Penny Newman OBE
Penny has been running enterprises with a combined focus on commercial growth and social impact for the past 20 years. At Cafedirect - the UK’s largest 100% Fairtrade hot drinks company - Penny led the company to become the flagship brand for the Fairtrade movement. She pioneered a profitable and unconventional business model, achieving exceptional financial and social returns. She led the company in the largest public ethical share issue in the UK, raising £5m for the organisation.
For Fifteen, Penny led the transformation of The Jamie Oliver Foundation (formerly the Fifteen Foundation), diversifying its income streams and increasing its social activities and support of vulnerable young people. This included the first product range of Fifteen kitchen accessories designed and developed by the apprentices.
Prior to both, she worked for the social and environmental retailer The Body Shop.
More recently, Penny led a change management programme to build the financial sustainability of the national women’s charity Platform 51, which inspires and supports vulnerable and disadvantaged women and girls to take control of their lives.
She is a director of the Social Enterprise Mark Company, the independent certifier and owner of the Social Enterprise Mark.
She was awarded the OBE for services to ethical business in 2008 and in 2007 was the winner of the Dods & Scottish Widows Business Women of the Year Award.