Expert Impact launches 'world’s first' social enterprise speakers agency

Today Expert Impact, the charity that matches social entrepreneurs with business people as mentors, is launching what it’s calling the world’s first “social enterprise speakers agency”. 

Operating from the UK, the agency will provide management support for speakers from diverse backgrounds who want their fees to contribute to social and environmental change. All profits from the agency will go towards Expert Impact’s mentoring work. 

The speakers range from television presenters, comedians and social entrepreneurs to thought leaders and activists. They include Steven Bartlett, founder of the social media marketing agency Social Chain and the youngest ever Dragon on BBC television’s Dragons’ Den; Sir Lenny Henry, co-founder of Comic Relief, comedian and actor; and David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham and shadow foreign secretary.

Karen Lynch, CEO of Expert Impact, said: “There is a fertile market for engaging and inspiring speakers. Every booking with us will help create a positive social and environmental impact so this is an easy win for companies looking to show their staff and stakeholders that they value purpose in their operations.”

There is a fertile market for engaging and inspiring speakers - Karen Lynch

Expert Impact’s head of communications Lee Mannion told Pioneers Post that the agency will manage bookings, negotiations with clients and the logistics, such as travel and accommodation, the details of the events and the fee on behalf of the speakers. In turn, the speakers and the agency will agree individually on the percentage of the speaker's fee that will go to the agency. He explained that fees will vary, according to the speaker’s public profile and the type of event.

Speakers also include Expert Impact’s CEO Karen Lynch and Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, who is also chair of Expert Impact’s trustees. 

“We are aware of Charity Commission guidelines with regard to conflicts of interest and will be complying with them,” said Mannion. He added that speakers can relinquish all or part of their fee so that it can be invested into Expert Impact. 

Although based in the UK, Expert Impact Speakers plans to support speakers with bookings for events wherever they happen in the world. 

New direction

Expert Impact, founded by John Hunt in 2014, has, to date, worked with more than 400 social entrepreneurs and matched them to mentors. It has an alumni network of more than 350 members who graduated from Expert Impact Mentoring and are running social businesses. 

Last year, Expert Impact became part of Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), which led to Hunt stepping down as chair and being replaced by SEUK CEO Peter Holbrook. Sabira Kanji, director of finance and corporate services of SEUK, and Colin Downie, director of sales and partnership at Wildhearts Group also serve as trustees alongside Peter. SEUK and Expert Impact remain separate entities and brands.

Header image: Speakers signed up to the new Expert Impact Speakers agency, clockwise from top left: Mark Watson, Cemal Ezel, Daliso Chaponda, June O'Sullivan, Peter Holbrook and Michelle Ackerley (image courtesy Expert Impact)

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