How to get that job: Garreth Wood, restaurant entrepreneur and philanthropist

Wood is the brains behind the Adventure Philanthropy foundation, which provides a trusted group for individuals who want to give something back.

Jessica Elliott
Tuesday 19 January 2016 17:48
Careers - Gareth Wood

In a series on inspiring careers and how to get them, award-winning entrepreneur Jessica Elliott speaks to professionals at the top of their game to find out how you can get their dream job.

Serial entrepreneur Garreth Wood has created a business empire comprising of bars and restaurants employing 350 people across Scotland.

But it’s his philanthropic ideas that are causing waves across the international business scene. He's the brains behind the Adventure Philanthropy foundation, which provides a trusted group for individuals who want to give something back.

Wood is now committed to pioneering progressive entrepreneurialism, where the brightest minds can work together to solve real world problems, whilst running their own businesses in a socially responsible way. Wood is certain that every business in Britain can think this way, delivering great service to their own customers, but also providing something of value to their local and wider community.

We talked to Garreth Wood about how you can start up your own business with philanthropy at its heart.

Know your business

“I found myself in the hospitality trade when I started working as a glass collector, at the age of seventeen, before doing pretty much every job you could think of within the industry over the next few years.

"I fell in love with the people, the staff, the suppliers, and the trade itself, so I had a strong awareness of the industry. This helped me understand both how to run a successful hospitality business, and also where I could make a difference to the people working with me, and the communities that made up our customer base. By fully understanding your industry you will see how you can make your business socially responsible.”

Find the right funding

“You need to get set up to do some good, so do your research into where you get your start up capital, as there are lots of funding opportunities and government agencies out there that can help you set up your business.

"They all have pros and cons, and of course that comes with risk, but that is also part of the fun. Once you are set up, you can focus on creating the best possible business, and consider how you make a difference to society.”

Aim for sustainable change

“There is some ambiguity about what philanthropy means. I guess people would consider me a philanthropist, in that I care about people, I have a heart, I worry about what goes on in the world, and I have a social conscience, so I am always thinking about how I can improve other people’s lives.

"I think a lot of business people share these characteristics. We want to make sustainable social-economic change in the world, so when you set out your own philanthropic goals, this should be your aim.”

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