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World leader in social enterprise.


A former stockbroker, Nic left London at the height of the 1980s boom for Liverpool where he built the Furniture Resource Centre into a leading social enterprise. His work to provide assistance and employment opportunities to vulnerable people was acknowledged when he was awarded the MBE.

Current work

Nic is a frequent speaker on prestigious international platforms. He was one of the first 30 Schwab social entrepreneurs and is currently supporting several new projects in the arts, design and social media.

Previous experience

Priest: Nic was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1996. In 1998, he emigrated from the UK to Australia. There, he led the Brotherhood of St Laurence, a leader in the fight against poverty, to 2004. His work earned him an Australian Centenary Medal. In 2004 Nic co-founded Easy Being Green to focus on residential energy efficiency in Australia.

NRG: Cool NRG was established by Nic in 2007, to take residential energy efficiency campaigns globally. Since 2007 Cool NRG has delivered over 20 million energy saving light bulbs to households saving over US$823 million in energy costs. Working with governments, World Bank, UNFCCC, several global financial institutions and some of Europe's leading companies, Cool NRG established the world's first programmatic CDM. Programmatic CDM is seen as the best opportunity to take UN Carbon Credits to the least developed countries around the world. Cool NRG is helping companies develop these credits in renewables, commercial and domestic energy efficiency.

Author: His book, The End Of Charity, is published by Allen & Unwin.

Talking Points

Personal Development

For all of us who lead large organisations, we know the importance of our staff. That they are growing, professional, well educated and committed directly impacts our bottom line. Our staff, therefore, need to believe that we care about their professional development, their personal growth and the quality of the whole of their life, not just their work life. On Nic's journey he has been a stripper, priest, atheist, one of the youngest people in Great Britain to receive and MBE for services to charity and received a Century Medal from John Howard. He is dyslexic and required no qualifications from his education, and recently acquired a non-fiction award in Australia for his book, the End of Charity. As an entrepreneur, he is one of the world's leaders in the domestic energy efficiency and carbon credit industry. As a social entrepreneur, he is recognised by the world economic forum as one of the world's leaders. He's been a stockbroker and an award winning TV presenter. As a motivational speaker, his ability to draw audiences in to their own potential and opportunity is renowned.

The Future

At a time when Europe is on the brink of breaking up, when financial markets have been unable to recover in the last three years, when industries are coming to terms with a carbon constrained economy, when nationalism if on the rise but the need for global partnership is ever greater, the future is uncertain. For organisations and industries that engage honestly with these changes suspend their beliefs and prejudices for long enough to consider a new world, who stand back and look at their people and their purpose, these times may prove to be the environment for heroic success and leadership. Nic's uncompromising and impassioned call to us become the creators of our future creates the opportunity for those involved to step forward in new and different ways.


Nic is recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of the world's leading social entrepreneurs. He is an award-winning author in the area of the role of markets as a tool for social and environmental change where he developed the concept of value-centered market economics which specifically looks at the role of government in driving national values into our industry and commerce. Nic has worked internationally and nationally in industry, with government and in the not-for-profit sector and powerfully articulates the opportunity that these sectors face in creating a more value-based society.

Carbon Markets

As a Social Entrepreneur over the last decade Nic has founded and lead a for-profit-organisation, Cool NRG. Cool NRG has now undertaken globally several of the world's largest energy efficiency campaigns. He is responsible for creating the first domestic energy efficiency carbon credits under the United Nations Clean Development mechanism. Cool NRG is recognised globally as a company at the cutting of developing the methodologies and systems to support the expansion of domestic energy efficiency worldwide. This is particularly important, as it is only domestic energy that as well as creating a reduction in Carbon emissions and energy efficiency nationally, also uniquely reduces energy poverty for the population. As Australia faces economy where carbon constraints have a financial impact, Nic is one of our most qualified practitioners to open up the strategic pitfalls and opportunities of this direction.
You wowed them. Again, I guess you're used to that but thanks for coming along and being, for many people, a highlight of the two days. Green Building Melbourne

Nicholas was engaging, entertaining, challenging and thought provoking. He gave it his all in a professional, yet down to earth manner. Everyone in the room was encouraged and challenged to think about their behaviour and values and how these apply to the way they work with other people.

Loddon Murray Community Leadership Programme

A dynamic speaker that got everyone talking; his controversial views and no holds barred expression was just what was required to get everyone energised. His enthusiasm is contagious and his compassion is extraordinary. Great speaker, good choice.

Coolnrg International

Nic's presentation was fantastic. His background meant he connected with the audience and the manner in which he delivered his presentation was both meaningful yet lighthearted. He was a last minute stand-in as our booked speaker was taken ill and he fitted the bill perfectly. Thanks for the recommendation and we'll certainly be recommending him to others within the sector.

Homelessness Australia Inc.

Nic Frances was great! He gave an interesting and heartfelt presentation to 220 of our festival stakeholders, and I have had nothing but very positive feedback from our guests. Nic was down to earth, warm, interesting and focused on the humanness of being a small business owner. His presentation easily covered the topics included in our brief, and he was very generous in sharing information about his own experiences and that of his family.

Small Business Victoria
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