Entrepreneur to offer some food for thought

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THE social entrepreneur behind “the UK’s first community supermarket”, which sells cut-price food to those in need, is the headline speaker at the Yorkshire Institute of Directors’ upcoming International Women’s Day event.

Sarah Dunwell’s latest enterprise is a supermarket that sells surplus food from supermarkets at reduced cost to those that can provide proof of hardship.

Ms Dunwell was formerly the chief executive of Leeds-based social enterprise Create. The catering firm received praise from many quarters, but ran into financial difficulties after a financial backer withdrew support. It was sold last year.

Ms Dunwell’s Community Shop venture opened a pilot store in Goldthorpe, the former mining village in South Yorkshire, last month. Community Shop is a subsidiary of Company Shop, the UK’s largest commercial redistributor of surplus food and goods.

“Much of the food we sell is basics such as pasta and sugar but we also sell produce that is in date but just mislabelled such as chocolate mousses in lemon mousse pots. It’s daft.Our customers are members who have provided proof of hardship. It’s a win win,” Ms Dunwell explained.

Ms Dunwell is one of an array of speakers lined up for a day of talks and workshops designed to throw the spotlight on inspiring women.

The International Women’s Day event on March 7 at DLA Piper’s Sheffield offices will also hear from Women in Science and Engineering award winner Kathryn Boulton Pratt.

She is head of science at Sheffield High School and was presented with the Adviser Award for the way she inspires teenage girls, in particular, to consider careers in science.

Tickets are £35 for members and £40 plus VAT for non-members. Book via www.iod.com/yorkshireevents or call 0113 243 0152.