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Richard Parkes

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Rinova was founded by Richard Parkes - or Rick, as he is generally known. 

Rick founded Rinova in 2010 as a social enterprise and remains as passionate as ever about his belief in partnership-working as being the key to success to delivering outstanding results in social, cultural and economic development. 

Prior to Rinova, Rick was widely known for being the founder of Prevista, which he started from scratch as a one-man band in 1995. Before selling it in 2008, he had grown it into a successful professional service company which - during his period of ownership - enjoyed a reputation for high quality services and high performing delivery, employing (then) some 70 staff and 40 associates.

In 2015 he commenced a full-time PhD in the field of entrepreneurship and business, but continues as Director and Chairman, working to support the company's staff and its partners.

Rick has designed and directed programmes that have assisted over 20,000 start-ups, SMEs and social enterprises and others that have supported many thousands of learners.  He has directed an extensive portfolio of evaluation and research, with a particular emphasis on the 'practical' implementation of solutions arising from this work. 

He twice won the prestigious Inner City 100 award from the New Economics Foundation for his achievements in combining successful business growth with corporate social responsibility. 

He has a Masters degree in Research Methods from Kingston University, a joint honours degree in Music and Education and Community Studies from York St John,  studied for a postgraduate Diploma in Management and Personnel at the University of Westminster and is a trained assessor for Investors in People and an accredited Verifier for vocational qualifications.

Over the years, he has worked on over 150 European Union-funded transnational projects with an emphasis on the design and evaluation of innovation.  In 2003 he was appointed by the European Commission as an expert in the areas of learning, skills and entrepreneurship - a position he still holds. 

Rick has also been a visiting lecturer at the University of East London and Middlesex University and is an Industrial Fellow of the Small Business Research Centre at Kingston University, where he is also a member of the Advisory Board to the Faculty of Business and Law and is presently undertaking his PhD.

He says "I founded Rinova at the height of the most fierce period of austerity in modern times, to develop innovative and effective programmes to tackle the difficult climate that continues for so many - those in or out of work, young people, communities and businesses - and to build on the best of what had come before. After the years of success since we were founded, the team at Rinova is looking forward to the coming years, as together we have a lot of work to do."