AN Essex social entrepreneur is preparing to tap into an unexploited vein of wealth, potentially worth billions of pounds, and all on behalf of charity.

James Poet founded BBX Angels in order to exploit what he calls “the largest hidden asset in the national economy” – spare capacity.

BBX Angels is a home-grown affiliate of the international organisation BBX, with the difference that it trades on behalf of charity rather than commercial profit.

James said: “Surplus capacity can equally well be called business waste. So many businesses, from office supply companies to cinemas, have unused assets.

“Using BBX Angels as an intermediary, they can ensure the value of that surplus gets transferred to charity.”

BBX Angles sells donated spare capacity – which can be goods, unsold seats, or even unused billable hours in a legal office – through its network of associates, using its own secondary currency, BBX pounds.

The BBX pounds are then passed on to charities, which can use them to buy goods and services fromBBX associates.

James said: “Everyone benefits.

“The charity saves much-needed cash, the business involved gain good PR and kudos, and what would be wasted value is monetised and passed to charities.”

James, is the son of Jill Poet, the well-known Southend businesswoman and founder of the Organisation for Responsible Businesses.