Karmic Capitalist - businesses with purpose

"I'm a missionary, not a mercenary" Freddie Fforde CEO of Patch

September 07, 2023 iyas alqasem Season 1 Episode 54
Karmic Capitalist - businesses with purpose
"I'm a missionary, not a mercenary" Freddie Fforde CEO of Patch
Show Notes

The rise in demand for local working spaces is very visible. It's unfortunate that the category was tarnished by WeWork founder Adam Neumann, whose fortune is dwarfed only by the lack of ethics displayed in building it. But it doesn't need to be so.

An alternative would be to start to consciously build workspaces not only based on a pound per square foot and the distance to the nearest Waitrose, but rather on the basis of the communities in which they're located, and how they can best serve and integrate with those communities.

That's very much the ethos behind Patch, a company building working spaces founded by my guest today, Freddie Fforde.

Patch locations are designed and built on a foundation of community contribution, local and ethical sourcing, a local scholarship programme (early days), in-kind charity donations, 100 year thinking, equality of opportunity, sustainable design, and values which have been very clearly thought through and implemented.

Three simple values:
- Near, reflecting the desire to allow people to work in their local community;
- Balanced, reflecting the flexibility to allow everyone to balance their lives appropriately without having work location be the key driver;
- Build to last, reflecting Freddie's intent that the decisions the company and its team makes should be ones for a company that will last over 100 years.

It's a wonderful set of values. We discuss how Freddie came to them, how they come alive in the company, and his vision for bringing Patch not only to the obvious affluent locations, but to all high streets in the UK's towns.

As one of his investors with a background in the area says, " I'm only investing if you agree with me. We're not done until we're in Wigan."

(I discuss with Freddie after the recording that they shouldn't be done even when they're in Wigan. I'd like to see one open up in Gaza!)

This is a rich episode where we also discuss topics of privilege and the fact that although you can't change your background if it is privileged (which in the UK the vast majority of us have), you can become aware of that privilege and use it to help.

Freddie's a thoughtful founder. Enjoy this episode.


I host a weekly online workshop with CEOs of SMEs (10 to 100 employees approx) about scaling up, allowing them to step back and do more strategic work, and doing it in line with their values. Max 6 per session so we can have a real conversation.

If you'd like to join me, find a date that works for you here. They aren't charged for - you and I will both get value from the conversation.

Only CEOs / MDs apply - strictly peer-level conversation.