Young businesspeople inspired by Innocent

Young entrepreneurs today are increasingly identifying with the founders of Innocent Drinks rather than hard-nosed tycoon Sir Alan Sugar, the Financial Times reports.

A new study by the London School of Economics (LSE) found that business in the UK has lost the element of greed that accompanied it in the 1980s and has entered the social mainstream.

More than half of the 800 young entrepreneurs questioned by the LSE said they thought people in the UK saw them as ‘respectable business people’, a far cry from the aggressive businessmen and women of the 1980s.

The company that inspires many is smoothie maker Innocent Drinks, which has a do-good ethos and has been built up to have a turnover of nearly £100 million.

Its founders, Adam Balon, Richard Reed and Jon Wright, established the company in order to produce smoothies using only natural ingredients. In an era of corporate social responsibility, its attitude is admired by many young people.

‘The founders of Innocent are seen as having created a good product and a dynamic work culture while remaining true to themselves,’ says LSE sociologist Don Slater.

However, the company caused a furore when it decided to sell its smoothies in fast food chain McDonald’s.

See also: Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed says optimism key to small business success

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