Social Entrepreneurship

The Cause of Social Sector Enterprise Can Transform The Prospects for India's Talent Believes Baroness Thornton

The School of Social Enterprise aims to empower people from all backgrounds to create positive social change
Entrepreneur Staff
Former Associate Editor, Entrepreneur India
2 min read

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Baroness Glenys Thornton is the current Shadow Spokesperson (Health) for The House of Lords. Entrepreneur India caught up with the Lady on her visit to India to facilitate the 19 fellows of the the School of Social Enterprise India, a PwC India initiative that aims to encourage social enterprises in the country.

Thornton grew up in inner-city Bradford, attended a local comprehensive, and then studied politics and government at the London School of Economics, where she is now a Governor. She has previously been a Council member of Oxford Brookes University and served as a communications adviser to successive VCs of Cambridge University.

She has had a career in the voluntary, co-operative and private sectors for over 30 years, starting at Gingerbread, then the Citizens Advice Bureau and leaving them to work as Project Director at the Institute for Community Studies and Mutual Aid Centre from 1978 – 1981. Her job was to test and pilot the social innovation ideas arising out of the research conducted by Michael Young. She left the ICS to become Political Secretary of the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society, joining the public affairs team of the Co-operative Wholesale Society upon their merger in 1985 and working there until 1992. In 1993 Glenys became the General Secretary of the Fabian Society.

Thornton founded Social Enterprise UK in 2001 and chaired the organisation until January 2008. She also founded the All Party Parliamentary Group for Social Enterprise. In 2010 she became one of three Patrons of SEUK and in that capacity, she has been active in building what is now the Social Economy. Over the years, Thornton has been a Trustee of Action for Children, Jamie Oliver’s 15 Foundation, Training for Life, and of course The Young Foundation.

The School of Social Enterprise aims to empower people from all backgrounds to create positive social change. Its flagship learning programme, i.e. Social Start-Up Fellowship, helps individuals start, sustain and scale their social enterprises and social impact projects. 

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