"A good social entrepreneur does good and inspires others to do likewise"
Xavier Bosch is Chief Executive of Reach Out!, a charity originally founded in Manchester with only a handful of volunteers mentoring on projects in Hulme, Moss Side and Longsight. Starting out as a homework club, the charity has rapidly grown to support 200 children’s academic and personal development each year.
What is Reach Out?
We are a mentoring charity working with children in deprived areas of Manchester and London on a one to one basis. The purpose of the mentoring is to help mentees grow in character (fairness, self mastery etc) and competence (numeracy, literacy etc).
How would you describe yourself in 3 lines?
A struggling chief executive, battling funding cuts and increased demands for our services.
Why did you create Reach Out? How did it born?
We were founded in 1994 by my predecesor. He saw an opportunity: thousands of university students with plenty of time in their hands for three years of their lives, and thousands of young people who could benefit from a mentor, but could not afford it.
Which are the main difficulties you found with Reach Out?
Managing growth. Funding.
What works better for getting money in Reach Out?
When people understand that we are good at doing good.
Do you think that society recognizes your social work and the efforts of other social entrepreneurs?
Yes, but they are not always ready to put money behind it.
Can you tell us any touching history that happened to you these years?
There are many. Parents telling us that we are the best things that has happened to their children. Young people telling us they avoided prison (unlike their peers or siblings) because of us, people with no university background in their families going go to university. Etc.
Which are the most important characteristics of a good social entrepreneur?
Wanting to do good and inspiring others to do likewise. Generosity.
What helped you the most to keep the organization going?
Having a wonderful team to work with.
What would you ask for Reach Out?
Being able to recruit train and manage the best mentors.
What would you change in today’s society?
- A personal dream is: People to value the family.
- A must-see film: It’s a wonderful World.
- A must-read book: The Screwtape letters
- Who historical or contemporary person would you have a coffee with?: Jesus. Gregory the Great.
Written by Jaime Sánchez-Carpintero