Richard Reed is the co-founder of innocent, the No.1 smoothie brand in Europe. The business was started in May 1999 by Richard and two friends and has grown in less than 10 years to a turnover of over £100m. Innocent now has 80% market share in the UK and sells in 14 different countries across Europe, with its products available in every major chain, from Sainsbury’s to Boots to Starbucks.
Innocent has been recognised for its enlightened approach to business, where all members of the team receive equity in the company, get free breakfasts, travel grants and a share in the profits. The company gives 10% of its profits to charity and funds a separate charity called The Innocent Foundation that invests in rural development in the countries where the fruit comes from. Innocent smoothies have won more taste tests than all their competitors put together, and are increasingly available throughout Europe.
In 2012 Richard presented the BBC Three series Be Your Own Boss where he encouraged 500 young people to hone their entrepreneurial skills and at the end invested in 3 ventures.
As well as leading Innocent, Richard is a non-executive Director on the Department of Energy and Climate Change and sits on the Development Board of Oxfam. Richard is also a government advisor on entrepreneurship and has sat on the Small Business Council. Richard and Innocent’s awards include winning Britain’s Greatest Business at the televised Great Britons Awards; E&Y Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Most Admired Business Leader by Marketing magazine; National Business Awards’ Small/Medium Business of the Year, and Orange Innovative Company of the Year.