Josh Littlejohn MBE
Josh Littlejohn is one of the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs. Josh is the co-founder of Social Bite, a social enterprise in Scotland with a mission to eradicate homelessness in the country. Social Bite started as a small chain of sandwich shops, which shot to global fame when Hollywood A-lister George Clooney visited an outlet in 2015. Another Oscar winner Leonardo Di Caprio then visited the social enterprise in 2016.
Social Bite competes in high street takeaway food, as well as the high end restaurant market, but does so for a social purpose. 100% of Social Bite’s profits are donated to good causes and 1 in 4 of their staff are people from homeless backgrounds. Social Bite also feed the homeless with food that their customers pre-pay for. The organisation is by far the largest distributor of free fresh food and hot drinks to the homeless in the UK – giving away over 100,000 items each year.
Josh is also the founder of The Scottish Business Awards and as well as Clooney and Dicaprio, he has also enlisted the help of world leaders such as President Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson to support his social endeavours.
In 2016, Josh co-founded a Social Enterprise beer company called Brewgooder, where 100% of the profits go towards providing clean water. The brewery plans to provide clean drinking water for 1 million people in five years.
At the age of 31, Josh has raised over £7 million for charity and made a significant impact on the issue of homelessness in Scotland. Josh is an originator of social businesses which not only tackle pressing issues but radically challenge how we think about doing business.
In 2017, Josh was given an MBE in the New Years Honours list, which he dedicated to the homeless and marginalised. He has recieved 2 honorary doctorates and he also made the Debrett’s list of 500 most influential people in the UK 2017.
In the same year, Josh raised more than £4M to help eradicate homelessness in Scotland, by organising the world’s biggest sleep-out event Sleep In The Park. Over 8,000 people slept out on a cold winters night in Edinburgh and Sir Bob Geldof, John Cleese and Liam Gallagher were just a few of the star names involved, with major media outlets covering the success of the event and Josh Littlejohn himself. Throughout 2018 the funds raised are being used to help bring over 500 people off the streets in Scotland. The event was handed the Judges Choice Award at The Herald Culture Awards in July 2018 and it came in at #10 on ‘The Massive Top 25’, which recognises the biggest charity mass participation events of the year.
On February 13th, 2018, Josh welcomed HRH Prince Harry and Ms. Markle to Social Bite’s Rose Street sandwich shop in Edinburgh, marking the start of the Scottish Year of Young People 2018.
On May 17th, after months of hard work by Josh and his team, the Sleep in The Park legacy began, as the Social Bite Village in Edinburgh was officially launched and in late June they welcomed their first residents. The Village offers a home to vulnerable homeless people for 12-18 months, during which time they’ll be provided with extensive support in a community environment where residents learn new skills and get their life back on track.
Sleep In The Park returned across 4 cities on December 8th 2018 and raised a furhter £3.5 million pounds to help end homelessness in Scotland.
Kruger Cowne Speaker Awards: Philanthropy Speaker of the Year 2017.
"Josh and Social Bite have done incredible work to help homeless people in Scotland by giving them the opportunity to work in their cafes and restaurants. Their groundbreaking new homeless village which will help break the cycle of homelessness."
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
"Josh and Social Bite are being bold in trying to show how the cycle of homelessness can be broken, by giving people support and stability, and that's something that I'm keen to back."
Sir Chris Hoy
“…We at RSM were privileged that Josh accepted our invitation to be our guest speaker at our Leadership Lunch in our Edinburgh office to deliver a key note speech to our handpicked guest list of business leaders. Josh delivered an articulate, informed, thought provoking and impassioned speech as to his support of, work with, and Leadership in, tackling homelessness in Scotland. Josh is an impressive advocate for this very worthy cause…”.
"Josh is an inspirational and very engaging speaker. You could have heard a pin drop in a room of 400 people as he recounted the story of Social Bite."
Lindsay Gardiner, Regional Leader, PwC
“I have heard Josh speak on a number of occasions, most recently at a KPMG conference with a number of my colleagues. For someone so young, he has a great story to tell and delivers it in both an interesting and humorous manner. The feedback was fantastic, everyone feeling truly inspired. I would have no hesitation in recommending Josh.”
"Josh Littlejohn was a pleasure to work with. Josh spoke at the British Franchise Association’s Business Breakfast and proved to be an inspirational speaker. Our guests found Josh’s anecdotes moving, engaging and comical as he shed light on the food service industry and the opportunities we can create for others as a result of small but kind gestures. The bfa would highly recommend Josh as a keynote speaker and would be delighted to work with him for future events."
Brittish Franchise Association
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