Spent yesterday at the Treasury / Cabinet Office Third Sector consultation (focusing on social enterprise) as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review. All off-record, but thought I would just mention that Ed Miliband (who attended the London SSE Fellowship ceremony last Thursday) quoted Becky Barrett, one of the new Fellows, as an example of those individuals driving change, repeating her immortal words, "I realised frozen potato waffles weren’t going to change the world". Nuff said, methinks. [more on the ceremony soon]
The consultation was interesting, if (inevitably) too brief, slightly restrictive and too short (again!) of practitioners. And, yes, I know I was only making that worse, but hopefully I was representing our myriad of Fellows as well as SSE itself. As ever with such things, fine and welcome words were heard: the proof will be in the eating….
Another event tonight, the launch of CAN‘s new Breakthrough investment fund, in association with leading international private equity firm Permira. The Telegraph has a write-up, which is worth a read, and the event features that man Ed Miliband again, the chief execs of Permira and CAN + the journalist David Aaronovitch….should be interesting. Amongst the first three organisations to benefit from the new investment/venture philanthropy initiative are Green Works and, intriguingly, TimeBank, the volunteering charity that government helped establish.
I say intriguingly because the latter choice shows that Permira and CAN are using a broad definition of social enterprise, which is to be welcomed. Time Bank is a charity primarily funded by government, trusts and foundations and corporate sponsors/partners, so will not be some people’s idea of social enterprise; but it may also be taking risks, acting entrepreneurially, grasping opportunities, developing new initiatives and so on, meaning it has a place in the wider world of social entrepreneurship.