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New project's vision to change the world
A new organisation aims to make businesses in Brighton and Hove work together to keep profits in the city.
The Brightoneers say we are all capitalists now but that leaders must aim to improve the wellbeing of all members of society by being more socially responsible and supportive.
Tom Nixon, an entrepreneur who founded social consultancy NixonMcInnes and Dave Boyle, an expert on the co-operative movement, wants Brighton firms to work together to create more jobs for graduates and to make sure that their profits stay in the area.
They believe business leaders in Brighton can be an example to the world.
The fledgling organisation will hold a free networking event and launch party in January and is planning a street festival next summer to celebrate pioneering businesses in the city.
Mr Nixon said: “Brighton is an amazing city with huge challenges and opportunities.
"The largest employer in the city is American Express.
"The city should be grateful for the jobs that have been created, and I certainly don't want them to leave, but it's not owned by the people here and so the bulk of the profits leave Brighton.
"Businesses like Infinity Foods, Mooncup and Brighton Energy Coop are demonstrating what's possible.
"We want to see much more of this type of business so that it collectively becomes the largest employer in the city, sustainably and affordably providing everything that local people need, from food to transport to energy – as well as exporting to the rest of the world.
“Our intention is to build a highly collaborative and supportive network of local businesses.”
Future for business
The group has highlighted the ethical supermarket as an example for others. hiSbe – short for how it Should be – aims to bring healthy, affordable, local and sustainable food to people in the city.
Ruth Anslow, the founder of hiSbe in Stroudley Road, said: “We want to be in The Brightoneers because we think it's the future for business.
“It's about businesses working collectively as part of the community, making a positive impact on the local area and doing business in a responsible way for society and the planet.
“We think businesses should do the right thing as well as make money.”
Julia Chanteray, the president of Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, said that the plan would find a receptive audience in the city.
She said: “I’m sure that Mr Nixon will find many kindred spirits in the city in his mission to create businesses with meaning.”