ABOUT STEVEN WILKINSON,
FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF GOOD & PROSPER LTD.
I have been involved in business finance and investment for the best part of 30 years having started working for Merrill Lynch Investment Bank in Munich, Germany in 1987 at the tender age of 24. I now run an investment company and a knowledge platform teaching finance to entrepreneurs which goes by the name of Good & Prosper. My focus has always been on Small & Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) primarily in Germany and Europe and mostly in some sort of distress or need of restructuring. I work at the seam between strategy, finance and leadership and bring three decades of experience as a finance and investment professional to the world of SME operations. Good & Prosper also offers courses to entrepreneurs and SME business owners to enable them to further their expertise in finance, capital allocation, leadership, culture and strategy, as well as individual leadership coaching and mentoring.
My perspective on business, politics and society is shaped primarily by my alignment with the Austrian School of Economics. I was irredeemably inspired by my early reading of the Intelligent Investor at the age of 24 and am at a loss to understand why anyone would want to think differently about investing and capital allocation other than from a value perspective. I am a Christian Libertarian by conviction. You can read more about my own journey and the influences on my thinking by reading the blog post „why we do what we do“
I am an Englishman, born in Lancashire in 1963 who moved to Germany at the age of 24 after completing my education at Rugby and Durham University. Starting in 1987, I spent almost all of my investment career in Munich, Germany, before moving to Ireland with my family in early 2015. I now commute between Dublin and Germany and have come to the conclusion that there are worse things in life…I have been married to Britta since 2000 and our family consists of four children, three dogs, and a horse, all of whom live in Delgany, Co. Wicklow. I am an avid long distance trail walker (see www.peregrinations.eu for my trail blogs), cross country skier and sailor, I read voraciously, listen to an unhealthy amount of podcasts, write enthusiastically and drink large quantities of green tea every day.
I am also a founding member of the Small Giants Community ( www.smallgiants.org ), a wonderful, US- based organisation, that caters to companies that choose to be great instead of big and provides resources and a community to value-based leaders.
In addition I am an active supporter and mentor within the Ashoka Social Entrepreneurship (http://ireland.ashoka.org/ ) network, both here in Ireland and in Germany and Britta and I have been actively involved with Ashoka in one way or another since 2002.
In 2015 I was invited to join an interfaith delegation to the caribbean island state of Grenada, whose purpose was to coordinate a number of reconstruction and redevelopment projects for infrastructure seriously damaged by hurricanes a decade earlier. As part of that delegation representing the Anglican community, I was awarded with an honour bestowed by the Governor General into the Order of the Nation of Grenada with the rank of Knight Commander.
Since 2017 I have served as one of a number of business professionals working as mentors to high growth entrepreneurs with the Ryan Business Academy „Mentoring for Growth“ Program.
In 2018 I was elected to serve on the founding steering committee (supervisory board) of the MyData Global Organisation, an Helsinki-based foundation set up to ’empower individuals with their personal data, thus helping them and their communities develop knowledge, make informed decisions, and interact more consciously and efficiently with each other as well as with organisations.‘ and was delighted to have been involved with that organisation in its founding year.
I believe that business can and should be a force for good in our society and that the more people take entrepreneurial responsibility for their lives, the better our society will be. I also believe in Benjamin Franklin’s dictum of “doing well by doing good” and in that Abraham Maslow was right when he wrote „The difference between the great and good societies and the regressing, deteriorating societies is largely in terms of the entrepreneurial opportunity and the number of such people in the society. I think everyone would agree that the most valuable people to bring into a deteriorating society would not be 100 chemists, or politicians, or professors, or engineers, but rather 100 entrepreneurs”. Amen to that.