An accountant by profession Ben Reid has spent the majority of his career working in the mutual and co-operative world. He is currently Chief Executive of the Midcounties Co-operative, employing over 9,000 staff and with an annual turnover of over £1 billion.
His commitment to the Black Country is underlined by the leading role he played in establishing the Walsall Regeneration Company, which acted as a catalyst for a number of significant developments in Walsall. He has also been the Chair of the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust since 2004 where his passion for the improvement of healthcare in the Town was underpinned by the opening of a new hospital in 2010. He was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2010 for his ‘service to business and to the community in Walsall, West Midlands’.
In September 2012 Ben was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Wolverhampton in recognition of his leadership of wide-ranging social enterprise initiatives throughout the West Midlands and joined their Board of Governors in 2013. He was elected to the West Midlands Regional Council of the CBI in January 2015.
Ben is a past Chair of Co-operatives UK having served on the board for more than ten years. He was also Regional Chair of Business in the Community, and the Chair of Learning & Skills Council West Midlands, where he helped drive significant improvements in educational attainment levels and major investment in new college facilities.
A father of three children, Ben has also been an active participant in fund-raising ventures, both here and overseas, invariably related to the welfare of children and young people.
Fair for You provides low-cost loans to the UK’s poorest families. Its chair Ben Reid believes that social enterprise can be a successful alternative to payday lenders, but it needs backing from government and social investors.