News Article

Mansion House banquet for new Freemen of the Guild of Entrepreneurs

Sir Rod Aldridge OBE, a Founder Freeman of the Guild of Entrepreneurs, was invited to be Guest Speaker at the banquet held on 23 June 2015 to welcome the seven new freemen admitted that evening at the ceremonial court.

Sir Rod was invited to speak about his own entrepreneurial journey from public to private sector; building the outsourcing company Capita from a tiny start-up business to a FTSE 100 Company; and the educational charity he founded after his retirement, the Aldridge Foundation, which sponsors non-selective entrepreneurial academy schools and colleges across the country.

Sir Rod said: “We have focused on areas where, historically, students have left school with a low standard of education and limited job prospects, but we encourage our students to have a mind-set that strives to solve problems, rather accepting the status quo. To challenge the way things are rather than believe they should always remain the same. And above all, to believe that anything is possible.”

He went on to explain how the Aldridge Foundation’s entrepreneurial learning attributes are embedded in classroom practice across the curriculum, as well as underpinning the way the academies are led and managed. This would be particularly apparent through one of the charity’s most exciting new developments: the Aldridge Entrepreneurship School (AES) hoping to open in 2016.

AES will cater for 300 students aged 14- 19, and every student will become an entrepreneur by being part of a team running their own business or social enterprise, whilst achieving academic qualifications in line with the national curriculum.

Sir Rod expressed his gratitude to the Guild of Entrepreneurs for offering to support the development of this school, emphasising the responsibility of all assembled to raise a new generation of entrepreneurs for London.

[With the kind permission of The RT. Hon The Lord Mayor, The Guild was granted special permission to hold the banquet at the historic Mansion House; the incumbent Lord Mayor’s home for his year of office. Image courtesy of the Guild of Entrepreneurs.]