INTERVIEW: Social Entrepreneurs - Helping to Drive Change

Julian Matthews, Managing Director at Real Wild Estates

Real Wild Estates is a unique land management business, specialising in making ecosystem restoration and nature recovery a viable land use option for owners.

Julian Matthews PortraitWhy did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

It never occurred to me growing up that I could, or even would, be an entrepreneur. I still don’t see myself as one, but merely as a person who sees something that is a problem or issue and thinks of a way to change it or overcome it or do a better job. It’s always been a belief or passion that has driven me, never wealth itself. 

What does private wealth mean to you now?

The accumulation of wealth has never been the reason I get out of bed every day. I have always had a mission and it’s this that drives me. Today’s wonderful objective of restoring vast tracts of the UK's marginal landscapes back to nature, excited me far more than any accumulation of wealth ever could – even as I nudge close to 60 years young.

What challenges are entrepreneurs facing?

The UK is much more entrepreneurial than it was 40 years ago. However, it’s also become harder now to stick out from the crowd. It’s more tech heavy and complex, requiring more skillsets and expertise, so it’s more expensive to start up.

What advice would you give to someone launching a business?

A company is just a set of people with an idea. Choose your team well because they will be the reason you first survive – then thrive. Remember investors buy entrepreneurs and their expertise and drive, not simply their ideas or products, which, unlike them, can always be changed and modified to suit a marketplace.

If you would like to read more about Real Wild Estates, click here.


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