Cliff Southcombe
Cliff Southcombe

Non-Whitby Branch Members are welcome to attend the talk after business has concluded. If you would like a Zoom invitation please contact Peter Bolton at

Be More Pirate!

Many of the pirates of yesteryear would probably nowadays become social entrepreneurs. Among the thieves and psychopaths were a large group of anarchists driven to the seas by their abhorrence of cruelty and injustice they found on land and on the merchant ships they attacked. They believed in democracy, and most decisions were carried out through a one person one vote on board. They believed in fairness and always distributed their loot fairly. They set up the first disabled insurance scheme, treated women and black people as equal and many of their elected captains were black or women. They freed many slaves and indeed its pirate culture with their dreadlocks and love of justice that is probably the main influence on current day Rasta culture as many of them retired to the West Indies with their Pirate pension or disability payment. They invented branding. Creating wild stories and myths about themselves so that many a ship gave up at the sight of their flag, killing people and fighting it seemed was something they tried to avoid.

For my talk I will explain how social enterprise is the ship of modern day pirates, attacking the flagships of capitalism and looking to create a society that is fair, democratic and takes care of people.  I will suggest ways that Labour party members can be more pirate.

Cliff Southcombe

Is the Managing Director of Social Enterprise International Ltd.  For the past 25 years his company has introduced and developed the concept of social enterprise in over 45 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Promoting the idea that best practice in all business is governance by ethics, values and social objectives and management should be through democratic and inclusive structures.

He leads a team of 20 leading experts based in Europe, South America and Asia. The Company has active Social Licences with a number of other international companies with shared values and objectives.  He is  a Founder of the FairShares movement and from which he developed the Shared Wealth Social Enterprise model which is now the model being promoted by SEi Ltd.

Born in India but based in the UK, Cliff is one of the founders of the Social Enterprise movement in the UK in the early 90s. Previously he was manager of England’s first Community Cooperative in the 1980s and was a founder of the community enterprise movement.  He set up a successful managed workspace company in the 1990s.  He has pioneered work on legal structures, social auditing and social licensing and new practices on social enterprise governance and management.  He designed and delivered the first accredited courses in social enterprise management.

He lives in Robin Hoods Bay in North Yorkshire where he helped his own community set up a successful broadband social enterprise.


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