Purpose Pays: The New Age of Social Business (Brewgooder, SIS & Lilypads)

Feb 25, 2020, 6:00 – 9:00 PM

CMS Edinburgh Offices, 20 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2EN

In 2020, a business simply for profit is often not enough for employees, shareholders or customers. Join SuG Edinburgh as we welcome Alan Mahon (Brewgooder), Rob Halliday (SIS) and Alison Wood (Lilypads) for a special panel discussion. We'll delve into the realities of starting a social enterprise as well as mapping out the investment landscape for purpose-driven business in Scotland today.

In-person event

About this event

"When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible." - Howard Schultz, Starbucks

Purpose Pays: The new age of social business. Society demands more from our businesses and when purpose is acted on with a clear vision, remarkable things can happen. During this panel discussion, we'll uncover the secrets to finding your purpose, the realities of starting a social enterprise and how to grow your impact on a global scale.

Alan Mahon (Brewgooder)

Alan is the Founder of Brewgooder, the craft beer brand on a mission to bring 1,000,000 people clean drinking water. Brewgooder became the first social enterprise brand to gain a national listing with Asda in October 2016 just 3 months after launching their flagship style Clean Water Lager with a successful £60,000 crowdfund. Brewgooder has grown in just 36 months to over 2000 stockists in the UK, and has delivered clean water projects for 64,784 people to date in Malawi.

In 2019 Alan and his team launched the Brewgooder Global Gathering, attracting 250 of the world’s best brewers across 24 countries to brew a series of unique, one-off beers which will be launched on March 20 2020, with the aim of raising £250,000 to fund clean water projects in Malawi for 100,000 people. It is expected to be set a Guinness World Record for a coordinated release of beers.

Alan was recognised as a Big Issue Top 100 Changemaker in 2018, and is an Obama Foundation European Young Leader, and was the Great British Entrepreneur for Good 2018.

As a social entrepreneur he has been integral to the growth of Social Bite in Scotland, the high street sandwich chain which employs, trains and houses homeless and vulnerable people. He has welcomed Hollywood stars such as George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio to the Scottish Business Awards, raising over £3m for good causes at home and abroad and helped raise £7.4m and release 800 mainstream houses for rough sleepers in Scotland by the end of 2020 with Sleep In the Park. In 2019 he became Executive Trustee of the World’s Big Sleep Out, a campaign to end global homelessness, which brought together 60,000 people across 52 cities globally to sleep out on December 7th 2019.

Rob Halliday (SIS)

Rob Halliday - SIS Ventures Fund Manager. SISV is a subsidiary of Social Investment Scotland and is Scotland’s leading investor in mission-driven business. SISV looks to back the management teams of young companies at the forefront of driving social and environmental impact through their products and services. 

SISV has a unique approach in facilitating tailored impact support to investees to help drive impact while also providing equity or patient capital allow management teams to execute their business plans. SISV raised its first fund – Impact First Nominees - in the summer of 2018 and has gone on to make investments in some of the most innovative and exciting young companies in Scotland including Cyan Forensics, Talking Medicines, EnteroBiotix and Good-Loop. 

Rob Halliday is a Chartered Accountant and has post-qualification experience in Corporate Finance Advisory, Impact Investment and Venture Capital.

Alison Wood (Lilypads)

Alison is the founder of Lilypads, a mission-driven business which makes and sells affordably priced and reusable sanitary pads in several countries in sub-saharan African countries, and is currently developing a similar product for the British market. Through making sanitary products more affordable and accessible, Lilypads aims to stop menstruation being a barrier to education.

Alison created Lilypads after learning that schoolgirls in rural Kenya were exchanging sex for sanitary pads to remain in education. Lilypads now distributes its pads in rural areas using local women as commission-based sellers and as menstrual health educators. Currently Lilypads have operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya.

Product development for the international pad highlighted to the Lilypads team the need for a differently designed reusable pad on the UK market to enable a younger audience to adopt them. Lilypads is finalising this design and will use the profit from the UK side of the business to subside their work internationally, ensuring the pads are accessible to all.

Alison won Pitch@Palace at Buckingham Palace in 2018 and the Scottish Women’s award in 2019.

What you need to know:

Who: Alan Mahon (Brewgooder), Rob Halliday (Social Investment Scotland); and Alison Wood (Lilypads)

When: Tues 25th February 2020

Time: 6-9pm

Where: CMS Edinburgh, 20 Castle Terrace, EH1 2EN

Bonus Extras: Pizza, Beer, Wine, Soft Drinks and Superb Conversation

Join us for yet another SuG Edinburgh extravaganza with some of the city's top entrepreneurial talent and inspiring stories.

Check out what happened


  • Alan Mahon



  • Rob Halliday

    Social Investment Scotland

    Ventures Fund Manager

  • Alison Wood





Tuesday, February 25, 2020
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM UTC


Networking & Food
Panel Discussion w/ Alan, Rob, Alison
Q&A w/ Alan, Rob, Alison
More Networking & Food!


  • Dec McLaughlin

    Startup Grind Scotland


  • Nick Murray


    Marketing & Partnership Lead


  • Dec McLaughlin

    Startup Grind Scotland


  • Nick Murray

    Startup Grind Scotland


  • Caro Melendez

    Head of Operations

  • Emma Loedel

    Startup Grind Glasgow

    Director - Startup Grind Glasgow

  • Amy Kelly

    Startup Grind Scotland | AK Marketing

    Head of Marketing

  • Oluwaseun Olabode

    Startup Grind Aberdeen

    Director - Startup Grind Abedeen

  • Alexandra Lloyd

    Startup Grind Scotland

    Edinburgh Events Team


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