Featuring solid gold career advice: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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Yesterday was A-level results day, a day which gives middle-aged people a fantastic opportunity to patronise the youth. “I only got a C in Geography and an E in General Studies, but now I run an international art dealership, live in a mansion in Notting Hill and holiday in the Maldives” – that sort of thing. You never hear from someone who failed all their A-levels and now works in a dead end job that they hate do you? Funny that.

Anyway, my top piece of advice for anyone reading this who messed up their exams: just make the results up. 99.99% of employers will never check. 4 A’s at A-level and a double first from Balliol College Oxford? Go for it. Come and work at SSE (details below) – they didn’t even take references when I started. I think they’ve tightened up since that mistake though.

Enough prattle for now. I’m not sure if there will be an edition next week, I’m off to the 1930s America on holiday for a couple of weeks.

Enjoy the news…


Earlier this week I sent an email about our Negotiating Difficult Conversations course which contained a deliberate mistake to test whether you were paying attention or not (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). The course takes place on 18th September, not 14th September. Well done to Steve at Community Southwark who was the only person to notice! Glad that at least one person reads this…

Funding news: People’s Postcode Lottery have three funding pots with a value of £4 million for for projects tacking poverty or supporting human rights, wildlife or recreation.

Meanwhile, the Kusuma Trust are offering grants of up to £10,000 for charities that enable disadvantaged young people to have more opportunities in education or employment.

Right then, those job opportunities at SSE. We’re after a Learning Facilitator in Liverpool and two Development Managers and a Strategic Project Manager in London. All the details here. You should work at SSE because *consults notes to see what they want me to say* it’s a fantastic opportunity to work for the finest, most enlightened and best looking management team in the third sector. OK. We also have drinks at 4pm on a Friday if you want a proper reason.

Some SSE Fellows are recruiting too: Peer Power, a social enterprise set up by SSE Fellow Anne-Marie Douglas, are looking for a part-time Office Manager, a part-time Youth Engagement Officer and three Peer Leaders. All the roles are based in London. Peer Power support the most vulnerable children and young people in society.

In Birmingham, SSE Fellow Martin Hogg is looking for full and part time qualified CBT counsellors to join his organisation Citizen Coaching. Citizen Coaching is an established social enterprise with 12 years’ experience of delivering high quality counselling and personal development services to adults and young people.

Also recruiting are the Breadwinners Foundation with a very interesting vacancy: they want a social entrepreneur with a passion for start ups, artisan bread and supporting refugees in London, to run the charity and take it to the next level. Read more here, or for an informal chat about the role, email marika@breadwinners.org.uk.

Here’s something a little different. Alessandra Incerti and Francesco Zaccaria have set up ABCity.org and plan to travel from London to Yangon in Myamaar visiting social enterprises across Asia along the way. They would love to hear from potential partners (financial, technical, media partners) and for mentors (people experts in design and/or social impact who would be keen to support social enterprises in Asia). Check out their website and details of the journey and contact Alessandra (af@abcity.org) if you’d like to know more or if you can help out.

A rare opportunity for good value office space in central London: SSE Fellow James Adeleke has desks available in Convent Garden for £99 including wifi and coffee. I’ve seen pictures of the space and it looks lovely!

SSE Dartington are running a three day intensive for start up social entrepreneurs in Bristol and Plymouth this September. It’s open to anyone with a social enterprise idea and will cover topics such as business planning, identifying your customers and measuring your social impact. The programme is part funded by the ERDF.

Question: How many ways are there to improve the Social Value Act?

Answer: Seven.

Access’ Ed Anderton is currently doing a secondment with London First and doing some work around autonomous vehicles (ones without a driver) and is looking to conduct some focus groups on the issue. Ideal participants could be part of a community group with particular transport needs e.g. wheelchair users, or parents of children with reduced mobility but, more broadly, the brief is to test out people’s attitudes to/understanding of autonomous vehicles, and explore the implications of the technology on their immediate environment. If you’d like to take part in the research contact ed.anderton@access-si.org.uk.

SSE Fellow and founder of Out of the Box Caroline Stevens is currently taking part in the Big Christmas Challenge and needs your support! OOTBox is an up-cycling project working with vulnerable women to increase skills and employability and need to raise funds to refit their workshop in Blackbird Leys, Oxford. Further details here. (If you’re feeling particularly generous, they are looking for people who will pledge a minimum of £100 to act as match funding…)

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What’s on at SSE:

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Working harder than should be necessary: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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A somewhat truncated HIGSENFY this week – I’m going on holiday at the end of next week and I’ve got a mountain of work to get through before I go. In fact, if you could book onto one of the following courses before next Friday you’d be doing me an enormous favour and it would mean me not having to check my emails too often while I’m away:

Thanks in advance – look forward to seeing all 6600 of you in September. Enjoy this week’s news, I’m off to procrastinate about where to start…


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Fashionably late: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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I’ve had a bit of an odd week. Tuesday and Wednesday I was hit by a 48 hour (!!) migraine so I’m a little behind with everything I should have done this week. I’m now getting demanding emails from our comms team asking me where the newsletter is. Chill out comms team, it’s Friday. As an American diplomat named Richard Holbrooke once said “You can’t let the deadline define the mission. The mission has to define the deadline”. So there.

Enjoy this week’s news and have a great weekend.


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Student update: Asha Patel, Innovating Minds.

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By Asha Patel

Asha Patel is currently a student on our Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs start up course in the Midlands. This blog provides an insight into the first year of running a social enterprise and how the School for Social Entrepreneurs has helped along the way… 

“We offer a world where young people with emotional and mental health needs are supported to achieve their aspirations”.

I am on the SSE West Midlands course and before starting I had not started to generate an income, I just had an idea in mind. After sitting on the idea for 12 months, I finally took the leap of faith and I personally invested £7,500 to set up Innovating Minds CIC in 2016. This money was invested into marketing and branding material to bring the enterprise alive. It also helped me to have materials ready to exhibit at three conferences (of course all of this was done whilst I was working full time). On Monday 29th February, I took the leap of faith and handed in my resignation. Promise I didn’t plan to take the leap on a leap day- it just felt right.

Commencing ‘trading’ in September 2016 (contract established from a contact I made at one of the exhibitions) with my first SLA worth over £20,000. I commuted to London on a weekly basis to deliver my service to support students, teachers and parents wellbeing by creating a whole school approach to mental health. Within 10 months of trading, we have secured over £180,000 worth of funding and successfully become a specialist delivery partner for the Building Better Opportunities project in Coventry and Warwickshire, which is part funded by European Social Fund and Big Lottery Fund. We have three employees, and all of our initial contracts have been renewed and doubled so we can make a bigger impact. To date we have reached 937 individuals with our work in the UK.

In July 2017, we were sponsored to visit Bangladesh for a week with a team of three colleagues to raise awareness of mental health in educational settings. In total we reached over 2000 people, this included students, teachers and parents! We have also been asked to put a proposal together so we can establish our services in Bangladesh.

I believe the SSE programme has enabled me to develop confidence in myself and it has given me nuggets of information that I have been able to take away and implement. The peer support has been incredible, my peers have shared this learning journey with me and they have supported me when I have experienced knockbacks and celebrated the successes with me. The action learning has enabled me to take a step back and really unpick the challenges I am facing individually and as a social enterprise. I am very grateful for this amazing experience with SSE, the support from Rozzie and Charles has been amazing. I hope one day I can give back.


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