Growing the Golden Co

Growing the Golden Co

Recently we’ve been asked more than once ‘So how do you scale up your business?’ and ‘Wouldn’t it be great if you could have as much impact as Jamie Oliver?’ Well, yes, of course, it would be wonderful to enable a much larger number of young people to get in touch with nature through the magic of beekeeping. And to open up opportunities for and with many more young people. But of how to do it when you are, like us at the Golden Co, a values-led organisation ? And values-led to the extent that the values guide everything, including how we generate profit right from the start of our business back in 2009? How we’re using our values is high lightened in an article published by Virgin Unite (the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group) and we hope that being very frank with the pitfalls and top tips is going to be useful for others too. We have been very fortunate to secure funding from an organisation that works with us to enable us to be profitable and financially independent in 2016. The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation supports the salary for a Project Director -the brilliant Gustavo Montes de Oca- full time until the middle of 2016. Without funding for this role it would have been impossible to grow in a values-led way. No doubt there is plenty of learning coming our way during the next 2 years. We will let you know how we get on for...

Our founder, a hero! (Observer Ethical Awards)

Dear members of our Golden Community, You know that our future is in young people, that our future is in bees and nature and that our future is in strengthening and encouraging the changemakers who bring onto the horizon a way of doing things that is both revolutionary and gentle.  Zoe is one of these people. Please vote for her to be this years Local Unsung Hero in the Observer Ethical Awards, and bring down a choir to celebrate her stunning work. Gustavo …. Voting for Local Unsung Hero is now over, but please keep your fingers crossed for Thursday June 13th when we find out if Zoe will win at the “Green Oscars” Also worth noting that our partners at Warren Evans, where we keep bees and run employee engagement have also been nominated for the award of Ethical Retailer!...

TEDx Businesses behaving like bees create value

When businesses behave a little bit more like bees and natural systems, they can excel while creating value over and above their own needs. Watch the video of Gustavo talking at TEDx LBS (London Business School) about our work bringing together young people and business employees around their shared need for nature. He talks about characteristics of the colony that allow it to maintain the conditions necessary for the creation of life while also enriching and enhancing the environment around them. This work benefits other species including humans by supporting global agriculture, economies and the beauty of the landscape....

Athena: feminine leadership

“We live in a world that’s increasingly social, interdependent and transparent. And in this world, feminine values are ascendant,” according to a new book by John Gerzema called The Athena Doctrine . He and pullitzer-prize winning journalist Michael D’antonio claim that there is a growth in  leadership which demonstrates traditionally conceived feminine traits and that this type of leadership will not only help businesses excel, but also do good. As part of their research the authors interviewed directors Anjum, Gustavo and Zoe and you can see a profile of Zoe Palmer on John Gerzema’s website. Our work with the bees has always helped us communicate to diverse groups the idea that not all leadership structures reflect the traditional “male” model seen in most large companies. Most of the colony is female, and all the workers are as is the queen. Within the hive there are up to 20 different genetic lines which could be in competition, but the potential egg layers cooperate in order to maintain the conditions necessary for the creation of life that benefit them all. Extending the metaphor beyond what the book (or we) advocate, the drones – the males – are not welcome in the colony over winter, when they would be a drain on resources and from August onwards if they have not left of their own accord their sisters can be seen attacking and even dismembering them!...

Customer Experience Project

Golden Co has been busy redesigning the Borough Market Stall. Our young people were keen to improve the overall customer experience. The design team, made up of our young people, spent time out at Borough Market looking at how traders attracted customers to their store.They discovered the importance of telling the story behind the company, and making it easier for visitors to view and sample products. Ezekiel and Jan, also felt that a large London map with all of the Golden Co bee hive sites would be a great talking point for customers and show the impact of the organisation. In the next session, armed with photo’s and inspiration from the Borough Market visit, the team shortlisted ideas for the new redesign. Top of the list was a new and colourful backdrop, clearly displaying Golden Co’s three core themes of nature, nature and enterprise. In addition, logo signage would be added to make the store more visible and easier to find for regular customers. The relaunch of the Market Stall will take place on 15 December 2012. Do come and down to the Market, and let us know what you think about our new look. Golden Co would like to thank Jenny for her support during the project. The project will continue into...
Meg Hillier MP visits The Golden Co

Meg Hillier MP visits The Golden Co

Meg Hillier, MP for South Hackney visited the Golden Co on October 12th and took part in a busy production day led by Golden Co young people. Ife and Lakshmi, representatives of this year’s and last year’s Golden Cohort, shared trade secrets with Ms Hillier, who watched as they led corporate volunteers through a production run. Ms Hillier, who is preparing to launch an initiative to help young people in Hackney within city and digital organisations, was impressed by the work carried out by the Golden Co, and their luxurious range of natural cosmetics. Meg Hillier said: “This amazing organisation is taking Hackney young people on a journey from sometimes challenging starts to success in business or the workplace. It shows what can be done when committed individuals work together and focus on the positive side of human nature. “And the products they make are well worth having in their own right.”...