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  • Social Entrepreneur Index

Social Entrepreneur Index Nominee: Nutriri

Nutriri is helping bring an end to body stigma and disordered eating after Helen James 30 years experience in weight loss/gain research spurred her on to find another way to help.

Helen James - Nutriri

What does your social enterprise do?

Nutriri holds weekly groups (online & offline) that coach mindful eating and body confidence to bring an end to body stigma and disordered eating. We also reach beneficiaries/customers through workplace well-being workshops; online courses and workshops.

What made you start your business up?

I decided that enough was enough! After a 30 year ‘career’ in weight loss/gain and research that diets damage our physical and mental well-being; carry a 95% ‘failure’ rate and drive a £15bn annual economic impact in the UK, from eating disorders. After lots of conversations with others who were fed up with the status quo and feeling that the industry is broken; we set about finding other ways to help.

How do you measure your impact?

Quantitative impact data is gathered using a short Warwick Edinburgh mental well-being scale. We look for an up-score from increasing meaningful connection, reducing stigma and isolation, raising self-esteem. Our impact is also being measured by the number of volunteers we attract, that want to help us replicate and grow our impact. Qualitatively we received really heartfelt feedback and endorsement through award nominations and personal referrals.

What help did you have to start your social enterprise?

In the beginning we didn’t really know what a social enterprise was and felt very fortunate to have the School for Social Entrepreneurs listen to the early ideas; they gave us a fellowship place on their Lloyds Bank linked 2016/17 cohort in Bristol and Big Lottery supported with a small initial grant. From there it’s been about piloting, reflecting, pivoting, piloting our way to our current offering. We’ve been recognised by the commercial accelerator at NatWest which comes with free office space, training and mentoring and also fab support from Enterprise Nation too.

How did you decide on what legal form would work best for your business?

We’re currently a company limited by shares with full asset, mission and profit lock and did this with the insightful support from the platform - we feel that this is our ‘best fit’ for now and will keep us attractive to social investment and some grant bodies to establish our fast growth strategy. Our mid to long term aim is to become customer and employee owned so a multi stakeholder co-op constitution might be applicable.

What’s the best thing about being a social entrepreneur?

Getting the chance to create innovative solutions to social problems. I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life before this; it always felt like something was missing - and this is most definitely it! Getting to use my lived experience; feeling enough already and having that experience recognised as valuable to others. Using it to enable others to find this sweet spot for themselves.

What has been your biggest challenge when setting up and running your social enterprise?

Early peaks and troughs in mental health, to be honest. I read somewhere today about a very successful guy who set up an impact company that coached people out of debt, and in his startup phase he was himself in crippling debt, so he felt this ‘impostor syndrome’ until he reached successful turnover. That resonated with me; I felt for a long time that I ought to have my ‘stuff’ sorted to be better equipped to help others sort theirs. Now I see that to display fallibility and what is real brings about a deeper connection for everyone.

What advice would you give to aspiring social entrepreneurs? Access all the free resources that you can google, join social entrepreneur forums, ask questions, be open to being ‘wrong’, become a reflective practitioner as soon as you can.

What information sources would you recommend (books, websites, organisations?) to help someone just starting their social enterprise journey?



Ego is The Enemy - Ryan Holiday

What are your plans for the next 2-5 years?

Fundraise! Through as much free money as possible first followed by social investment. We are developing our social franchise model and will increase our recruitment to deliver as many locations around the UK as possible.

Want to get involved with the UK Social Entrepreneur Index? Enter your nomination here.



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