Oli Barrett: Make Your Mark with a Tenner, Web Mission
Focus: Networking and consulting
Oli Barrett, 30
A man so ridiculously well connected that Barack Obama follows him on Twitter, former Butlins redcoat, new Growing Business columnist and serial entrepreneur Oli Barrett is also something of a ‘go to guy’ for both the public and private sectors. Arguably top of his list of social entrepreneurship achievements is the influential Make Your Mark with a Tenner campaign, which sees 10,000 pupils competing to build enterprises in a month with just £10.
He also brought speed networking to the UK, took 20 UK web companies to San Francisco to learn from key people in Silicon Valley for Web Mission, and helped create the Catalyst Awards, celebrating achievements in social technology. He’s also helped launch a few companies, such as language learning network Friendsabroad.
Barrett has continued his winning streak of setting up successful companies, launching social innovation agency CoSpA in 2010, which works with brands, companies, government, public sector organisations and charities to deliver social action projects. For the last few years the entrepreneur has headed up trade missions to the US, India, and Brazil, helping UK start-ups explore new business opportunities. In 2011, Barrett founded StartUp Britain – a national enterprise campaign offering resources, support and guidance to help people set up and grow businesses. Barrett was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2013 for services to business and entrepreneurship and in 2015 was named as one of the UK’s 100 “most connected men” by GQ magazine for the second year running.