switch off and that can be mentally tiring. It’s all consuming and sometimes I think that’s not good for anyone’s health. With a job you can always quit and hand your notice in, but working for yourself in the building stages you have to see the job through.
What’s your top tip(s) for social entrepreneur’s on measuring impact?
Don’t worry too much about! I’ve agonised over what I should be reporting, how to report it, why I should be doing it…it can be a distraction to getting on with the job in hand of delivering the actual social value. If your company is morally and ethically transparent, then fear not of who you need to tell.
Who is your (social) entrepreneurial idol and why?
I don’t know that many and perhaps Michael Young is the obvious choice, but you have to stop and think of someone like Florence Nightingale who, if she had a company, it would have one very strong brand built on a great reputation for doing good to everyone.