Social Enterprise Awards 09

Brief note to say how enjoyable the Social Enterprise Awards were last week. Congratulations to all the winners (the full list of which you can check out here), but special congratulations to Bikeworks
which won the Best New Social Enteprise Award, and which was co-founded, and is jointly run by SSE Fellow Dave Miller. Well done to Jim, Dave and all the team at Bikeworks, topping off what has been an amazing year for them. There's a press release about the event here as well.

The event itself was served well from being a little more understated this year: a short, focused ceremony; David McQueen was a great host (and put up with both being called Steve during the event, and with me spilling my drink all over his tie); a fond farewell from Clare Dove to Jonathan Bland, thanking him for his contribution; and there were genuinely moving moments from two of the winners: Pack-IT Promotions and Brighter Future Workshop, both of whom reminded us of the social mission that drives and underpins this work, and of how much it means to be recognised for that work. Anyone who tells you awards aren't important should have been there to see John Bennett from Pack-IT step up on stage in recognition of what he's achieved over the last 21 years, and fight back the tears (as the audience did also). Kudos to "Queen of Events" Mamoona and team for organising, as ever.

After that, there was drinks aplenty, with a hardcore carrying on into the night at a local hostelry. In what has been a tough, transitional year for many (including those at the Coalition), some letting-of-hair down was only fair enough. Celebrations all round.

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Top 10 podcasts for social entrepreneurs

Following on the back of the top 10 blogs for social entrepreneurs, I thought I might add to that with some podcast links. I've been travelling a bit of late (currently on my way to Leeds) which, in addition to the commute, has meant a fair amount of podcast listening. I'm retreading a bit of previous ground here (see Podcasts + Pendolinos, Recent Social Enterprise podcasting, and Podcasts and  Audio Links), but there have been some decent additions to some old favourites….so here goes:

1) First up has to be Peter Day's World of Business which is consistently interesting about all aspects of business. And, when you consider that the last three episodes have featured employee-ownership, biofuels and entrepreneurship advice, it is also often of considerable relevance to social entrepreneurs

2) More specifically of this world is Social Innovation Conversations which is a US-based podcast affiliated to Stanford Social Innovation Review; mostly it is downloadable episodes of panels / speeches from events, but they are usually high quality people talking about relevant issues, so definitely worth a look through the archive

3) Evan Davis is best known for hosting Dragon's Den here, but I think his Bottom Line radio programme is great. Simple format (3 CEOs, 3 different companies, discussing few specific topics) and doesn't outstay its welcome. Has featured Divine Chocolate's Sophi Tranchell and Anne MacCaig of CafeDIrect previously.

4) SmallBizPod is the leading small business specific podcast, and Alex Bellinger does a terrific job with it, meeting entrepreneurs and raising issues that you don't find elsewhere. You can find a social enterprise specific section on the website with interviews from events and leading social entrepreneurs.

5) Echoing Green has been supporting social entrepreneurs for 20 years or so, and is one of the few support organisations to have ventured into podcasting. Its Be Bold podcast is about careers and is obviously pretty US-centric, but there's some good stuff here regardless: about people's motivations, about supporting oneself, about personal development and so forth.

6) Staying in the US, PRI do an occasional social entrepreneurship podcast, usually focused on international development work, and usually quite brief; but decent-enough

7) For a more cerebral take, and cutting-edge business thinking, try HBR's IdeaCast. Occasionally tiresome when it's just Harvard authors plugging Harvard books, but it's a good place for prompting new thinking and new ideas.

8) I've recently got into the Business podcast from the Guardian, which is pretty good + snappy about current business events + news; occasionally features ClearlySo supremo Rod Schwartz as well….

9) Some decent enough bitesize intro podcasts from Enterprising Non-profits in Canada (planning, value, what is social enterprise etc)

10) Brand new is the Ashoka Tech podcast, which has started with an episode on World Toilet Day (insert joke about starting at the bottom here….); bodes well, but too early to tell: one to keep an eye on.


And if that's not enough for you, see our bookmarks for more, or check out the 100 best small business podcasts, although if you;ve got time to listen to all of those, then the business is probably going down the pan :0)

Working up the courage / energy to do twitter lists (twists?) at some point soon….

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Top 10 Social Entrepreneurship Blogs

Blogging requires passion and authorityWhilst writing a comment on a blog about blogs (and whether they are useful social entrepreneurship resources), I listed a few blogs that I find useful as a resource, as places of debate, or for inspiration. And then it occurred to me that it might be useful to share them.

There is a widely-circulated list of the top 50 social entrepreneur blogs here, but only 2 were UK-based (this SSE blog and Rod Schwartz's below). Mine's UK-focused, but includes some relevant international blogs as well. Cue the music, and in no particular order:

1) The Social Business – Rob Greenland's take on the UK scene is arguably the best in our sector, consistently prompting debates and giving real insights

2) Rod Schwartz / ClearlySo's Social Business Blog – One of the most influential reads in the sector, always writing with full honesty, and challenging the norms

3) Beanbags and Bullshit – David Floyd with a real practitioner's take on things; new-ish, but high quality writing and thought thus far

4) Social Enterprise Ambassador blogs – the Social Enterprise Ambassadors are some of the UK's leading social entrepreneurs, and they've been writing posts more regularly; an enlightening and entertaining mix; (Craig Dearden-Phillips blogs in his own right on his Naked Entrepreneur blog too)

5) Social Entrepreneurship on– Nathaniel Whittemore writes this and writes it bloody well; consistently interesting, illuminating and with high quality content; US-based, but looking outwards

6) Allison Ogden-Newton's blog – CEO of Social Enterprise London gives it straight in a new, promising blog

7) Social Catalyst – Todd Hannula writes great content; it's a little intermittent at times (hey, it happens to us all), but liking how the new site gives routes into content from previous posts; well worth reading

8) Social Edge blogs – cheating slightly here, but Social Edge hosts a whole load of interesting blogs; have a browse and see what takes your fancy from a US-heavy / international development lot; Forging Ahead and Kiva Chronicles are popular

9) How to Change the World – Guy Kawasaki's blog is very well-known and widely-read; about entrepreneurship rather than social entrepreneurship, there's nevertheless some great stuff here

10) Bubb's Blog – Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO, writes the most talked-about blog in the third sector: entertaining, unashamed and gossipy, it's a good place to get a sense of what's happening in the sector, particularly in the public service delivery / social investment / government space

So there you go. Top Twitter feeds to follow soon….

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