Throughout my career, community development and enterprise have been recurrent themes. Early on, I spent time teaching and doing voluntary service overseas where I saw at first hand the futility of well-meaning, top-down, development programmes when the Overseas Development Agency wanted me to teach chemistry to the children of sub-Saharan farmers. English and oral rehydration were what was required.
I first got involved with the business support sector 20 years ago. I have had plenty of commercial experience working in small businesses, serving as a Director of one for several years. In May 2003, I set up my own company, Realise Development. I had the opportunity to work with Ernesto Sirolli and the other Directors of the Sirolli Institute for two years and was closely involved with the development of projects in UK and North America. I left the Institute in January 2008.
I am a trainer, consultant and writer on enterprise and entrepreneurship, management and leadership, and community development. I am also a keen twitterer (@mikechitty) and have helped to pioneer ‘Social Media Surgeries’ in Leeds. I firmly believe in the power of enterprise to transform even our most challenging communities.