Roberto Daniele changed my life with his passion and enthusiasm. I was an undergraduate student at Oxford Brookes University without a huge amount of motivation it wasn’t until I started OBSEA that my life changed completely. It awoke my passion and understanding that we need to do more, we need to listen and we need to care for others in this world we live in. Roberto helped to kick me into action. After graduating with all my learnings from my course but also from the extracurricular experiences of social entrepreneurship and commercial thinking, I moved back to my home country in Zimbabwe where I lived and worked in the most remote, poverty-stricken parts of the country in order to understand peoples’ problems through listening and living through it myself. This helped to develop many sustainable social enterprises on the ground that are still running and still developing without me. With this understanding, I moved back to the UK in order to share the voices of those unheard and to support with a newfound understanding and motivation that I hope will encourage many more. None of this would have happened without the encouragement from Roberto, who has always been a mentor and a true inspiration. I am forever grateful for his mentoring and am in awe of all that he does and continues to do in this world!
My undergraduate course was great, but it was because of the Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneurship Awards program (OBSEA) that my time at Oxford Brookes was spectacular and completely lifechanging. The extracurricular opportunities created through OBSEA program provided me with the foundation and experience of social enterprise and commercial thinking that has led me to where I am today. Since graduating, I have set up and grown Good Boost (formerly Fluid Motion) which was conceptualised in my final year. Good Boost is now funded by NHS England and we are working with the Department of Work and Pensions to expand our services in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. We have a deep impact on our participants lives, from avoiding surgery, returning to work and living life with less pain and more movement. Roberto had a huge influence on my thinking, development and reflection over the 2.5 years I was engaged in the OBSEA program. He consistently went over and above the call of duty to offer me his time to discuss ideas and focus my thinking (I had three projects through OBSEA in total, my challenge isn’t ideation, it formalisation and concreting ideas, without Roberto providing advice, structure and guidance, I would still be drawing ideas rather than delivering them). He is a man whose passion and immersion in the sector lend such gravitas to his words and actions. Moreover, a wealth of business experience meant Roberto offers real world advice, not just theoretical. I am indebted to Roberto and the OBSEA team for providing me with the direction, skills and support to create a social business that we are directing to an international stage within the next 2 years.
Roberto is a charismatic leader and a man I was delighted to collaborate with during his leadership of the Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneur Awards. Respected by students and faculty alike, Roberto has that rare gift of transmitting his passion and energy to all those around him. Always seeing the big picture, yet able to advise and guide students on the micro details, Roberto created a 1st class university wide program at Oxford Brookes which was a privilege to be part of and won widespread recognition. This is a man who genuinely cares about both the personal wellbeing and academic performance of those under his charge, and I personally saw his students connect with that. They can spot the genuine article from the fake. Perhaps because Roberto can see the potential in others, whoever they are: colleagues, contributors or students. He’s a renowned leading thinker on his subject, always professional, down to earth and a decent, upright person. Wish he was still this side of the world!
The five years at Oxford Brookes University that I worked with Roberto Daniele were amongst the most fulfilling, enriching and rewarding of my career. As leader of a new and innovative cross curricular programme which successfully introduced social entrepreneurship at Oxford Brookes, Roberto was instrumental in it moving rapidly to become a flagship programme for the entire University. His leadership enthusiasm and sincerity are infectious underpinned by his conviction that social entrepreneurship and social innovation are excellent tools to develop students, staff and recent graduates to broaden their horizons, fulfil their potential and “lead lives of consequence”.
During our time working together we secured funding, established a partnership with the University of Oxford, established a forum for burgeoning local social enterprise community nationally and internationally and won numerous recognition awards for our innovative approach. I have no hesitation in endorsing Roberto who is a fine example of someone who makes a real positive difference to people’s lives”
It was a privilege to work as part of Roberto’s team when he led the national award-winning Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneurship Awards. His passion for social enterprise and making a difference was infectious. His capacity to engage and empower students to discover entrepreneurship and tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time was legendary. Together we supported over 120 projects with over £150,000 of direct funding most of which we raised. About 30 are still sustainable trading operations and we created over 100 jobs. Roberto’s ambitious thinking and vision forever led us forward to push the boundaries of the program both in the UK, and internationally – and he has helped sow the seeds of a new generation of positive change-makers. Above all Roberto’s from-the-heart approach created a vibrant, dynamic and supportive community of staff, students and alumni all taking ‘baby steps’ to learn new skills, prepared to take on new challenges and champion each other’s successes. If you have the chance to work with Roberto, take it with both hands – I have no doubt it will be a life-changing and inspiring journey.
I am thrilled to offer a heartfelt endorsement for Roberto Daniele, with whom I worked for several years at Oxford Brookes University. What I found inspiring about Roberto’s professional contribution was his unstinting belief in the power of education to make the world a better place. He engaged students with major challenges facing society – inequality, poverty, environmental degradation – and inspired them to take action. In addition, he used the university as a platform to support the development of social enterprise in the UK. He empowered others to adopt business models that break from the norm, to create organisations that have a positive impact on people’s lives.
Roberto has a rare gift: in addition to being an idealist, he achieves real impact. He motivates students and entrepreneurs to live by their values and to look beyond personal financial gain as the only measure of professional success.
I am delighted to write this endorsement for Roberto Daniele whom I got to know well during his time working with the University of Isfahan to lead the development, launch and delivery of our first university-wide social entrepreneurship program UISEA (University of Isfahan Social Entrepreneur Awards). The program, one of the first of its kind in Iran, attracted a high number of students and University staff members as well as considerable attention from media, industry and government institutions. As a result, Roberto, working in conjunction with the University, was able to raise substantial industry funding to run the program. During this time, I was impressed not only with Roberto’s dedication and passion for social entrepreneurship, but also for his ability to motivate students and staff alike towards a higher purpose. Roberto brings to the table strong leadership skills which, combined with his ability to be a strong and dedicated team player make him a true champion for social entrepreneurship.