Rinova was founded by Dr. Richard Parkes – or Rick, as he is generally known.
Rick founded Rinova in 2010. He remains as passionate as ever about effective partnership-working as being the key to outstanding results in social innovation through economic, cultural and educational inclusion.
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 is also the author and editor of a wide range of learning materials and guidance publications.
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. He grew it into a company that (then) employed over 100 staff and associates and held a reputation for high quality performance, before selling it on and subsequently founding Rinova. During those years, 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. Previously, he spent his earlier career in community development and the arts. He subsequently managed a youth training and employment NGO before taking a senior local authority role in economic development.
Richard is qualified to Doctoral level, with a PhD in Entrepreneurship and also holds a Masters level (MRes, Distinction) qualification in Research Methods from Kingston University, for which he was awarded the Course Director’s Prize. He also completed a B.A. (Hons.) degree in Music and Education and Community Studies from York St John, where he was granted Honorary Life Membership of its Students’ Union.
He also studied for a postgraduate Diploma in Management at the University of Westminster and previously trained as an advisor for Investors in People and as an accredited assessor and verifier for national vocational qualifications.
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.
Over the years, he has facilitated and participated in over 300 European Union-funded transnational social innovation initiatives. 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.
He says “I founded Rinova at the height of the financial crisis and the most fierce period of austerity 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“