Social Bite founder launches first book detailing how to become a ‘social entrepreneur’

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Leading social entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn MBE who has spearheaded initiatives that have raised over £25 million to help end homelessness, and can count George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio as supporters, has launched his first book, Paying It Forward: How to Be a Social Entrepreneur.

Paying It Forward, which is part memoir, part manifesto for social entrepreneurship, and part manual for ‘putting purpose ahead of profit’, has already gained praise from early readers including Sir Bob Geldof, novelist Irvine Welsh, film director Richard Curtis CBE, Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and actors Martin Compston and Dame Helen Mirren.

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In the book labelled ‘an essential read for our times’ by Richard Curtis CBE, Josh gives practical advice and guidance to those looking to enter the world of social entrepreneurship and shares inspirational stories from homeless people he has met over the last decade.

Josh also shares his personal story, exploring the ups and downs of founding and growing Social Bite - from opening a string of cafés, to creating a village to house homeless people, and staging fundraising ‘sleep outs’ all over the world.

Celebrating the launch in Social Bite’s original café in Edinburgh, Josh Littlejohn said: “I’m thrilled to launch my first ever book, Paying it Forward, which tells my story and chronicles all of the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and humour of life as a social entrepreneur.

“I hope it offers practical lessons to inspire anyone interested in using their own skills to make a difference in the world. Most importantly, I hope it shines a light on the remarkable people I have met over the years from homeless backgrounds who inspire me every day. It’s been a pleasure to work with the team at Heligo Books on Paying it Forward and I’m so excited for people to read the book.”

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Josh began working on the homelessness issue when he co-founded a small café in Edinburgh in 2012 and a young homeless man named Peter Hart plucked up the courage to go in and ask for a job.

This chance moment inspired a social enterprise that now operates six cafes in Scotland and London, offering jobs and food to homeless and vulnerable people.

Social Bite Josh Littlejohn launched his first book, Pay It Forward, on August 17Social Bite Josh Littlejohn launched his first book, Pay It Forward, on August 17
Social Bite Josh Littlejohn launched his first book, Pay It Forward, on August 17

In 2018, Josh and his team launched the Social Bite Village, a purpose-built community providing homes which has so far helped to house almost 100 people. In 2019, Josh launched The World’s Big Sleepout, with events in over 52 cities around the globe, and 60,000 people sleeping out in the world’s largest ever display of solidarity for homeless and displaced people.

Josh has so far helped raise over £25 million for charitable and homelessness causes and received an MBE from the Queen. He has received a Pride of Britain Award, a Robert Burns Humanitarian Award, five honorary doctorates and he also been included in Debrett’s list of the most influential people in the UK.

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Paying it Forward: How to be a Social Entrepreneur will be published in hardback, audio and eBook on Thursday August 17 2023. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Social Bite to help combat homelessness.

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