Wandsworth Oasis Battersea Hosts Social Entrepreneurs from China
11:41am Friday 2nd September 2011 in Your Say
On Wednesday 24 August 2011 a group of 10 high profile social entrepreneurs from China visited local charity shop Wandsworth Oasis as part of a British Council sponsored programme to learn about social enterprises and charity trading in the UK . The visit was coordinated by Red Ochre, an award winning training provider and consultancy for the third sector and social enterprises. Gill Perkins, Chief Executive of Wandsworth Oasis, said, “It was a great privilege to be asked to participate in this British Council programme as we are small fry in comparison to some of the charity shop trading giants, like Oxfam and BHF. However, our small size enables us to make quick decisions and to be more entrepreneurial at times. The group seemed very interested in our work and asked pertinent questions about our business model and how we go about getting stock. They also purchased bric-a-brac in our shop ranging from a cuddly duck to a Wedgewood vase and donated items from their social enterprises back home, for example a beautiful hand embroidered scarf and a set of bamboo coasters for us to sell. It was win – win all round. “ Martin Cooper, Senior Consultant at Red Ochre, who accompanied the group, said “The group absolutely loved the visit. They are all running charities and businesses with social and environmental missions in Beijing and wanted to hear how Wandsworth Oasis started and developed over the years. One member of the group is setting up an online charity shop in Beijing and spoke about how charity shopping was not common in China but that Wandsworth Oasis shows what can be done with commitment to a cause, great stock and loyal customers. London has many leading social enterprises and charities and this tour really highlighted the important work being done by these organisations. We also learnt a lot from the Beijing social entrepreneurs who are showing amazing talent and commitment to the social and environmental problems the world faces.”
Based on information supplied by Gill Perkins.