Enterprising (and Echoing Green) People

SSE loves an award, so always happy to point out those who’ve earned some recognition in whatever form….

– the Enterprising People Partnership  in Bristol has been named as the "most enterprising place in South West England", making it the regional winner of the DTI’s ‘Enterprising Britain
2006’ competition, "an annual national contest to reward towns, cities
or areas of any size across the country that are best improving
economic prospects and encouraging enterprise in their regions". More info about EPP via the link

– Echoing Green, the US-based organisation, announces its line-up of Fellows for 2006 (we blogged about the nominees before). Echoing Green was set up in 1997 to "spark
social change by identifying, investing and supporting the world’s most
exceptional emerging leaders and the organizations they launch".

– And from their site, not an award but certainly recognition, some young social entrepreneurs were on the cover of Newsweek the other week, an article which is worth a read; look forward to UK-based magazines following suit soon ;0)

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Trawling the magazines…so you don’t have to

Trawling through the trade press the last hour or so (Social Enterprise Mag, Regeneration & Renewal, New Start, Third Sector et al), like panning for gold…

– SSE gets mentioned in a couple of times, with reference to Gordon Brown at the Fife School (launching a directory of social enterprises), and to current student Ola Onigbinde in an interesting piece about faith/social enterprise by Francis Davis (links to follow)

– piece by Craig Dearden-Phillips also appears, which I blogged about before…should stir up some debate!

Ronald Cohen also makes an appearance in Social Enterprise Mag, to add to the interview in the Guardian today: aiming to do for social investment what he did for venture capital….

– interesting piece about Ecuadorean social enterprise in New Start by Rob Greenland

– + a piece about how creative enterprises are particularly suited to regenerating rural areas…worth tracking down

– R&R has an article about the ‘fragmentation’ of the social enterprise support scene in Birmingham and Solihull (download research here (pdf))

– Social Enterprise Coalition’s ‘Keeping it Legal’ (about the different structures available) gets noted a few times…£15 (£7.50 to members)… or, I think, downloadable above (tel. 020 7793 2323 for info)

Investing for Good is setting up an online social investment market

– Cranfield is setting up a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility thanks to a gift from an alumnus…

– A special feature on co-operatives, going back to Rochdale, 1844 (and, therefore, my History GCSE)

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The Acronym Buster

There are a few voluntary sector, public sector, funding (pdf) and social enterprise jargon buster sites around. My personal favourite is this wiki-one that anyone can edit and add to.

One of the labyrinthine jargon challenges is the acronyms that pervade the sector, and all the different government departments. I realised this the other day when I was discussing the cabinet reshuffle with a colleague the other day, and there was a truly horrific sentence that went something along the lines of:

"so the VCGU has gone to the OTS; and so has the SEU, from the DTI; what about the ACU (or ACD)?: that’s moved from the Home Office, but has it gone to DCLG (previously ODPM) or also gone to the OTS?"

Well, quite. Now some of the sector specialists out there will simply nod sagely at this and understand every word. But new entrants to the sector, as many of our students are, find this an incomprehensible lingo-babble…and rightly so. So I’m thinking of an acronym buster for social entrepreneurs, that tells you your DWP from your DTI, your SEEDA from your SEEM, your GLA from your LEGI, and your LSP from your LSC.

So here’s a start:

ACEVO Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations

ACF Association of Charitable Foundations, and also Adventure Capital Fund

ACU Active Communities Unit (part of Active Communities Directorate, previously in Home Office)

ALM Action Learning for Managers

Bassac British Association of Settlements and Social Action Centres

BitC Business in the Community

BLF Big Lottery Fund (also Black Londoners’ Forum)

BME Black and Minority Ethnic

BURA British Urban Regeneration Association

CAF Charities Aid Foundation

CBI Confederation of Business Industry

CDF Community Development Foundation

CEMVO Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations

CES Charities Evaluation Services

CIC Community Interest Company

CPD continuing professional development

CRT Coalfields Regeneration Trust

CRU Civil Renewal Unit

CSR Corporate Social Responsibility

CSV Community Service Volunteers

CVS Council for Voluntary Service

DCLG Department for Communities and Local Government
(was ODPM – Office of the Deputy Prime Minister)

DCMS Department for Culture, Media and Sport

DEFRA Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(was MAFF / DETR)

DfES Department for Education and Skills
(was DfEE)

DfT Department for Transport

DoH / DH Department of Health

DSC Directory of Social Change

DTA Development Trusts Association

DTI Department for Trade and Industry

DWP Department for Work and Pensions

OK – for now, that’ll do. Will be updated in time….

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Fellowship of the Spring (well, Summer)

The SSE Fellowship is an increasingly valuable resource and an increasingly powerful and inspirational network of social entrepreneurs and community activists. So graduating from the SSE programme (pdf) and becoming a Fellow is a cause for great celebration, and, often, a moving day for all those involved.

I was at the East Midlands SSE yesterday, as an expert witness on evaluation (with due thanks to NEF, whose presentation and materials I largely used….), and they have a dozen or so students who will be entering the Fellowship on the 21st July. Which is just one day after….

…the Fellowship ceremony for one of the current London programmes, the Ready Steady Grow 2005-6 cohort. Which will be at the Amnesty UK building in Old Street on July 20th. Which will swell the ranks further, and add to the array of successful organisations and, just as importantly, skilled and confident people who the SSE have helped achieve their goals.

Fellowship has been on my mind recently, as we conduct our longitudinal evaluation work, and have been chatting to several Fellows from Fife, London and elsewhere, all the way back to 1998. I’ve also been trying to track Fellows’ projects using our Del.icio.us bookmarks; see Fellowship for the websites of some of their projects (NB – this doesn’t even scratch the surface yet).

As research continues to show the need for peer-led support and of networks to entrepreneurs, and SSE sees year-on-year the importance of the cohort in reducing isolation and providing confidence, as well as providing new opportunities for collaborative working and trading, the importance and value of the Fellowship will only continue to grow.

Rumours that our new offices will be based in two towers are wide of the mark, though….

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