Social enterprise man goes all the way 'to test state of the sector'

Alex Sobel will live soley on the products of community enterprises

A social enterprise leader from Yorkshire has pledged to live on nothing but the products of social enterprises for the month of November.

Alex Sobel, general manager of Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber, intends to document details of his purchases on his organisation's website, with a commentary on how he is getting on.

"If I find it easy, that will tell us something about the state of social enterprise," he said. "If I find it impossible, that will tell us something else."

He said the obvious difficulties were paying for gas, electricity and water, but that he would be able to buy petrol from a John Lewis or Waitrose service station.

The idea came to him, he said, when reading a biography of 19th-century philanthropist Robert Owen, members of whose cooperative-style organisations tried to buy products only from other community enterprises.

"I wanted to show that we shouldn't talk about community enterprise all day, then go to Tesco at 5pm when we walk out of the door," said Sobel.

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