A LIVERPOOL-BORN director has been shortlisted for ‘Leader of the Year’ at the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016, becoming the only person from the city to make it down to the final five for the national award. Paul Corcoran, 35, is the managing director of the values-led full-service marketing agency Agent Marketing, a company that celebrates its tenth birthday this year. The international newspaper was impressed by all of his endeavours to create lasting social impact in Liverpool and across the UK. They drew particular attention to his pro-refugee fundraising efforts, his extensive workplace health and wellbeing initiatives, and the founding of his own social enterprise, Agent Academy CIC. Paul Corcoran, managing director of Agent Marketing, said: “I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to receive this kind of recognition for everything I’ve been doing. I’ve been working hard to bring about the changes I want to see in the world, and for someone to notice that and put me on an international stage is hugely, hugely gratifying. “Last year, I said that corporate social responsibility wasn’t enough anymore, and that we need to take genuine corporate social action to make a lasting difference. Leaders like myself have the influence and the resources to make big changes happen, so why shouldn’t we? I’ve remained committed to that statement, and I’m thrilled that The Guardian has recognised that. “This year marks Agent’s tenth birthday. I started this business with the intention of carrying out positive, courageous, inspiring work that empowered people to go out and do brilliant things for their community, and ten years on that’s still the foundation of what we do. This nomination is a momentous milestone in what has been an absolutely stunning ten years. I am truly honoured.” In the past year, Paul helped organise the only pro-refugee arena fundraiser in the country (The With Love From Liverpool concert at The Echo Arena), trialled the six-hour day in his company with the BBC to see if shorter hours can create happier, more productive workforces in the UK industries, and brought free monthly massages, weekly yoga sessions and daily meditation to the workplace – all of which achieved international media attention for Agent Marketing and Paul’s innovative approach to leadership. He has also expanded the social enterprise he set up in 2014, Agent Academy CIC, a free programme in marketing and sustainable leadership, helping young people find meaningful employment. To date, following three successful programmes, 80% of graduates are now in full-time employment in the creative and digital industry. Paul is also chair of the School for Social Entrepreneurs North West, and is a dedicated trustee at both LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) Primary School and RARE Studio, a pioneering charitable institution. This year Agent Marketing will celebrate their tenth birthday by throwing ten events based around positive empowerment throughout the year. Their first event of the year saw over a hundred women and young female students gather at Agent HQ for International Women’s Day, to challenge gender stereotypes and workplace inequality. Voting for the Guardian Sustainable Business awards is open until 22nd April. To vote, simply go here. To find out more about Paul and Agent, head over to their website.