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Read what Robert has been saying in his regular blogs by clicking here
19 Nov 2013
Let's get civil society talking [Civil Society]
13 Nov 2013
What's the difference between a parish council and a trade association? [New Start]
Robert recently spoke at two different conferences to two very different audiences.
5 Nov 2013
The time for charity cynicism over 'big corporate' is over [Civil Society]
29 Oct 2013
Money can't buy me love [Civil Society]
16 Oct 2013
8 Oct 2013
Is it because I sometimes wear red trousers? [Civil Society]
2 October 2013
Is there a Luddite in your CVS? [Civil Society]
1 Oct 2013
Community Land Trusts mean everyone can be a winner [New Start]
Done correctly, setting up a community land trust means that everyone can be a winner. Isn't that what the future is going to be all about?
Do you earn a living wage? [Civil Society]
As his fledgling social enterprise charts new territory, Robert Ashton ponders the issue of how much to pay himself.
12 September 2013
19 Aug 2013
You can write good grant applications, but can you close a deal? [New Start]
After writing a book called 'How To Sell', Robert has become a very picky buyer.
13 August 2013
Where's teenage logic when it comes to jobs? [Civil Society]
7 August 2013
Pull the udder one [Civil Society]
Robert Ashton has seen the future, and it's community-owned farms and other enterprises.
5 August 2013
Why it's time for Justin Welby to grow a bead like Branson [Civil Society]
The Archbishop of Canterbury's push into credit union is entrepreneurial, it is a move worthy of Richard Branson says Robert Ashton
24 July 2013
15 July 2013
Did you fail your 11 plus? [New Start]
I failed my 11 plus. I did it on purpose to annoy my dad. It's a long story, best left untold.
11 July 2013
Spanner in the works [Civil Society]
Robert Ashton shows why it's essential that grantmakers are flexible with organisations trying to help those most at need.
17 June 2013
Time to motivate the troops [Civil Society]
Robert believes you have to think more creatively to reach the right people.
13 June 2013
Beware the lady in a green quilted jacket [New Start]
My thought for today is this: if we could inspire those ladies in green quilted jackets to champion localism, things would really start to move.
20 May 2013
When ignorance is far from bliss [Civil Society]
A shifting political atmosphere is putting power in the hands of the inexperienced, warns Robert Ashton.
17 May 2013
Death by acronym [New Start]
You see, once ordinary people understand the challenge, and start to support it financially, the challenge changes. People talk about how and when, not if and where.
25 April 2013
Are we suffering from charity overkill? [The Mark Forrest Show]
17 April 2013
What do Margaret Thatcher and James Crosby have in common? [Civil Society]
The former PM and the banker's actions faced consequences in different generations. Robert Ashton discusses their very different responses to a problem born from a shared interest.
15 April 2013
Big Society - big success or big waste of time? [BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire]
Charity starts at home [Santander - Business Up Close]
Best-selling business author, experienced charity trustee and successful social entrepreneur Robert Ashton explains why he believes that, in the future, all businesses will be social businesses.
15 April 2013
Roads or housing? Which is your priority? [New Start]
The pension schemes need to invest competitively and see their return. We all need to see them investing in social housing.
09 April 2013
The case for handing over the reins [Civil Society]
New policy initiatives such as the Localism Act may have more potency in the hands of a younger generation of decision-makers, argues Robert Ashton.
03 April 2013
Swarm Apprenticeships Ltd launches job club during the Jobs Fair at The Forum, Norwich [BBC Radio Norfolk]
18 March 2013
A spoonful of sugar [New Start]
Giving to charity without any tangible return is a bitter pill for any organisation to swallow. Philanthropy is for families, not firms. As you set your sights on raiding the corporate coffers, remember what Mary Poppins taught you; that 'a spoonful of sugar' really does help the medicine go down!
14 March 2013
Unique scheme to get young people jobs is launched in Watton [Eastern Daily Press]
A company bringing Norfolk's market towns' young people and businesses together - whilst cutting out bureaucracy - has been launched.
07 March 2013
Are you speaking the right language? [Civil Society]
With different sectors increasingly interacting and doing 'business' with one-another, Robert Ashton says it's important we all learn to speak the same language.
06 March 2013
New apprenticeship scheme will help young people achieve their dreams [The Breckland View]
Year 11 students at Wayland Academy in Watton have been finding out about an exciting new training opportunity that will be available to them post GCSE.
04 March 2013
When was the last time you made a decision? [Civil Society]
People not process should be in charge of making decisions, says Robert Ashton.
20 February 2013
Hoe down or show down? [Civil Society]
A charity has a big decision to make. But Robert Ashton is unsure of whether the charity will be able to make it.
11 February 2013
Can I tell you about my problem with wind? [New Start]
It seems to me that Government needs to take a longer term view. It needs to work with the wind industry to align feed-in tariffs with the actual equipment and operating costs. Both sides want the same thing, so why the mismatch?
11 February 2013
A word in your ear [Civil Society]
Words can be used to excuse the inexcusable, says Robert Ashton, as he reflects on the report into Stafford Hospital.
05 February 2013
How many new homes can local pension pots fund? [New Start]
Time I think for everyone to stand demanding pears - well, not fruit pears, but pairs of houses everywhere their local government pension pot can afford.
05 February 2013
Have you got form? [Civil Society]
Do you often feel, despite your qualifications, that you're not taken seriously? Robert Ashton reflects on why personal experience carries weight.
30 January 2013
Slip sliding away [Civil Society]
Did you huddle securely indoors with your family during the snow last week or did you attack the slippery surroundings with gusto? Robert reflects on a very British obstacle.
24 January 2013
Corporate social responsibility could swamp social enterprise in 2013 [The Guardian]
Starbucks' offer to pay £20m in tax may spark a wave of social activity from big businesses
23 January 2013
Does your social enterprise contain a dead horse? [The Guardian]
Whenever you're tempted to focus on price alone and abandon the task of adding value, remember those cheap burgers
08 January 2013
Money for old rope? [Civil Society]
Robert Ashton explains how he came to understand the potential impact of micro-finance on a recent trip to India.
18 December 2012
And the punctuation prize goes to... [Civil Society]
Robert Ashton advises on the importance of attention to detail.
06 December 2012
Businesses in Diss area urged to get involved in apprenticeship pilot [Eastern Daily Press]
Businesses in the Diss area have been urged to get involved in a pioneering apprenticeships scheme, which could be rolled out to other parts of Norfolk.
28 November 2012
Could public service delivery agents be ripping off the vulnerable? [Civil Society]
A real-life experience prompts Robert Ashton to question the value and safeguards of public service providers for the vulnerable.
25 November 2012
How to join the Saffron scheme [Diss Express]
School leavers and businesses in Diss are set to benefit from the launch of a new apprenticeship scheme.
Created by Saffron Housing Trust (SHT), who have invested £90,000 in the project, the aim is to get more young people into the world of work by taking the risks away for local employers.
23 November 2012
MPs debate the need for young entrepreneurs at Norfolk Chamber business conference [Eastern Daily Press]
The need to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurial youngsters came under the spotlight today as opposition MPs debated the challenges facing Norfolk businesses.
07 November 2012
Businesses sign up to apprenticeship scheme [Watton and Swaffham Times]
Wayland businesses have started to sign up to an apprenticeship programme with a difference for budding entrepreneurs.
05 November 2012
Small is the new big [Civil Society]
A recent speaking engagement reminded Robert Ashton of the opportunities for grassroots organisations.
31 October 2012
Apprenticeship opportunity for Wayland teenagers [Watton and Swaffham Times]
Budding teenage entrepreneurs will be able to show off their skills through an apprenticeship scheme with a difference.
30 October 2012
Apprenticeship scheme boost for Diss pupils [Diss Express]
The MP for South Norfolk has praised a business’ investment in a new apprenticeship scheme which will give Diss High School pupils the chance to sample working life.
25 October 2012
South Norfolk housing association launches new apprenticeship project [Eastern Daily Press]
Hopes of getting more school leavers into the world of work have been boosted by the creation of a new apprenticeship scheme in south Norfolk.
22 October 2012
Dodging the flak [Civil Society]
Robert Ashton provides a motivational message to all those facing adversity in the approach to new ideas.
15 October 2012
What is this life about? [Civil Society]
Robert Ashton philosophises over the greatest question of all.
Making it happen at The Hythe [Colchester Chronicle]
Oh Hythe, how we love you.
We love your sense of history, your links between town and estuary and most of all we love your sense of abandonment. But the Badlands of Sunny Colch can’t continue to operate with this Wild West approach to planning. Developers need to know their boundaries, and our friends from Colchester Borough Council are keen to secure as much funding out of future ‘investment’ from the private sector.
Caught up in all of this of course is the Hythe community. Often forgotten, hidden away and voiceless. But the fight back starts later this month when the first meeting of the Hythe Forward group takes place on 24th October at the Bridge Bar.
03 October 2012
The 'Untouchable' truth [Civil Society]
Robert Ashton calls for life to imitate fiction as he critiques the relationship of the film Untouchable with real-world service provision.
24 September 2012
'I'm not a business; I'm a social enterprise!' [Civil Society]
Social enterprise without trading activity is merely charity, says Robert Ashton.
11 September 2012
Hythe Forward plan aims to get Hythe back on course [Essex County Standard]
A NEW project will finally break the “stagnation” stopping the regeneration of the Hythe , it has been pledged.
Colchester Council has awarded social housing provider Colne Housing £30,000 to start a community-led scheme, called Hythe Forward.
The firm believes, by next spring, a powerful community group with sway over local authorities and funds will be ready to restart the regeneration of Colchester’s former port.
Robert Ashton, a social enterprise consultant hired by Colne Housing, said: “By that point we would hope Hythe Forward will have a board of directors, will have money coming in from other places and there will be some momentum.”
28 August 2012
Social enterprise - what's in a name? [Civil Society]
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, as Shakespeare wrote. So why we are kicking up such a fuss about the trademarking of 'social enterprise', wonders Robert Ashton.
21 August 2012
The street and social enterprise [New Start/CLES]
I’m in Lisbon. I mention this not to boast about my summer holiday, but because what I’ve just seen doesn’t happen in the UK. Well, not as starkly. You see we’re more politically correct than Portugal. We also (for now anyway) have a more sophisticated social support system.
17 August 2012
Heartbeat of the Hythe [Colchester Chronicle]
Let’s talk about the Hythe; let’s talk about decline and let’s talk about community currently being displaced by developers.
Or let’s not.
Remember The Chronic mantra?
“There’s no point in making a list and then just moaning about what might have been.”
Which seems to be exactly the same message coming from Robert Ashton, a social enterprise consultant who has been brought on board by Colchester Borough Council to help kick start regeneration down at the Hythe.
08 August 2012
What are you changing into? [Civil Society]
After just over a year of transition funding some organisations have fared better than others, muses Robert Ashton.
04 August 2012
View from the motorcade [Civil Society]
In an abstract comparison, Robert Ashton questions the power we have over our own destiny, and what significance any local organisation really has to the eyes of the powerful few.
25 July 2012
A fix for youth unemployment you can bank on? [New Start/CLES]
It’s not often you attend an event where the venue is a perfect metaphor for the message. And even more unusual when it’s completely coincidental. But that’s what happened in Norwich earlier this week, when the Big Lottery briefed local third and public sector people on a new and potentially exciting initiative.
19 July 2012
If you don't like being taught but do want to learn, here are the first two bite-sized days [The Marketing Blog]
Robert Ashton, bestselling business author and business consultant, will be leading a one-day “Developing Your Social Enterprise” day on August 9th at Lumen, Tavistock Place.
17 July 2012
Big Mac Olympics [Civil Society]
Community organisations are just small fries when it comes to the government's preferred service delivery partners, just take the Olympic catering as an example, says Robert Ashton.
10 July 2012
Rates of change [Civil Society]
Fact: charity shops enjoy an unfair advantage on the high street. And that's not good for anybody's business, says Robert Ashton.
05 July 2012
Redistribute Barclays £290m fine to the 'big society' [The Guardian]
Passing on the money to grassroots charities would show that the government is putting the vulnerable first
04 July 2012
Has the 'Big Society' hindered smaller charities in getting grants? [BBC Radio Somerset]
Thin end of the wedge [Civil Society]
Robert Ashton is supporting a Romany planning application for four more mobile homes on local land. He feels very alone.
29 June 2012
QR Codes for authors - the personal interactive business adviser [Squarecode.biz]
If you're looking for ways to make your publication interactive whether it is a circular, monthly or weekly magazine, then QR Codes can help.
20 June 2012
Green grants scheme for A11 corridor businesses passes £1m milestone [EDP]
A project to boost business along the A11 corridor has passed a significant milestone with more than £1m being invested in green initiatives.
15 June 2012
Big is not always beautiful [New Start/CLES]
Of course for government big is always beautiful. The same I suspect is true of the big banks. Both want to say they’ve enabled big sums to be given to big organisations to make big differences. The inconvenient truth however is that big charities have big overheads and big picture vision.
13 June 2012
11 June 2012
There's something Masonic about the NHS [Civil Society]
08 June 2012
How do you tackle a 'wicked' issue? [The Guardian]
28 May 2012
11 May 2012
23 April 2012
16 April 2012
13 April 2012
28 March 2012
26 March 2012
12 March 2012
08 March 2012
07 March 2012
01 March 2012
23 February 2012
21 February 2012
15 February 2012
06 February 2012
24 January 2012
23 January 2012
18 January 2012
13 January 2012
5 January 2012
4 January 2012
23 December 2011
19 December 2011
16 December 2011
13 December 2011
09 December 2011
28 November 2011
27 November 2011
04 November 2011
07 October 2011
06 October 2011
20 September 2011
12 August 2011
02 August 2011
02 August 2011
30 May 2011
17 May 2011
10 May 2011
05 May 2011
20 April 2011
18 April 2011
12 April 2011
23 March 2011
9 March 2011
10 February 2011
10 January 2011
10 January 2011
25 November 2010
22 November 2010
06 October 2010
03 August 2010
Robert joins speechwriter Brian Jenner as co-organiser of the UK's first ever Business Book Festival. You can read the full press release here on www.booktrade.info.
03 July 2010
07 June 2010
We also had a quick look back at some of Robert's interesting moments and here are a couple we'd like to re-share with you-
04 June 2010
03 June 2010
As you've read, Robert has been revealed as The People's new online blogger and voice on mental health to increase understanding nationally. To read the full release click here
02 February 2010