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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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Lights, camera, action: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I found out this week that I am very unlikely to ever win the Academy Award for Best Director. I’m probably not even going to be in the running for one of the more niche technical Oscars like Best Cinematography or Best Visual Effects. How did I find this out? Well, this week we held an event for SSE and yours truly was responsible for filming and streaming it online.

You can see the results here. I’m not sure that it will be appearing on Netflix anytime soon. Still, it was an excellent event and thank you to all those who came.

On with this week’s news…


Quick Change

If you are an SSE Fellow and you are reading this right now you need to do me a favour. We’ve sent a slightly different version of this newsletter to SSE Fellows with some slightly tailored news from the SSE network. If you are a Fellow, you need to update your profile and let us know so that you can receive the Fellows edition.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Today is the deadline to apply to our Third Sector Digital Leaders course. To apply, register your interest to attend in either Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool or London and I’ll send an application form over to you. It’s not a long form so you’ve got plenty of time to get it back to me by 5pm, when I’m leaving the office for a pint.

You can find the course here


Additionally, our school in Yorkshire and the North East are launching ‘Digital Socents’, a new initiative bringing together the tech start-up community and social entrepreneurs. They’ll be launching in Leeds on Monday 18th March with an ‘Art of Possible’ workshop, exploring how social enterprise and charities can think digitally and incorporate digital solutions that can really help scale and drive impact.

The event takes place at Cospace North Platform (right next to Leeds station) between 5.30pm and 8.30pm and it’s only a fiver to go along. You even get your dinner included with the ticket.

Find our more 

An Education

Officially the deadline to apply for Cambridge Judge Business School’s Social Venture Incubator was yesterday but we’ve done a deal on the sly and readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You can have a little longer and get an application in over the weekend. On offer is six months of structured support, including monthly training days and regular meetings with an advisor. Your social enterprise can be at any stage of its development.

Find out more here

(The school also have a few remaining places on their Social Venture Weekend which takes place on March 1st. It’s aimed at emerging social entrepreneurs or those looking to refine their venture’s business plan).

Written in the Wind

A couple of new blogs from our friends over at Good Finance. First, our head of comms Sophie has drawn from some of our students and written a guest post on ‘How to Fall in Love with Leadership Again‘.

Next up, Emily Parrett of Good Finance has written ‘Impact Matters‘, looking at why it’s important to invest time and resource into measuring social impact. (Read it, think ‘gosh, that does sound important’ and then book yourself onto our Measuring Social Impact course.)

The English Patient

I think the Allen Lane Foundation speak for us all when they write that they are ‘particularly concerned about divisions in communities that occurred around the 2016 Referendum and subsequently’. And good on them they want to try to do something about it; they’ve launched a new Social Cohesion Programme. They’ll be supporting ‘community-led grassroots groups and organisations which have a focus of work being at a very local/community level’.

Find out more


If you are in Leeds over the next couple of weeks and looking for something to do then check out ‘The Human Aquarium’, a brand new exhibition from SSE Fellow Lucy Meredith. It runs from 15th – 28th February at the St John’s Centre in Leeds City Centre and is designed to take you on the journey experienced by sea animals from their capture, to training, to performing in man-made tanks and pools.

Take a look here

Trading Places

A whole load of jobs this week if you’re looking to make a move:

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship have two open positions. They are looking for an Associate Director for Programmes (£47,263 – £54,765) to be be jointly responsible for the overall direction and strategic development of the Centre. Deadline to apply is 20th Feb. They are also searching for a Systems Change Research Fellow ( £40,792 to £48,677) to ‘contribute to the development of a multi-disciplinary mixed methods approach for research on systems change in theory and in practice and will have primary responsibility for specific projects within the overall initiative’. Deadline to apply is 1st March.

In Rochdale, UP CIC have two vacancies: a Business and Development Manager (£27k) and a Training Co-ordinator (£22k). UP supports the work of WHAG, a charity providing domestic abuse support to women and men and homelessness support to women. You can find details of both vacancies here.

In Cambridge, Wintercomfort are looking for a Business Manager (£37,907) to manage and develop two of their social enterprises. Wintercomfort is the only day centre for the homeless in the city of Cambridge and their social enterprises create opportunities for training, volunteering, work experience and employment for service users. Applications close on 4th March.

Night at the Museum

A new £7 million partnership social investment loan fund is available to charities, social enterprises and community businesses seeking to acquire, reuse or redevelop buildings which are of historic or architectural importance. The Heritage Impact Fund will offer loans from £25,000 to £500,000 for up to three years to develop sustainable heritage at the very heart of vibrant local economies.

More details here

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This is brilliant. Burnham and Weston Energy, a CIC solar farm in Wick Farm, Somerset, have realised enough profit from their energy generation to establish the Burnham and Weston Energy Sunshine Fund. They’ll be offering grants of up to £2500 to community projects across the Somerset coastline. If you’re in the area and interested in applying the deadline is April 20th.

Further details here

The Social Network

A week or so ago I got a notification that it was ten years since I signed up to Twitter. Back in 2009 it was certainly a more enjoyable platform, with far less of the anger, trolling and shouting at one another. So it was good last week to see Lightful’s Reclaim Social campaign last week, sharing thousands of more positive messages designed to reclaim social media for good.

Some of the highlights are available here

Shaun of the Dead

I couldn’t find a film title with ‘Haringey’ in the title but Shaun of the Dead was set there so that will have to do. Anyhow, we’re running another taster session for our Linklaters – Future Comunities Programme next Thursday (21st Feb) between 6pm and 8.30pm at Green Rooms, Wood Green.

The free programme will support passionate people in Haringey who believe that they can make a difference by setting up an organisation that can help their community for the better.

Further details here

Not moos for you but Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

To paraphrase Donald Tusk somewhat, I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those that send their ill children to nursery, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.

Too cut to the chase: via my son I’ve managed to contract hand, foot and mouth disease which is nothing to do with cows but it does make you feel really rather tired so this is a much shorter edition than usual. If you’ve sent something over the last couple of days and it’s not here I’ll include it next week.


Linklaters – Future Comunities Programme

We are looking for passionate people in Haringey who believe that they can make a difference by setting up an organisation that can help their community for the better. We welcome people with all abilities, from all walks of life. It’s a free programme, offering seven evening sessions over ten weeks and a grant of £500.

If you know anyone in Haringey who might be interested please send them our way. Anyone who is interested in taking part in the course needs to attend a recruitment session at Shine, 89-91 Turnpike Lane, next Wednesday between 4pm and 6.30pm.

Further details here

Training and Employing People with Lived Experience – Enterprise Development Programme

Homeless Link are running a free event on March 1st for social enterprises and charities thay aim to train and employ people with lived experience of homelessness. It’s free to attend and will include presentations from social enterprises who have experienced this first-hand including Recycling Lives (run by SSE Fellow Alasdair Jackson), Connection Crew & Winter Comfort.

Delegates will also hear from Social Investment Business, and learn about The Enterprise Development Programme and how it can help their organisation. You even get a free lunch, provided by social enterprise Fat Macy’s.

Book a place here


People’s Postcode Lottery have opened applications to their community grants fund. The deadline to apply is Febraury 20th.

Find out more here


  • IFDAS, Independence from Drugs and Alcohol Scotland, is a relatively new organisation in Ayrshire which is offering Scotland a ground breaking new way to tackle these types of addictions.The charity is looking for its first Chief Executive (£50k). Apply here by 24th Feb.
  • Also looking for a CEO are Paper Arts, a social enterprise set-up 4 years ago in Bristol to support young aspiring creatives to develop meaningful careers. The role pays £27-£29k and you need to apply by February 15th. A job description is available here.  They are also recruiting part-time Marketing & Partnerships manager (£20-£23k) which closes on Monday. JD available here.
  • Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading digital and social inclusion charity, are recruiting a Chief Operating Officer (£56-80k). The role is based in Sheffield and you need to apply by February 24th.

Social Enterprise Festival

City University London are running a Social Enterprise Festival in London on 26th + 27th Feburary. It’s completely free to take part.

Find out more here

And finally…

Some news that cheered me up yesterday as I was feeling under the weather – SSE Fellow Caroline Morgan and her social enterprise Local Food Links were crowned Scale Up Buinsess of the Year at the south west region FSB Small Business awards. A well deserved prize!

Find out more about Local Food Links on their website. 

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Poking the bear with a stick: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Alright, I’ll admit it. This newsletter has been occasionally used to poke fun at our chief executive Alastair Wilson. Mocking the management is one of the main reasons that I bother to write it to be honest. Anyway, I’ve been away for a week (Centreparcs, highly recommend it. Enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would) and in an interesting turn of events have come back to a new line manager at SSE: our chief executive Alastair Wilson. Ooooooooooooh.

After doing a detailed SWOT analysis over the first half of this week, however, I have decided that this is an opportunity more than a threat. Readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You now have a direct link into the mind of our CEO and all the wisdom that it contains. The quality of content in this newsletter will certainly differ in the future.

Enjoy this week’s news, there’s some great stuff going on. If you want to help share it then please click on either the Twitter or Facebook button below. That way I can impress my new line manager with things like engagement and sign up rate and other numbers that sound really clever.


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Looking on in horror: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I’ve seen it all this week: incompetent leadership. No apparent vision. A complete lack of strategy. Colleagues squabbling and spending their time stabbing each other in the back rather than working together towards a united goal.

I’m writing (of course) about the ongoing drama of Brexit, which is now beginning to resemble one of the more far fetched plot lines from an episode of Eastenders. People keep talking about a divided country but I think we can all agree on one thing: we’re governed by a group of grown up toddlers. What a wonderful mess we’re in.

So this week’s news should be a bit of light relief. There won’t be a newsletter next week because I’ll be at Centreparcs standing in a swimming pool surrounded by screaming children. Woo!


Time is of the essence

The early-bird discount for our fantastic Social Replication and Scaling course expires soon (31st Jan) so don’t hang about if you’d like to book a place. Obviously I’m going to tell you that it’s a brilliant course and you should definitely come along, but it is a brilliant course and you should definitely come along. I will personally refund you* if you book a place and leave disappointed. (*By telling our finance department to issue a refund. I won’t actually pay for it myself).

You can see a course schedule and book your place here.

It could be you

The first ever Be The Change awards are open for nominations until 31st January. The awards will recognise independent, ethical & sustainable brands  having a positive impact on communities, people and the planet. There are thirteen categories to take part in and the awards will be presented at Ethical Brands For Fashion Revolution event in London. It’s free to enter.

Enter here

Every day is a learning day

We don’t just sit here all week at SSE writing newsletters you know. Well, I do, but a few of the people in the office do occasionally break out of having meetings and do some work. For example, we’ve added a whole host of new articles to the resources section of our website. The new additions include pieces on starting a social enterprise in ten steps, accounting, finding a mentor and developing a brand.

Gain important knowledge here


Bethnal Green Ventures have opened applications to their Tech for Good accelerator programme. This year the programme is focused on a number of themes: health, sustainability, education, civic engagement, tech to support young people, and workertech. If you have an innovative idea that uses technology to address challenges in one of those impact areas they want to hear from you. Applications are open until 18th February and if you’re successful you’ll get a whole load of support from them.

Apply here

Policy announcement

Attendees at SEUK’s The Future of Business Summit got a rare treat this week; an actual coherent policy announcement from the Labour party. MP Rebecca Long Bailey revealed that “Social enterprises will be “at the heart” of Labour’s economic policy”. I wasn’t there so can’t confirm that her next words were “but our first priority is obtaining a general election and then of course all other options will remain on the table”.

Read more here

Everyone likes drinks and canapes

Resurgo Ventures are launching their second social impact accelerator, a 12 week programme offering bespoke training, mentorship and a free space to work from. To celebrate the launch they are hosting an event a 1 Broadgate Circle near Liverpool Street between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on 5th February. Drinks and canapes will be provided, which sounds an excellent idea.

Book a free place here

Time to be social

Miss Macaroon are running Social Enterprise Tuesday every week, giving aspiring entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs the chance to ask questions about Miss Macaroon do, how they manage and it can relate it to any challenges they are facing. Questions can be asked through direct messaging on Twitter @iammissmacaroon, emailing or ask by using the hashtag #SocEntQandA. They will respond to questions every with a video every Tuesday on their Twitter page.

Quick question

Here’s a question you don’t get asked very often: would you like to mentor a Haringey early stage social entrepreneur?

We’re looking for mentors for pre-start social entrepreneurs in Haringey London, for our Future Communities programme supported by Linklaters. Students on the programme are Haringey residents who are looking to create new social enterprises in their community. We’re ideally looking for fellows of SSE and social entrepreneurs who are able to offer 3 mentoring sessions between March and May 2019. There will be an information session and training on 4 March in London.

If you’re interested, please contact to express an interest and for further details.

Tramping on

The Trampery are recruiting for the Spring cohort of Trampery Pathways, a three month support programme for creative entrepreneurs. Based in London’s Old Street, the programme is a curated mix of Peer Challenge Groups, workshops on business planning, motivations, pitching and wellbeing, and access to expert support from programme partners. It’s free to take part, but you must be based within, have an operational address (such as a co-working space), or contribute to the economy of Greater London to be eligible.

Apply by 14th February here

Money don’t make the world go round

But it certainly makes things easier. Registered charities or CIOs can apply to Lloyds Bank Foundation for a grant of a minimum of £30,000 to a maximum of £100,000, delivered across three years. You can apply for either a core costs grant or a project costs grant, you just need to make sure that you apply by 8th February.

Which you can do here

Au revoir, Bethan

A few jobs if, like our communications assistant Bethan (who leaves SSE today), you decide it’s time to move on to pastures new:

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford is hiring a new Programme Manager for Social Ventures (£32,236 – £39,609) to support the development and accelerate the impact of entrepreneurial ventures with a social and environmental purpose in Oxford. Apply here by 4th February and if you get the job I highly recommend The Punter pub on Osney Island for a post work drink.

SSE Fellow Nicky Forsythe is looking for an Operations Executive (£24k) for her organisation Talk for Health, a small, fast-paced, innovative mental health social enterprise based in London. The successful applicant will play a key role in supporting the CEO and Operations Manager in running services and the organisation. Find out more and apply here.

SSE Fellow Jem Stein is looking for an Operations Manager (£26k) to to set up, establish and manage service delivery for The Bike Project in the West Midlands. The Bike Project collect donations of second-hand bikes, fix them together at their workshop, and then donate them to asylum seeking refugees. Apply by 4th February here.

Read all about it

A nice bit of coverage for SSE Fellow Ali Millican and her social enterprise Nurture Parents, which aims to empower and enable all parents to develop their resources and confidence to fully embrace and enjoy parenthood.

Read the article here

In da club

Social entrepreneurs in Sussex should take a look at The Good Business Club, a new membership network for social enterprises in the region. It hopes to continue some of the work that was carried out by The Platform, which sadly closed last year.

Find out more here

Let’s do lunch

Finally, congratulations to SSE Fellow Caroline Morgan and her social enterprise Local Food Links, named a South West Area Finalist in the Federation for Small Businesses’ Scale Up Awards. Local Food Links is an independent caterer and a not-for-profit social enterprise that supplies 3,700 meals a day to 50 schools in Dorset, Somerset and Devon – they predict that they’ll serve a staggering 1,534,000 meals in the 2018-19 academic year!

Find out more on their website

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It goes on and on and on: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Last week’s newsletter was a bit of a grind to write if I’m honest, there wasn’t a huge amount going. Although that’s probably not surprising for the first week after Christmas, it didn’t really count as a work week did it? This week’s is slightly different, I’m almost drowning in good stuff to share with you. I’ve mentioned before that someone once unsubscribed from receiving this newsletter because it contained ‘too much news’; I think this edition would have pushed them further over the edge.

Keep sending things my way and I’ll do my best to include it in a future edition.

Have a good weekend – I’ll be at Wembley watching Spurs smash Man United.


Hello Fellows

SSE Fellows – you should have received an email yesterday inviting you to the first event in the SSE Fellowship Series, a brand new programme of events for SSE Fellows. However, the list of emails I used may well have been a bit out of date (it started at 1997…). If you didn’t get an invitation reply to this email and let me know and I’ll forward an invite on.

If you did receive the email – don’t hang around too long if you want to come along because tickets are going pretty quickly.

Bank job

Santander Foundation are accepting applications to their Discovery Grants, offering up to £5000 to UK registered charities, Community Interest Companies and credit unions with at least one year’s accounts. It’s a slightly unorthodox application process, you need to fill in a form in at a branch of Santander and then put it in a special post box in the branch. I guess it makes a nice change from filling in a form online.

Find out more here

They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our grants

If I was Scottish (I’m not, despite the surname) I would find it slightly irritating that so many pots of money are available to organisations based in England only. So I’d be delighted to hear about Firstport’s Build It awards, only available to social entrepreneurs north of Hadrian’s Wall. It looks great; if your organisation is less than two year’s old you can apply can apply for up to £20,000 to fund your own salary so that you can concentrate on your enterprise full time. The first deadline this year is 21st March.

Find out more here

Let’s all have a cèilidh

It’s a veritable feast of Caledonian news this week. SSE Fellow Lynne McNicol is celebrating the first birthday of her organisation Re:Craft Glasgow this weekend and is hosting a party to celebrate. Re:Craft is an arts and crafts materials reuse and recycling shop – they’ll be offering 10% off all stock and having a few glasses of bubbly too. Make your way to Argyle Street tomorrow if you’d like to go along.

Details here

Diverse ambitions

Social Investment Business have just launched Diverse Ambitions, a programme of support and fund referral scheme for BAME charities and social enterprises in the Greater London area. Consultancy support, an interactive workshop and an organisation ‘health-check’ are some of the business boosts on offer for 20 successful applicants.

You can find out more here

Be the change

That’s the SSE wifi password, if you’re ever in the building. Anyway, this was in last week but if you’re anything like me last week was very much a readjustment period after Christmas and you weren’t really paying attention. We’ve opened applications to the Community Business Trade Up Programme, a support support programme for community businesses and other community-focused social ventures delivered in partnership with Power to Change. We’re looking for 80 organisations across England to take part.

Apply here

BaSE in the place London

It’s a good week if you like support programmes. Law firm Hogan Lovells have opened applications to HL BaSE Training, an opportunity for social enterprises to workshop a key legal issue that they are facing with a team of Hogan Lovells’ trainees and junior lawyers. The workshop takes place in London on 27th March, and you need to submit an application form.

Which you can do here

More support than you can shake a stick at

Guess what, here’s details of another support programme. Unltd have opened applications for the next cohort of their Thrive Access to Employment accelerator programme. It’s aimed at social ventures using business solutions to offer the most innovative ideas to improve access to employment for people distant from the labour market anywhere in the UK. Each successful social venture will receive six months of intensive 1:1 bespoke business support alongside additional pro-bono support from a number of partners.

Expressions of interest need to be in by 14th Feb

Food, glorious food

Last but not least in the support programme section of the newsletter, Impact Hub Kings Cross have  opened applications to Feeding in the City 2019, a free 12-month nationwide incubation programme open to groups passionate about creating sustainable food-related businesses that benefit communities.

They are also running ideation workshops across the UK for those who want to start something but who may need help with their ideas

Deadline to apply is 27th January, which you can do here.

Cooking up a storm

Sticking with the food theme, this month SSE Fellow Amy Win is running a series of events in Manchester for aspiring food entrepreneurs. Local food business owners will be sharing their ‘Recipe for Success’ (nicely done) and share their experiences of starting a food business in the city. It looks an interesting programme.

Find out more and book tickets here

Country Life

Grants of up to £50,000 are available from The Prince’s Countryside Fund for projects affecting areas of greatest need in rural England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The grants are open to charities, social enterprises and CICs and applications close on the 21st February at 4pm.

More details here

Looking for a new job? Work for an SSE Fellow:

Lucy Ferguson is looking for an office manager for her social enterprise Mediorite, a film agency selling film and photography services and delivering free training and work experience to young Londoners. The job pays £25k – 28k full time and the deadline is 8th Feb. Details here.

The best things in life are free

I can’t remember how I stumbled across this but an organisation called In Kind Direct are offering a whole load of surplus products to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations. There is a real cornucopia of stuff available, from over-stocked toiletries to last season’s fashions to branded cleaning products from an expired campaign to unbranded toys. I might put in for the 500 pack of Star Wars biros.

Check it out 

Over and out

Finally, do you want 100+ links to free charity grant funding finders, pro bono and goods & services?

Here you go

What’s on at SSE: