I established The Aldridge Foundation in 2006 after retiring from Capita, the business I set up, and which became one of this country’s most successful companies.
My Foundation helps young people to reach their potential and improve their communities, principally through the sponsorship of entrepreneurial academy schools and colleges.
My life has been shaped by my ability to take the right kind of risks and be confident in doing so. I wasn’t frightened of failure when I started out, or reluctant to think differently. In my view, resilience, team work and creativity are the marks of the genuine entrepreneur. These attributes have helped me every day of my working life. It doesn’t matter if you want to set up a company, or work with a group of volunteers to improve your street – an entrepreneurial mindset is a major asset, and I think that every young person can benefit from developing this mindset as they grow up.
Everyone should have access to a good education. What do I mean by ‘good’? A good education gives people skills and qualifications, and it instills confidence, along with preparing young people for the challenges of life. Everyone has the right to expect an exciting, engaging and relevant education, regardless of who they are, or where they live.
As a result, the Foundation sponsors non-selective academy schools and colleges in areas where the outcomes students leave education with, their opportunities and the prospects for young people are most limited, and where the introduction of our entrepreneurial approach to education can have most benefit.
I don’t think everyone should set up a business, although we want to help those that wish to. I do think an entrepreneurial mindset gives people the life skills to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve, and take control of their life. I also expect the Foundation to behave in an entrepreneurial way too. The team here are unafraid to challenge conventional thinking and we all genuinely believe that there are no limits to what people can achieve. We want to keep learning, share what we have learnt with others, and work in partnership locally and nationally to improve life for more people.
Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about what we do, or want to work with us.