LinkedInRichard J Catherall

Richard J Catherall

Social economy entrepreneur. Creative, collaborative, connected and strategic in #socent #socinv #socinn #intdev #change

International Affairs
  1. Katarsis Ventures,
  2. Radical Capital
  1. Suffolk County Council,
  2. Action with Communities in Rural England,
  3. Ipswich Council for Voluntary Service
  1. Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Katarsis Ventures

Katarsis Ventures

Executive Managing Director

– Present

View full profile



Creative identity
Energise, Enlighten, Empower! Richard is a big picture thinker able to make strategic change doable. He created Katarsis Ventures to help make change happen with & for change makers internationally. His UK focus is enabling big money to connect with big, undiscovered ideas for social change through joint venture Radical Capital. Globally, from a Mediterranean base his focus is enabling learning, leadership & enterprise in the social economy, in particular to nurture the unique entrepreneurial Millennial leadership in post-conflict & transition societies. The profits resource inter-regional social innovation with leading social entrepreneurs.

Collaborative playground
Deloitte said it best. Social enterprise is the solution economy. By erasing boundaries between public & private sectors the solution economy has the potential to unlock trillions in social benefit & commercial value. Government is no longer the only game in town when it comes to societal problem solving. Social entrepreneurs develop these solutions to fill the gaps between state, private market & ever increasing public expectations. The social economy will grow because of seismic shifts in technology which enable leaders to break old trade-offs and network to create faster. Human creative capacity is unlocked. Big data is transforming the science & showing the magic of what works. Business has a growing belief that caring solely about profits is simply not rational anymore, a liability. Cross sectoral partnerships are rapidly multiplying, open, unlimited innovation.

Connected tribe
Social entrepreneurs aim to create value, exclusively or prominently through their enterprises. They show the capacity to recognise and take advantage of opportunities to envision change. They employ innovation, outright invention or adapting other's novelty. They are willing to accept above average risk in reaching this goal, are unusually resourceful, relatively undaunted in pursuing social value.


  • Innovation
  • Problem Solving
  • Strategy
  • Social Enterprise
  • Collaboration
  • Change Programmes
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Business Planning
  • Coaching
  • Governance
  • Leadership Development
  • Mergers
  • Negotiation
  • Contract Negotiation
  • New Business Development
  • Organizational...
  • Team Leadership
  • Scenario Planning
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Change Management
  • Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Non-profits
  • Policy
  • Public Sector
  • Sustainability
  • Local Government
  • International...
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Community Engagement
  • Private Sector
  • Charities
  • Business Transformation
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Program Management
  • Culture Change
  • Executive Coaching
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Workshop Facilitation
  • Masterclass delivery
  • Economic Development
  • Corporate Social...
  • Government
  • Social Innovation
  • See 35+  See less


Executive Managing Director

Katarsis Ventures
– Present (3 years)UK | Cyprus | Euro-Mediterranean region

Katarsis Ventures was founded in 2011. It works internationally to pursue breakthroughs in social innovation and sustainable change. Katarsis Ventures is a change company for change makers. The company aims to shape a market in the area of enterprise and innovation in post-conflict zones and transition economies. This international mission energises, enlightens and empowers people to become better leaders, to create and build great enterprises and innovate with each other through good business. We educate people about enterprise, design and asset based development approaches to solving societal problems. We help them strategise and collaborate with others to innovate. We specialise in helping them lead the change involved linked to fundamentals of sustainability. The team works systematically along the pipeline for social innovation, enterprise and investment.

The company is registered in the UK, and operates its international operations from Cyprus. The company delivers services and develops ventures in three areas,

Enterprise Education
Enterprise Strategy
Enterprise Innovation

Director and Co-founder

Radical Capital
– Present (2 years 8 months)United Kingdom

Radical Capital is a social venture intermediary. We work to bring the big money together with the big and undiscovered ideas in the social economy. The company offers services which enable clients to achieve investment readiness, understand and pursue strategies to shape markets and develop much better governance and sustainable cultures. Radical Capital is growing across the UK and aims to grow across Europe. Our clients are the visionaries and positive storytellers the UK needs and are delivering economic growth and social change in equal measure.

Company website @
Linkedin profile @
Follow @Radical_Capital

Senior Manager - Corporate Change Team

Suffolk County Council
(4 years)

What the council was trying to do was radical for its time. In 2008, predicting a recession and reduced investment in public services, and ahead of the Coalition Government, the council started to explore an alternative model for achieving greater social outcomes. The new thinking was difficult politically because it did not sit comfortably with the short-termism of annual elections. Those at the vanguard believed that it must be possible to create local services, normally delivered by local government, without increasing taxation or using traditional privatisation or outsourcing. Traditional business models were rejected, seeking instead a route that would build community capacity. I was an influential thinker in developing the model. I made a recognised impact as the in-house pioneer of social entrepreneurship; to change systems to achieve social impact. I was a protagonist and I also sought out and nurtured many of the practical successes of the model and did so relentlessly.

The council saved money, prototyped new ways of working, and most importantly people were energised, enlightened and empowered to change.

APPLYING THIS EXPERIENCE | This unique opportunity developed into being a platform for pioneering innovation in public services. Perhaps just as relevant experiencing the resistance this causes. Now applying this most through ideas and programmes about market shaping to enable entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to transform services and local economies.

Director Corporate Development

Action with Communities in Rural England
(1 year)Cirencester, UK

I was asked to lead a fundamental review of the business and how it allocated resources to achieve its outcomes. Part of this was changing how the organisation engaged its membership. The outcome of this work was helping to secure a £10.5 million 3 year outcome-based contract, developing the membership as a supply chain. The design of new service around a £500k pilot secured a £3.5 million 3 year contract for grant fund management. Restructuring around the outcomes of a focused corporate strategy delivered substantial long-term savings and improved the organisation's performance. This was measured by increased quality against benchmarks of governance, team dynamics, and stakeholder relationships. The independent review at the end of 2008 summarised the impact of this,

"The restructuring has resulted in a dynamic and committed national organisation capable of leading its members through this difficult and challenging times. Despite the rapid changes in the last 12 months, the benefits are already being realised."

APPLYING THIS EXPERIENCE | Success in shaping governance and collaboration between agencies seeded a commitment to excellent governance and ideas about where governance fits in a sustainable business.

Chief Executive Officer

Ipswich Council for Voluntary Service
(2 years)

A social enterprise with more than 60 employees and growing quickly. Growth needed to be reviewed and to become more focused. Affordable Childcare and youth services where improved and later demerged as a social enterprise, so that they could grow. Focus returned to innovating solutions around the business development challenges of members and relationships with key stakeholders and their priorities. Reputation and credibility returned measured by an increase in funding, membership engagement, new partnerships and influence. Funding increased and became more balanced through a substantial increase in income from trading, longer-term and more outcome focused relationships and new partnerships.

APPLYING THIS EXPERIENCE | The complex change and challenges involved stimulated my passion for SMEs and growing social enterprises. It provided the introduction I needed to focus my MBA research on competitiveness and sustainable growth.

Interim Consultant Manager

Suffolk County Council
(5 months)Ipswich, UK

Having been part of the project team which delivered an award winning Best Value Review of Contracting and Procurement, joined the team to design a framework which would eventually implement all of the findings of the review and lay the groundwork for the concept of Market Shaping picked up on from 2008.

Health and Social Care Partnership Manager

Community and Voluntary Form Eastern Region (COVER)
(1 year)

Consultancy with NHS and Department of Health about improving commissioning and contracting with the NHS and the potential role of social businesses in the provision of public services. Continued in this role as founding chair of Local Company Voice during which time the membership reached 250 local practitioners and began to influence the future of that landmark agreement between civil society sector and government.

Partnership Manager

Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations
(2 years)

This role was involved in all the characteristics and aspects of the government's policy to see voluntary organisations and social enterprises increase their role in the provision of public services. The challenge was to define what the role could be, where it could make the most impact. The role was positioned as a bridge between two very different worlds, sometimes only loosely connected with similar values. There were as many opportunities as barriers to market entry, and these would become the supply chain dynamics that motivated my MBA research and development of strategies for market shaping. During this time I worked locally and nationally on the development of the Compact and cofounded what would become influential knowledge exchange and peer support networks.


Aidpreneur Podcast(Link)


Having met Stephen in Istanbul working with the UNAOC on assignment, this interview was an opportunity for us to reflect and challenge each other on some of the motivations, learning and strategy of starting to work in international development from scratch.


Social Enterprise in Europe 2020(Link)

British Council
December 2013

A bold, sweeping and deliberately controversial look at where current trends might take social enterprise by 2020. Will there even be a social enterprise sector? Commissioned by the British Council for the European Commission Social Enterprise Conference, January 2014.


Çatışma Sonrası Dönüşüm: Kıbrıs'ta Barış Ekonomisi(Link)

January 2013

Article on the peace economy perspective in Cyprus. Original text translated from English to Turkish.


Is the UK's Foreign Aid Invested or Spent?(Link)

Guardian Newspapers
October 2012

Short article arguing that a proportion of Foreign Aid could make more impact as social investments made locally abroad.


Why isn't social enterprise more social?(Link)

Guardian Newspapers
August 2013

With over 6,700 views within the first few hours on the Guardian newspaper's homepage, this controversial article seemed to hit a cord or perhaps a nerve. It shares experience about trying to collaborate with social enterprises.

Social Enterprise 2020(Link)

British Council
January 2014

"We would like you to produce a thought provoking piece to stir up debate about where social enterprise might be going in Europe - something unexpected." So over a week we did.



FutureBridge Cyprus(Link)

FutureBridge was a concept linking talented young people through entrepreneurship, with the diaspora through investment as part of the ecosystem for innovation, enterprise and investment. The aim was to build a permanent fund for innovation, blending debt finance, endowment and grants into a unique social investment product. The concept was an Echoing Green semi-finalist and for two years a platform for a deep dive into Diaspora and supporting Entrepreneurship. During this time knowledge about the market developed and new relationships in an international network. The concept and learning from the project has been disaggregated and is being applied to other areas of work led by Katarsis Ventures, especially enterprise in post-conflict zones in association with the UN and relationships brokered with market leaders by USAID and the EIB.

Team members:

Training Exchange - Young Euro-Med Entrepreneurs in Interculturality(Link)

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations organized a prototype 5-day learning event in collaboration with the Fondazione CRT and the Italian Government plus mentoring and coaching over the next six months. As part of this team we brought 20 young people from the Euro-Med region together to enhance the skills needed to become a young social entrepreneur with particular focus on interculturality as the essential component of any business in this region. Results of the project included supporting fundraising of $500k in Palestine to prototype and expand social enterprise models and over $50,000 in Egypt and western Balkans to refine products and enter new markets.

This project benefitted from our flexibility as well as useful creativity in a team of multi-disciplinary professionals. We contributed with total commitment to the design and delivery of a prototype social investment and new approach.

Team members:

Entrepreneurs for Social Change(Link)

– Present

Applying the learning from an earlier prototype, Katarsis Ventures and AltCity have collaborated as curriculum partners to offer tailored enterprise education and strategic advice to another cohort of inspirational social entrepreneurs from the Euro-Med region. Mentoring and strategic advisory support aims to enable investment and market readiness and provide a pipeline to $2 million in funding and investment. This will provide intelligence and proof of concept on a number of potential joint-ventures and strategic relationships with impact and social investors now targeting the region and emerging asset class.

Team members:

Honors & Awards

Echoing Green Fellowship - Semi Finalist

Echoing Green

FutureBridge reached the top 10% of game changing ideas for the Echoing Green Fellowship 2013. FutureBridge is about building an endowment fund, to invest in Cypriot innovation and enterprise. Donors will be supported to invest collectively. Innovators will be supported to inspire them with their talent and credible proposals. Links will be established to stimulate philanthropy in the large Cypriot diaspora. FutureBridge will work collaboratively with other parts of the system in Cyprus, as well as seeking to influence the conditions needed to support innovation, enterprise and investment.


Chatham House; Royal Institute of International Affairs

– Present

Chatham House aims to be a world-leading source of independent analysis, information and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world for all. Chatham House is famous throughout the world for facilitating free speech and confidentiality at meetings originated here.

Volunteer Experience & Causes

Director, Trustee (Vice-chair, Treasurer)

Out and About
(8 years)Children

Supported the CEO and contributed to the corporate governance the organisation through a period of first focusing and then pursuing rapid growth across the east of England.

Director, Trustee

Space East
(1 year)Social Services

Supported CEO and contributed to the strategic governance of the housing and homelessness concerned regional body through a period of redirection and positioning.


(4 years)Children

Co-designed, organised and managed disabled young people focused, family friendly weekend leisure breaks in the Welsh mountains.

Company Director - unremunerated

Ipaxis Resident's Management Company
– Present (5 years 11 months)

Property management is a controversial and unregulated activity in the UK. This role has been almost totally about change management, crisis management and strategy. The challenge was originally to work with my co-Director to stabilise the management of the building and then replace the inefficient and negligent service provider. Though things have improved markedly, the legacy endures and the challenge is now to not just manage the relationship with a provider, in particular improving management information but also to develop the capacity of the board of directors and its engagement with the members of the company in the long-term sustainable development of the property which they call home.

Opportunities Richard J is looking for:

Causes Richard J cares about:

  • Civil Rights and Social Action
  • Economic Empowerment
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Human Rights
  • Politics
  • Poverty Alleviation
  • Social Services

Organizations Richard J supports:


  1. English

    Native or bilingual proficiency
  2. Turkish

    Limited working proficiency
  3. French

    Limited working proficiency


Cardiff Metropolitan University

MBA, Business management and leadership, Distinction in research

Research focus: The competitiveness of subregional social enterprise and charities. An investigation into resisting change, transformational change leadership, strategic marketing and business support for social enterprises and enterprising charities that have chosen to do business with government for public services.

Aberystwyth University

BSc ECON, Law and International Politics

The first year LLB programme, then the second year completed LLB, incorporated International Politics into this and final year to achieve joint honours.


Katarsis Ventures

  • Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM5 Coach and Mentor)


ILM5 Leadership Coaching and Mentoring

Institute of Leadership and Management in Education (InLaME)
– Present

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