Today we are speaking to Liberty Bollen from Pineapple, a UK social enterprise set up to incubate, accelerate and finance commercial businesses for profit, purpose and impact.

Well Libby, what's exciting you right now? 

The buzz around the impact economy and how business, social enterprise and impact investment are helping to make a positive social and environmental impact. There are some really influential people in the UK investment arena talking about the importance of tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at home and abroad. This is more than just ticking the CSR box, but a real drive to make a difference. I’m excited that Pineapple are right in the middle of this revolution. 

Also...the start of Blue Planet 2 series! As an avid scuba diver, I love looking at the delights of the Ocean. 

If money was no object, what would you do all day?

Scuba diving, beach cleaning and making cool new things out of the Ocean’s plastic pollution.

What is the worst/stupidest/most embarrassing thing you have done :-)?

There are many, but the one I can talk about publicly is going up to who I thought was Jason Orange of Take That in a gay bar in Manchester. Rather inebriated of course. I shouted “JASON!” like I’d know him for years, and then started dancing in front of him whilst singing "Relight my fire”….badly. It turns out it was actually Mark Owen. But I’ve never been a Take That fan, so wasn’t totally up to speed on who was who. Suffice to say, Mark and his mates pointed and laughed at me for the rest of the night. 

Is there anything that no one here knows about you? What is it?

I was a Bros fan. Don’t judge me. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Many things. Michael Jackson’s backing dancer, a Jazz singer and an environmental conversationist (I wrote a letter to Bill Oddie age 8 asking if I could work for the RSPB).

Favourite thing about GROW?

The people. You always get chatting to someone interesting in the Kitchen and the team who run it are amazing. I also like walking around Green Park, as it’s a peaceful break from the circus taking place in Reading’s town centre. 

In your opinion, what is the most valuable aspect of co working?

The networking and fun. At Pineapple, we’ve made some really valuable contacts and friendships through co-working. We also enjoy the diversity. We split our time between Grow and our permanent office at Jelly Art Studio in Broad Street Mall - and insist on supporting not-for-profit organisations and those driven to bring the community closer together. I’d die of boredom if I had to work at Regus!

Thanks Liberty! Good work investing in businesses which have a positive social and environmental impact, we're very pleased to be a part of your ecosystem. And say 'hi' to Mark...er, Jason...er, Robbie...um, Howard, er Gary, for us next time you're in Manchester ;-)!

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