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It’s the best way to stay in touch with everything that’s going on at the SSE, including the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme and all of the other courses that we are running.

We send out latest course information once a week (on a Tuesday), and then Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You (a weekly sector news roundup) every Friday.

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Hello! Is anybody out there? Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You


Is it just me, or does it feel like the whole world is on holiday at the moment? I’ve spent most of this week reading out of office auto-replies. I reckon that this week’s edition of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You will only be read by about 18 people, which is at least 50% fewer than usual.

If you are one of the few people still at your desk – solidarity, brother (or sister). The weekend is nearly upon us and we can go outside and play in the drizzle.

Enjoy this week’s news…


To reward you for taking the time to read this newsletter I would love to give you £200. There is only one problem: I don’t have a spare £200. I can however give you a £200 early-bird discount on our Transition to Trading course, which starts in October. It’s a genuinely brilliant six day course (over three months) for charities and social enterprises that would like to earn more money selling products or services. You can find out more and book a spot here – you can even pay in three parts if you’d like too.

CEO of SSE Scotland and all round good egg Tracey Muirhead has been given a well-earned nomination for ‘Social Enterprise Champion’ in this year’s Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2016 (facing stiff opposition from SSE Associate Fellow Claire Carpenter of the Melting Pot). SSE Fellow Matt Fountain and his organisation Freedom Bakery have been nominated in the ‘One to Watch Scotland’ category.

In Birmingham, SSE Midlands are up for the ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ Award in the Birmingham Awards – congratulations to Charles and team. In a further master v padawan dynamic, they are up against SSE Fellow Rosie Ginday of Miss Macaroon. Good luck to all, and you can vote for them here.

Ever wondered what would happen if you combined The Lean Startup, the Business Model Canvas and social enterprise? Of course you have. Well wonder no more, as Social Good Stuff bring you the Social Lean Canvas, sure to be featured in an SSE start up session near you soon…

Now this is a cool idea – Social Good City Guides to help you support social enterprises and responsible businesses at your next holiday destination. So far, guides for Barcelona and Prague have been put together with New York on its way.

New research has found that after funding, the biggest challenge faced by social entrepreneurs is finding and keeping talented people. Management consultants McKinsey have provided a commentary and some suggested actions for social enterprises to take. The full report (by Rippleworks) is available here.

Remember that whole Brexit affair? You know, that thing we were all talking about before the Olympics. Well, it turns out it hasn’t gone away and we are all going to have to deal with it eventually. Luckily, while you’ve been watching the omnium and the synchronised swimming SEUK’s Peter Holbrook has been busy putting a plan together and reckons that social enterprises can help steer Brexit solutions.

Social enterprise Proability are currently working in collaboration with Macmillan’s Living With and Beyond Cancer team and Liverpool John Moore University to survey people’s experiences of working with cancer.  They want to (anonymously) survey people who were in employment when they were diagnosed with cancer and also want to survey all employers, to discover how well placed businesses are to support an employee with cancer. Both surveys take about ten minutes to complete.

The Jane Tomlinson Appeal is offering grants of between £250 – £10000 to registered non-profit organisations with beneficiaries in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Lancashire or Nottinghamshire. Nationally, the Gannett Foundation apparently have grants of up to £10000 to projects that benefit a community. It’s a very convoluted application process that seems to involve finding application forms on your local newspaper’s website, so good luck with that.

Finally, SSE Fellow Esther Foreman is launching her new venture The Crowdfunding Academy and is hosting a free inaugural workshop – Crowdfunding 101 – Everything you need to know about crowdfunding but were too afraid to ask – at Nesta in London on the 19th September 2016. You can bag a spot here.

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What’s on at SSE:

Is it the right time to scale?

Here are some key questions to consider when thinking about whether it’s the right time to scale your social enterprise:

Why are you scaling?

First things first! You must work out why you want to scale your enterprise and you must be clear about these reasons from the start. The most important question of all is whether growing your enterprise will increase your social impact. On occasion we have seen social enterprises grow, increase their profits, but not their impact. Whilst profit certainly facilitates social impact, social entrepreneurs cannot lose sight of the fact that their impact is what they are working so hard for. With this in mind, think about whether you can find ways to increase your impact at your current size. If you can do this, it may be a better option than scaling at this current juncture. Continue reading

Not a TED Talk: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You


mickey-1185754_640I’m delivering a presentation this afternoon as part of our Sources of Funding for Charities and Social Enterprises workshop (don’t worry, you can come next time). It’s been a while since I did any public speaking so thought it would be wise to brush up on my skills beforehand. Luckily I found ‘Eight tips for delivering a killer presentation‘ to help me one my way. (If you are one of the 18 people taking part in the course- stop reading this and pay attention.)


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In need of performance enhancing drugs: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Untitled design (24)Welcome to the greatest show on earth. That’s right, this week we’re in Rio at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Pour yourself a caipirinha, say ‘Olá’ to the Cariocas and take in that view. Probably best not to go swimming at the moment though, unless you want to get ill.

Right, drink up and let’s hurry to the stadium to take our seats – the ceremony is about to begin…


The transport that brought you here today was kindly provided by social enterprise bus company HCT Group, on their new Ipanema to Olympic Stadium route. Back in England they are looking for a ‘Social Enterprise Champions Programme Leader‘ – a well networked entrepreneur to design, implement, and lead an innovative Social Enterprise Champions programme for HCT staff.

Now we’re at the stadium let’s first welcome our sponsors, The Greggs Foundation. They are generously providing local community projects with grants of up to £2,000, which will buy you approximately 2299 steak bakes at the concession stand in the main concourse.

Look, out on the track are the team from Big Society Capital! And what are they up to? It looks like they are throwing the results of their stakeholder survey into the crowd. Hmmm, it seems they are getting a bit of a mixed reaction. “Stop being so risk-adverse” some are shouting. “We love the dedication of your staff” cry others. A raucous atmosphere in the stadium so far.

Prizes for this year’s games have been provided by the Natwest SE100 Social Business Awards – they will be handing out trophies, professionally produced films and cash to social enterprises in seven award categories. Remember though – it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts.

Introducing themselves to the crowd now are the competitors from the International Foundation for Action Learning, sure to bring a thoughtful and reflective approach to proceedings. If you enjoy their performance at the games you can catch them again at the IFAL Conference 2016: ‘Action Learning and Social Change’ on 27th and 28th September in St Albans. Should be of interest to anyone who has been on our Action Learning Facilitator Training programme. 

Suddenly a huge roar has gone up. Who is it that’s entered the stadium? Usain Bolt? Serena Williams? Pele? Hang on a minute, it’s someone greater than all three – School for Social Entrepreneurs Chief Executive Alastair Wilson. Wow. Is this now the greatest opening ceremony ever? “SSE, SSE, SSE” chant the crowd. Ali will of course be appearing at next Friday’s Sources of Funding for Charities and Social Enterprises workshop, sure to be the hottest ticket in town. Don’t miss your opportunity to hear the legend speak.

After all that commotion it’s a good time to introduce our media partners for the day. If you turn to the press box you’ll see The Voice, who recently profiled SSE Fellow Rianna Raymond-Williams. Also covering the event will be The Scotsman, whose work can be seen in this article about SSE Fellow Beth Hamilton-Cardus.

Isn’t this all just wonderful? The sights, the sounds and the smells of this whole Olympics are wonderfully intoxicating. A lot of people say that a trip to the Olympics is one of the things that they want to tick off before they die. Me? My bucket list consists of attending a workshop with the theme of connectivity, which is lucky because the Before I Die Network are running just the event in London over 9th and 16th August. Spookily serendipitous. If you’d prefer to attend an event about Turning Your Dreams Into Profit, Vana Trust’s workshop on 10th September at SSE London may be just the thing for you.

I think things are drawing to a close. I hope that you have enjoyed this extraordinary spectacle, it will certainly live long in the memory. Time for us all to pack up and head home. Before I forget, would anyone like this desk that I’ve been writing on (for free)? You can see a picture of it here. If you can pick it up from Watford in the next week or so it’s yours – contact for further details.

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What’s on at SSE: