Oli Barrett

Director of Cospa and StartUp Britain, Connector, Creator of Tenner


About me

Director of Cospa, a UK-based agency which works with brands to connect CSR with marketing. An example of this is helping young people to fix their own youth clubs, with a well-known DIY chain. Experienced presenter, facilitator, chair and compere. Strong track-record of launching companies and projects, enabled by a strong network spanning multiple sectors and industries. Started first company at University and been a co-founder of multiple organisations. Co-founder of StartUp Britain, the independent, privately funded campaign, launched by the Prime Minister. Started Tenner, the schools-based enterprise scheme now run by Young Enterprise which has challenged over 100,000 school pupils to see what they achieve in a just a month, starting with £10. Described by Wired Magazine as “the most connected man in Britain”, Brought Speednetworking to the UK and has hosted events in 12 countries. Has fronted and co-organised ten trade missions for over 100 British Companies to San Francisco, Boston and India helping them to pitch for funding and explore business opportunities. Spent two years on the Prime Minister’s Council on Social Action with Gordon Brown and launched StartUp Britain alongside David Cameron. Written for various publications including a regular column for Growing Business and Startups.co.uk. Sits in the Advisory Boards of the Centre for Entrepreneurs, Founders 4 Schools and Seven Hills. Interested in cross-sector partnerships. Specialties: Problem Solving, Compelling Idea Generation, Hosting and Facilitation, Making Valuable Introductions, developing early stage ventures with co-founding partners (people and organisations). Awarded MBE for services to business and entrepreneurship. Based in London, living between London and Berkshire.


  • Digital Media
  • Training
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Public Speaking
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Media
  • New Business Development
  • Start UPS
  • Online Advertising
  • Business Strateggy
  • Social Entrepeneurship

People I’ve worked with

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Companies I’ve worked with

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  • DigitalAgenda


    • Technology

Work history



Startup Britain

Mar 2011
  • National campaign helping people to (and who) start a business. Funded entirely by private company sponsors. Now run by the Centre for Entrepreneurs.




Aug 2010
  • Cospa creates and grows "social action projects" that are co-funded/co-created by public, private and third sector partners working in collaboration. Most of the agency's work is focused on education and training, enterprise, health and sport, volunteering and community-cohesion. A good example of Cospa's approach is PhoneBrain, a schools project created and delivered on behalf of PhonepayPlus, the UK regulator for ‘premium rate’ phone-paid services. The project educates young people about phone-paid services, including how to use them safely without paying more than expected. Current PhoneBrain partners include the Department of Education, Ministry of Sound and Habbo. PhoneBrain was voted Best Education Project at the 2010 Hollis National Sponsorship Awards.



Web Mission, Clean and Cool Mission, Future Health Mission

Jan 2008
  • Missions takes groups of web, cleantech and health entrepreneurs overseas to explore opportunities and develop relationships.




Nov 2006
  • Founded in 2007, Tenner is a national enterprise scheme, now run by Young Enterprise. It is all about lending young people a ten pound note and just one month to see what they can achieve. This year, 29,000 pupils took part. The BBC explains it here; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6155986.stm




  • For services to business and entrepreneurship.