Independent Co-op leaders appointed Responsible Business Ambassadors for HRH The Prince of Wales

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Regional Co-operative chief executives, Mark Smith from The Southern Co-operative and Minnie Moll, joint chief executive for the East of England Co-op, have been appointed by HRH The Prince of Wales to be Business in the Community’s (BITC) Responsible Business Ambassadors.

The Prince annually appoints an inspirational business figure in each of the UK’s regions to represent the responsible business movement and lead other businesses in the region to take action to address key issues.

Speaking of his appointment, Smith said: “It is a great honour to be chosen by His Royal Highness to champion responsible business in the South East. We know that responsible businesses contribute towards more resilient communities, stimulate local economies, help to create skilled and healthy workforces, and tackle environmental challenges.“There is also a real benefit for those businesses and the people in them. I am therefore looking forward to using my time as Ambassador to help grow the responsible business network in the region.”

Smith, a member of the BITC Advisory Board for the South East, has been actively involved in driving the agenda for companies to engage with education in the region.

As South East Ambassador, Smith will continue to focus on using responsible business to engage with young people from challenging backgrounds, to encourage aspiration and the achievement of personal potential irrespective of their circumstances.

As part of his Ambassador role, Smith will also work with BITC to strengthen the responsible business network on the south coast.

One of Moll’s ambitions in her role as Ambassador for Responsible Business in the East of England is to drive the East of England Co-op’s commitment to supporting dementia awareness and inspire other businesses to take action. The East of England Co-op has trained over 3,000 of its colleagues as Dementia Friends, has won an award for Staff Education at the national Better Society Awards, and has been nominated for a prestigious Princess Royal Training Award.

Working with BITC, Moll will make this award winning training available for free to businesses across the East of England, in a bid to help more companies become dementia friendly. She will also sit on the BITC East of England Advisory Board and will champion the East of England’s Co-operative’s practice and principles, leading on a BITC ‘Seeing is Believing’ event.  

Moll said of her appointment: “I feel honoured to be appointed by HRH and proud to be one of 4 female Ambassadors chosen for their leadership in transforming business. It is now accepted that businesses have a key role in the communities in which they operate and have an obligation to help build resilient communities alongside local economic growth.”

“As a co-op it is in our DNA to be a responsible business and support communities, so I look forward to spreading the message across the region, building on our support of local producers, and engaging the business community in this important agenda.”