Dan Doherty was the sort of person who would help everyone he met - sometimes even when they didn't know he was helping them. He mentored young and old and nothing was a barrier to him reaching out the hand of friendship. His legacy lives on through this amazing achievement - a new school in earthquake torn Nepal. This is a brief story of a man who made a difference. Not only did he make a difference to the lives of people less fortunate than himself, but to anyone and everyone he came into contact with.
Dan Doherty was a born entrepreneur, who, at the height of his success, never overlooked his humble beginnings. When mixing in the highest social circles he was always the same down to earth, regular guy and made everyone he came into contact with feel special. He was, and still is, an inspiration. He shared his enthusiasm and brought clarity to any situation, no matter how challenging.
When we lost this larger than life character to a brain tumour in March 2016, he left a number of legacies that make one take stock, stop, breathe and consider what will my legacy be?
An inspirational man in every sense. Dan joined private members' club Home House nine years ago, and less than two years ago he was the founder of The Guild of Entrepreneurs. Dan conceived the idea of returning the City Civic to its entrepreneurial roots around five years ago. He set up a city-wide network called the City of London Entrepreneurs. It was the success of this network that inspired him to approach the highest authority in the City of London (the square mile). The Court of Aldermen delivered their verdict on July 8th, 2014 that it would approve the formation of The Guild of Entrepreneurs – one of barely 100 such organisations to have been founded in the City’s eight hundred years.
The sponsoring Alderman and Foundation Master, Sir Paul Judge, was installed (alongside Dan as Senior Warden) at Ironmongers’ Hall on November 24th, 2014. The launch of the Guild was so lavish a celebration that the then Lord Mayor of London swapped his official engagements around so that he could bid the Guild a hearty welcome to the City Civic. The Lord Mayor attended with his two Sheriffs and joined Masters, Clerks and representatives of half of the City’s Livery Companies and Guilds.
Since inception, the Guild has grown to over 100 members (January 2017), all entrepreneurs who are keen to establish the profession of entrepreneurship within the City bounds once again. Its aim is to reach 350 by 2019 and continue its journey towards becoming the Worshipful Company of Entrepreneurs – a Livery Company of the City of London. It already provides a hotbed of creativity, support for young and new entrepreneurs, networking opportunities and of course taps into the City traditions, which are spectacular at all levels.
The Guild of Entrepreneurs has grown into something that Dan would be extremely proud of, and reconnects the modern, innovative City with its ancient entrepreneurial roots. www.guildofentrepreneurs.org His husband Neil Fullbrook, (whom he married in 2014) is also continuing Dan’s legacy by building a school in Nepal – the Dan Doherty Memorial School.
The charity building the school, Learning for Life, was one of Dan’s loves. He worked tirelessly for people less fortunate. In 2015 the charity lost twelve schools in Nepal to an aggressive earthquake, and the Dan Doherty Memorial School is the centrepiece of an extensive regeneration project. www.learningforlife.org
Everyone who donates can be proud that, in life and beyond, one of its most generous and spirited members of our society is really making a difference in the wider City, and wider world.