Josh Littlejohn

Co-founder of Social Bite

'...the purpose of the business is to try and achieve social objectives... I became really inspired by this idea.'

After uni, Josh had started an events company and founded the Scottish Business Awards.

But reading about and meeting Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunnus was a game changer, inspiring him to approach business differently.

Josh and partner Alice Thompson founded Social Bite – a growing chain of sandwich shops which is run as a social business.

100% of the profits go to good causes, and a quarter of their staff are formerly homeless people. 

Top tips for budding (social) entrepreneurs

Social enterprise 

‘When you have a social enterprise outlook, it leaves you free to make decisions which you probably wouldn’t otherwise make if they expand a social benefit. You can try and identify different ways to help people.’

Tenacity

 ‘A lot of it’s really difficult, and it’s stressful – especially when all of your life savings are in it – and it’s a lot of panic and worry. But every so often you’ll get just little victories that make it all worthwhile and keep you pushing forward.’

Learning 

‘I’d still say the main challenge is how much salt to put on the egg mayo, or getting your margins right on your sandwiches – the little details of becoming good at running a food business. That’s been a difficult learning curve. We’re still learning, and we still will be for a long time to come. You just have to make sure that you do learn, quickly.’

How to be your own boss

Find out about other entrepreneurs and the skills you need to set up your own business on the Be your own Boss page.

Timeline

Josh Littlejohn