Road tripping: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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I’m heading off to Bournemouth later today for two weeks of English seaside fun, conveniently timed to coincide with the last two weeks of the World Cup. Last time we drove down via the M3 it took about 55 hours with the only good point being the fact that the services we stopped at (Fleet) had a McDonalds and not a Burger King. If you are one of those strange people who prefers Burger King to McDonalds I’m afraid we will never be friends.

Before then, however, here’s this week’s news. A good selection here, thanks for everyone who sent something to be included.

See you in a few weeks.


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In need of 40 winks: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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I am astonishingly tired this week. Over the last ten days our two year old has decided that he’d like to begin the day at 5 a.m. and can’t be persuaded that this isn’t necessarily the way that most people like to live their life. It’s a bit like living in Groundhog Day; each morning has a familiar routine – stagger downstairs, make a coffee and then watch part of the Pixar film ‘Zootropolis’ which although amusing does begin to grate by the seventh viewing. He seems to disagree though.

So, go easy if this is littered with more errors than usual. Although by this stage I’m beyond caring…

Have a good and sleep filled weekend!


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All kicking off: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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You may well have noticed that the World Cup has started. Until Monday and England’s first game this is a time for wide eyed optimism and a feeling of ‘they couldn’t, could they?’. Pundits keep telling us that England go into this tournament without the burden of expectation and that this is a good thing, therefore creating a paradoxical sense of expectation by virtue of there being no expectation. Weird huh?

Here are my predictions for this year’s tournament, wrapped around this week’s news.

It’s coming home!


The opening ceremony will be dreadful

I’m writing this on Thursday morning before the opening ceremony has taken place* but I am confident that this prediction will hold true. World Cup opening ceremonies are always dreadful. The only thing that anyone ever remembers is Diana Ross missing a penalty in 1994. I had a piece of toast this morning that was more memorable than most World Cup opening ceremonies.

Held to a much higher standard are TedX talks, luckily. The London TedX takes place at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 1st July themed ‘Beyond Borders’. There is a cracking line up of speakers and readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You can take advantage of a 10% discount on tickets by clicking the link below.

Get your discount here

*I watched it last night and can confirm it was pretty appalling.

UK productivity will go down

According to this article the World Cup costs the UK about £4bn in lost productivity as employees either take time off work to watch games or turn up too hungover to work after a big game. Quite right too, if it was up to me work would stop for the duration of the tournament. It could well be the policy within the following organisations, although I’d check the ts + cs before applying for one of these vacancies…

SSE Fellow Joel Davis is looking for a Programme Administrator (£18-20k) for his organisation Tutors United, based in Shoreditch, London – deadline is Friday 29th June. Details here.

SSE Fellow Yvonne Farquharson’s organisation Breather AHR has a vacancy for an Administrator (£18k) based in St George’s Circus, near Elephant and Castle in London. You need to be very quick with this one – the deadline is Monday. Details here.

If you’ve got experience managing and developing products with clear examples of success and impact in both financial and social terms then get in touch with SSE Fellow Ugo Vallauri and his organisation Restart – Ugo is looking to recruit a Head of Product (£33k) based in central London. Find out more here.

Someone will break a metatarsal

Bear with me on this one. If someone got injured during a game and you were sat on the sidelines what might you say to them? Might you say that you hope that they get fit for the future? I hope that you would, because it means that I can seamlessly segue into mentioning SEUK’s Fit for the Future conference on July 12th, which looks at the role and future of social enterprises in the delivery of health and social care services.

Keynote speaker Head of NHS England, Simon Stevens and SSE students and Fellows can get SEUK member rates of £100 +VAT if you use the code FFTF100.

Find our more here

There will be umpteen mentions of the World Cup being a ‘festival of football’

Which it is, I suppose. But let’s say you’re not a fan of football and you’d rather have a different festival experience. There’s no Glastonbury this year but you could head down to Off Grid Festival in Devon from 9th – 12th August. The festival is a social enterprise initiative packed with social entrepreneurs and enterprises running and involved in all sorts of inspirational and exciting projects. You can find out more here.

SSE Fellow Amerie Rose will be taking part in the festival in the Village Hall, the info hub for the festival, alongside Devon County Council who will be highlighting the support available to SEs through the ENHANCE programme, legal and advice clinics for campaigners, Q&A forums, TED & TEDx talks and an evening film programme. Amerie has a crew ticket available for one Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You reader who would like to join her team. Contact Amerie by emailing for more information.

My wife will moan about there being too much football on and can we watch something else. 

I haven’t yet told her that from 2026 there are going to be more teams in the tournament and even more games to watch. Still, if she’s looking for inspiration for something else to watch Red Bull’s list of ’10 must watch YouTube channels for social entrepreneurs’ could be a good starting point.

See if you recognise the organisation at number one in the list.

People will say that this World Cup isn’t as good as Italia ’90.

Because people always say that the current World Cup isn’t as good as Italia 90. But how can you measure that? How can you be sure that one World Cup is better than another?

It’s a question that SSE Fellow David Floyd has been pondering only related to community businesses, social enterprises and charities: he’s examining how they approach Quality Assurance (basically (a) whether their products and services are any good and (b) how to improve what they do). He’d like your thoughts:

Complete a short online survey here


Youth will triumph over experience

Only one team (Italy in 2006) has ever won the World Cup with an average age of over 28. That means if you drew Egypt, Argentina, Mexico or Costa Rica in your sweepstake you are statistically unlikely to take home this year’s pot.

Further bad news for us oldies: we’re also not eligible to take part in this year’s Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which is open to social entrepreneurs aged 18-29. There’s a £1000 cash prize for the award, which commemorates Anjool Maldé. You need to enter by 5.30pm on the 18th June.

Find out more and apply here

It will be too hot / too cold / too wet / too dry

It wouldn’t be a World Cup with out complaints about the weather – we get to combine our number one and number two pastimes. It’s a bit like the SSE office, which seems to suffer from extremes of temperature and is why I’m looking enviously at the office space at The Trampery Republic in East India Dock. The Trampery are currently offering free desk space for ten ‘Creative Pioneers’ for six months – they are particularly keen to hear from social enterprises.

Find out more here

A new star will be born

Gazza. Michael Owen. Dele Alli…? The World Cup always makes a hero of someone. In the social enterprise world could the next big thing be Maximilian Theye? Currently studying urban planning at UCL he’s contacted us to see if we can help find him an internship this summer: he can could offer design skills and is also experienced in strategic planning, organising events and customer service. If you’ve got an opportunity for him drop me an email and I’ll forward on his cv.

Harry Kane will score the winner for England in the final, becoming Sir Harry Kane. 

This may be one of the more outlandish predictions but I certainly hope that it comes true. If it were to happen, Mr Kane would join several SSE Fellows by being recognised by the Queen. Luke Rodgers, founder of Foster Focus has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to children and families and Bev Dean of Special iApps has been made an MBE for her services to exports in educational technology for people with learning disabilities.

Well-deserved congratulations to both Luke and Bev.

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A lean mean communication machine: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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A fresh new look for HIGSENFY – I’ve decided to slim down for the summer and lose some of the images which tend just to show up as big red x’s anyway. You could say that we’ve had an x-odus. You probably shouldn’t though, if you want people to like you.

Hopefully you like the new design and let me know what you think. (On the blog this makes no sense: sign up at to see what I’m talking about).

Enjoy this week’s news and if you are looking for a new Scandinavian inspired hobby to try this weekend I’m hearing good things about Päntsdrunk.


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Stuffing its face with happy cake: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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Because I’m not very attentive I failed to notice that Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You turned five a couple of weeks ago, so happy birthday to us. We’re also almost coming up to 200 editions (this is no.195) so celebrations all round. In other birthday news my son turned two last week: we sang happy birthday and gave him a cake but he seems to have misinterpreted it slightly and is now going round asking people for ‘happy cake’. I’m preparing for the imminent visit from social services.

Before we move onto the news, a very special public service announcement: today is Leave The Office Earlier Day. Go home and tell them that I gave you permission to. (Using my Derren Brown-like abilities I can confidently predict that as he reads this, our chief executive Ali is thinking to himself that it’s not humanly possible for me to go home any earlier than I already do.)

Enjoy this week’s news…


A shaggy tale

Let’s start with some lovely news: SSE Fellow Marie Yates was recently nominated by fellow (?) Fellow Nicola Gothard for the first ever Purina BetterwithPets awards. Marie has now made it to the final five and travels to Barcelona for the final later this month. You can read more in Marie’s excellent blog, which also discusses recently losing her dog Reggie.

Read more

Pieces of eight

The government recently called for views on it can work with and for civil society to tackle challenges and unlock opportunities to build a stronger society now and in the future and SSE has responded with ‘eight ways we want government to support social entrepreneurs’.

Read all eight here

Single shot

Massive congratulations to SSE Fellow Cemal Ezel who just picked up a huge $350,000 prize for his organisation Change Please by winning the 2018 Chivas Venture award at glittering ceremony in Amsterdam (which you can watch here). It was a star studded event, featuring Richard Ayoade and Chelsea player Willian (a joke that’s at least five years past its sell by date there…).

Read more about the event

Double shot

SSE Fellow Eve Wagg has two open vacancies at her social enterprise Well Grounded, which works to place people within the speciality coffee industry. Eve is looking for a Coffee Champion to assist in delivering training programmes and running Well Grounded’s training Academy, and also for a Project & Progressions Co-ordinator to will lead on co-ordinating programmes with a focus on the recruitment of learners onto training programmes.

Apply for both here

And another job

Also recruiting are the Euclid Network who are after a Policy & Project Officer (Social Enterprise). The job is an opportunity to work both on supporting real-life social entrepreneurs and the wider ecosystem (policy, markets, social investment). The role is based in London until 2019 when there would be the option to transfer to The Hague. Yep, Brexit is leading to a Policy & Project Officer (Social Enterprise) brain drain…

Apply here

Once you pop you can’t stop

Camden Council have two vacant properties that can be used by entrepreneurs, artists and community groups as pop up shops – one in Gospel Oak and one in Kentish Town. There is no cost and premises can be used for anything between three days and three months.

Read more on our website

From our Welsh correspondent 

The Wales Start-Up awards are open for applications and one of the categories is Social Enterprise Start-Up. The judges are looking for ‘new businesses that have taken on social investment to break new ground either in delivering a new service, creating new models of delivery or breaking into new markets’.

Enter here

Over to Portugal

SSE Fellow Bruno Lacey is relocating to Lisbon next year and looking to expand his social enterprise Urban Growth, creating community gardens and encouraging healthy lifestyles across the city. He’s now looking to connect with any social entrepreneurs there who may want to collaborate – if you are based in Lisbon or know someone who is then please put them in touch with Bruno via his website

Which you can find here

Arm wrestling with Chas and Dave. Youth hosteling with Chris Eubank.

Airbnb have extended their Social Impact Experiences scheme across the whole UK, allowing charities and CICs to promote activities and take payment with no listing or transaction fees. There must be loads of social enterprises with activities that they can promote.

Find out more

Finally: Bullshit jobs and awful management

No, I did not copy that from the ‘About Us’ page of the SSE website. Have some respect, it would be at most only half true. It’s actually a book by David Graeber, which proposes that ‘many of us are toiling in dummy jobs with no ostensible purpose’. RSA’s Benedict Dellot has written a very interesting piece about the book.

Read it here

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