Olivia Sibony is an award-winning entrepreneur (Awarded Top 10 UK Women Entrepreneurs 2019 — Wise100 Top Women in Social Business) and trailblazing ethical investment champion who left a career at Goldman Sachs to launch her foodtech startup, GrubClub, which she sold to Eatwith in 2017. She went on to launch SeedTribe, a platform focused specifically on connecting “impactful” businesses marrying profit and purpose, with investors.
She is a Board member of UCL’s Fast Forward 2030, which aims to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to launch businesses that address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as being Vicechair of the Mayor of London’s Women in Cleantech Taskforce.
She is also an advisor for the UK Department for International Trade (DIT), enabling more impactul entrepreneurs from around the world to scale their businesses, relocating to the UK.
Liv is driven by the desire to see a world where all businesses marry profit and purpose; she feels that entrepreneurship and meaningful collaboration play a key part in achieving this goal.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given
“Have your big vision in mind, act on your immediate priority”.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given
“Don’t be distracted by other people’s opinions”
On that piece of advice, it’s a balance of not being too distracted listening to everyone, while having the humility to listen to others. So I wouldn’t go for either absolute but instead would advice on quite simply being discerning about whom you are listening to and how much you trust their advice.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
Surround yourself by people who are better than you.
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
This is a unique opportunity to reframe how we see and interact with the world. The more people realise that business can – and must – be used as a force for good, marrying profit and purpose, the more we can tackle some of the greatest challenges we currently face and empower people with a true sense of purpose.
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
“What”: My biggest inspiration is constantly looking at the challenges in the world and turning them on their head, looking at them as opportunities. Suddenly the world is filled with hope.
“Who”: my grandfather, who was a dentist, repairing the jaws of victims of WWII and serious accidents. Some of his inventions in trauma-related surgery are still in practice today. He was instrumental in helping set up the NHS in the North of England. He used his spare time to ensure he created a life where he was fully self-sustaining, learning to farm in a natural way aligned to nature. Well before the concepts of organic or regenerative agriculture existed. He donated his surplus produce to his village. He also found time to learn to build houses, be a carpenter and a lover of poetry and was the kindest, humblest man I’ve ever encountered. He was my hero while he was alive, and long after he died I found out about so many more of his accomplishments (including helping to build the famous Colditz glider while he was a prisoner of war). His passion for sustainable living, contributing to the community and his constant desire to learn and improve, have formed my guiding principles in life. If I can be a tenth of the person he was, I’ll be proud.