Meet our Founder, Paul Lindley OBE
In 2019 Paul founded just IMAGINE if…, an annual, university-based, innovation competition to support entrepreneurial ideas designed to address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Paul Lindley is an award-winning British entrepreneur, social campaigner and best-selling author. Paul believes the best businesses make profits AND have a core purpose to do social good; and that more ‘human-ness’ is needed in our economy and civil society. Paul is Chair of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights UK and of social enterprise Toast Ale, and is a Trustee of Sesame Workshop, the creators of Sesame Street.
In 2006 he founded Ella’s Kitchen, an innovative brand of organic baby food built on a core social mission. It has since become the UK’s largest baby food brand, with over $100M in sales across 40 countries. Paul stepped back from Ella’s Kitchen in 2018 to devote more of his time to social campaigning. In 2018, Paul was appointed Chair of the newly established London Child Obesity Taskforce by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The Taskforce aims to unleash a transformation across London so that every child has every opportunity to have a heathy diet, more water and increased physical activity.
In 2014 he co-founded The Key is E, supporting African entrepreneurs whose social businesses benefit children, and in 2017 published his first book, the critically acclaimed bestseller ‘Little Wins: The Huge Power of Thinking Like a Toddler’. Find out more about Paul here.
Paul explains how he came up with the idea for just IMAGINE if… on his blog.
just IMAGINE if… 2022 has secured the voluntary support of some of the UK’s business, social enterprise and entrepreneurial leaders, who have generously offered their time and expertise to support the finalists to give their perfect pitch at the just IMAGINE if…2022 final. We’ll be introducing each of our counsellors here as the competition progresses, so check back for updates!
The Counsellors include:
Founder of London restaurants Roast and The Cinnamon Club
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because the future of our planet lies with purpose minded entrepreneurs.
Founder of Toast Ale
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because I once imagined if I could have global impact on one of the world’s most egregious problems, and tonnes of people helped make that happen. The more who imagine & the more who help, the better.
Vice Chairman of Simply Business and Founder of 53° Capital
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because I believe that entrepreneurs have the best chance of answering society’s greatest questions. This is an opportunity to lend my experience in supporting the entrepreneurs in the competition and a chance for me to learn from them.
Sales & Marketing Director at Dynamic Planner, winner of The Apprentice Series 5
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because I believe passionately in encouraging the creation and awareness of businesses that contribute material and sustainable impact over the long term.
June O’Sullivan MBE
Chief Executive – London Early Years Foundation
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because sustainability is complex and needs to be understood by the public. One way to do this is to create new ways of doing business that takes account of our people, our planet and profit to design operational performance, to do business by doing good.
John O’Brien MBE
Managing Partner, ONE HUNDRED
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because in the ambition of delivering the SDGs, the world needs the most talented of people to apply their thinking to innovative new solutions. That is why it is a privilege to support those using their talents to be a positive force for good.
Professor-in-Practice/Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Durham University
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because it is an amazing initiative which not only inspires great ideas and social impact but also enables social innovation to make the world better.
Founder of Moblox, investor, and former BBC Dragons’ Den investor
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because social innovation will be driven by entrepreneurs and ordinary people with extraordinary ideas who take action to bring about change.
Portfolio Non–Executive Director of Halfords Group plc, Fuller, Smith & Turner plc and Ben & Jerry’s
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because I believe some of the most innovative ideas to drive meaningful social and environmental change have yet to be discovered.
Founder of Ride25 and The Instant Group
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… as all big ideas need support and experience to help set them on the right path to achieving something amazing and creating a meaningful impact on the world.
CEO Ella’s Kitchen
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because I passionately believe that business has to step forward and be the major part of the solution to the social and environmental issues and challenges we face.
Founder and CEO of Rubies in the Rubble
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because purpose led businesses are our future.
CEO of Morgan IAT
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because I truly believe that the contribution of the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators will help to revolutionise the way we live and our impact upon the world around us. They are our hope for the future.
Former Director of Sustainable Business (Plan A), Marks & Spencer, founder of MikeBarryeco
I’m supporting just IMAGINE if… because we need a radically different approach to business, one that’s good for customer, employee, planet, society and shareholder alike and that means new leaders, new products and new services.
24th Mar 22: Competition final in Durham
July 21 – March 22: Support programme for finalists
12th July 21: Relaunch of just IMAGINE if…2022
30th Mar 20: Postponed Competition Final
4th Mar 20: Finalists Announced
9th Feb 20: Competition closes
26th Nov 19: Competition opens
25th Nov 19: just IMAGINE if…2020 launch