Allan English founded Silver Chef, the only dedicated hospitality equipment finance company, in 1986. While he felt a great love for expanding his company, he became aware that volunteer work was also another burning passion. English began to question the outcome of working so hard with nothing to spend the money on, so he decided to take a sabbatical and pursue charity work.
In 2000, English was approached by Opportunity International to donate towards a microfinance project in East Timor. With a background in finance Silver Chef’s core focus to help people achieve their business potential, English felt drawn to the charity.
“A report came back which said that 40,000 people would be moved out of poverty over a five year period as a result of that project, and that sort of hit home for me,” he says. “I thought ‘imagine if you could do that every year, would that give you a reason to go back to work and overcome these funding issues?”
English had found his purpose, and decided to go back to work to raise money for Opportunity International. In late 2011, he launched the English Family Foundation. Armed with $20 million in Silver Chef shares, the foundation is aiming to distribute $800,000 – $1 million annually.
“The more active I am in supporting others to achieve their goals and objectives, the richer my journey becomes,” he explains. “It’s a rich way of living. I call it the movement from success to significance: from financial success in a business sense to having more significance in my life because of the work that we are doing.”
*Quotes from Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine