Gordon helped found The Body Shop with his wife in 1976 as a one-shop venture in Brighton. Today, 28 years on, The Body Shop is a multi-local business with more than 2000 stores serving over 77 million customers in 53 different markets. As Co-Chairman of The Body Shop, Gordon devoted a great deal of energy towards providing assistance to disadvantaged groups around the world, through the company’s programme of Trading with Communities in Need.

Gordon also supports several social enterprises, which he describes as “commercially successful ventures, as well as ethically sound and dedicated to serving society”. In 1991, along with John Bird, he funded the launch of a social business to sell street newspapers as a means to fight homelessness. Today, The Big Issue is one of the most successful social enterprises in the UK. Its mission has expanded beyond homelessness to include jobs, education, training and health. Another business with a social enterprise that Gordon supports is Freeplay, an international business whose vision is to “make energy available to everybody all of the time” by creating and developing a global market for self-sufficient energy products.