Lights, camera, action: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I found out this week that I am very unlikely to ever win the Academy Award for Best Director. I’m probably not even going to be in the running for one of the more niche technical Oscars like Best Cinematography or Best Visual Effects. How did I find this out? Well, this week we held an event for SSE and yours truly was responsible for filming and streaming it online.

You can see the results here. I’m not sure that it will be appearing on Netflix anytime soon. Still, it was an excellent event and thank you to all those who came.

On with this week’s news…


Quick Change

If you are an SSE Fellow and you are reading this right now you need to do me a favour. We’ve sent a slightly different version of this newsletter to SSE Fellows with some slightly tailored news from the SSE network. If you are a Fellow, you need to update your profile and let us know so that you can receive the Fellows edition.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Today is the deadline to apply to our Third Sector Digital Leaders course. To apply, register your interest to attend in either Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool or London and I’ll send an application form over to you. It’s not a long form so you’ve got plenty of time to get it back to me by 5pm, when I’m leaving the office for a pint.

You can find the course here


Additionally, our school in Yorkshire and the North East are launching ‘Digital Socents’, a new initiative bringing together the tech start-up community and social entrepreneurs. They’ll be launching in Leeds on Monday 18th March with an ‘Art of Possible’ workshop, exploring how social enterprise and charities can think digitally and incorporate digital solutions that can really help scale and drive impact.

The event takes place at Cospace North Platform (right next to Leeds station) between 5.30pm and 8.30pm and it’s only a fiver to go along. You even get your dinner included with the ticket.

Find our more 

An Education

Officially the deadline to apply for Cambridge Judge Business School’s Social Venture Incubator was yesterday but we’ve done a deal on the sly and readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You can have a little longer and get an application in over the weekend. On offer is six months of structured support, including monthly training days and regular meetings with an advisor. Your social enterprise can be at any stage of its development.

Find out more here

(The school also have a few remaining places on their Social Venture Weekend which takes place on March 1st. It’s aimed at emerging social entrepreneurs or those looking to refine their venture’s business plan).

Written in the Wind

A couple of new blogs from our friends over at Good Finance. First, our head of comms Sophie has drawn from some of our students and written a guest post on ‘How to Fall in Love with Leadership Again‘.

Next up, Emily Parrett of Good Finance has written ‘Impact Matters‘, looking at why it’s important to invest time and resource into measuring social impact. (Read it, think ‘gosh, that does sound important’ and then book yourself onto our Measuring Social Impact course.)

The English Patient

I think the Allen Lane Foundation speak for us all when they write that they are ‘particularly concerned about divisions in communities that occurred around the 2016 Referendum and subsequently’. And good on them they want to try to do something about it; they’ve launched a new Social Cohesion Programme. They’ll be supporting ‘community-led grassroots groups and organisations which have a focus of work being at a very local/community level’.

Find out more


If you are in Leeds over the next couple of weeks and looking for something to do then check out ‘The Human Aquarium’, a brand new exhibition from SSE Fellow Lucy Meredith. It runs from 15th – 28th February at the St John’s Centre in Leeds City Centre and is designed to take you on the journey experienced by sea animals from their capture, to training, to performing in man-made tanks and pools.

Take a look here

Trading Places

A whole load of jobs this week if you’re looking to make a move:

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship have two open positions. They are looking for an Associate Director for Programmes (£47,263 – £54,765) to be be jointly responsible for the overall direction and strategic development of the Centre. Deadline to apply is 20th Feb. They are also searching for a Systems Change Research Fellow ( £40,792 to £48,677) to ‘contribute to the development of a multi-disciplinary mixed methods approach for research on systems change in theory and in practice and will have primary responsibility for specific projects within the overall initiative’. Deadline to apply is 1st March.

In Rochdale, UP CIC have two vacancies: a Business and Development Manager (£27k) and a Training Co-ordinator (£22k). UP supports the work of WHAG, a charity providing domestic abuse support to women and men and homelessness support to women. You can find details of both vacancies here.

In Cambridge, Wintercomfort are looking for a Business Manager (£37,907) to manage and develop two of their social enterprises. Wintercomfort is the only day centre for the homeless in the city of Cambridge and their social enterprises create opportunities for training, volunteering, work experience and employment for service users. Applications close on 4th March.

Night at the Museum

A new £7 million partnership social investment loan fund is available to charities, social enterprises and community businesses seeking to acquire, reuse or redevelop buildings which are of historic or architectural importance. The Heritage Impact Fund will offer loans from £25,000 to £500,000 for up to three years to develop sustainable heritage at the very heart of vibrant local economies.

More details here

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This is brilliant. Burnham and Weston Energy, a CIC solar farm in Wick Farm, Somerset, have realised enough profit from their energy generation to establish the Burnham and Weston Energy Sunshine Fund. They’ll be offering grants of up to £2500 to community projects across the Somerset coastline. If you’re in the area and interested in applying the deadline is April 20th.

Further details here

The Social Network

A week or so ago I got a notification that it was ten years since I signed up to Twitter. Back in 2009 it was certainly a more enjoyable platform, with far less of the anger, trolling and shouting at one another. So it was good last week to see Lightful’s Reclaim Social campaign last week, sharing thousands of more positive messages designed to reclaim social media for good.

Some of the highlights are available here

Shaun of the Dead

I couldn’t find a film title with ‘Haringey’ in the title but Shaun of the Dead was set there so that will have to do. Anyhow, we’re running another taster session for our Linklaters – Future Comunities Programme next Thursday (21st Feb) between 6pm and 8.30pm at Green Rooms, Wood Green.

The free programme will support passionate people in Haringey who believe that they can make a difference by setting up an organisation that can help their community for the better.

Further details here

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Not moos for you but Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

To paraphrase Donald Tusk somewhat, I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those that send their ill children to nursery, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.

Too cut to the chase: via my son I’ve managed to contract hand, foot and mouth disease which is nothing to do with cows but it does make you feel really rather tired so this is a much shorter edition than usual. If you’ve sent something over the last couple of days and it’s not here I’ll include it next week.


Linklaters – Future Comunities Programme

We are looking for passionate people in Haringey who believe that they can make a difference by setting up an organisation that can help their community for the better. We welcome people with all abilities, from all walks of life. It’s a free programme, offering seven evening sessions over ten weeks and a grant of £500.

If you know anyone in Haringey who might be interested please send them our way. Anyone who is interested in taking part in the course needs to attend a recruitment session at Shine, 89-91 Turnpike Lane, next Wednesday between 4pm and 6.30pm.

Further details here

Training and Employing People with Lived Experience – Enterprise Development Programme

Homeless Link are running a free event on March 1st for social enterprises and charities thay aim to train and employ people with lived experience of homelessness. It’s free to attend and will include presentations from social enterprises who have experienced this first-hand including Recycling Lives (run by SSE Fellow Alasdair Jackson), Connection Crew & Winter Comfort.

Delegates will also hear from Social Investment Business, and learn about The Enterprise Development Programme and how it can help their organisation. You even get a free lunch, provided by social enterprise Fat Macy’s.

Book a place here


People’s Postcode Lottery have opened applications to their community grants fund. The deadline to apply is Febraury 20th.

Find out more here


  • IFDAS, Independence from Drugs and Alcohol Scotland, is a relatively new organisation in Ayrshire which is offering Scotland a ground breaking new way to tackle these types of addictions.The charity is looking for its first Chief Executive (£50k). Apply here by 24th Feb.
  • Also looking for a CEO are Paper Arts, a social enterprise set-up 4 years ago in Bristol to support young aspiring creatives to develop meaningful careers. The role pays £27-£29k and you need to apply by February 15th. A job description is available here.  They are also recruiting part-time Marketing & Partnerships manager (£20-£23k) which closes on Monday. JD available here.
  • Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading digital and social inclusion charity, are recruiting a Chief Operating Officer (£56-80k). The role is based in Sheffield and you need to apply by February 24th.

Social Enterprise Festival

City University London are running a Social Enterprise Festival in London on 26th + 27th Feburary. It’s completely free to take part.

Find out more here

And finally…

Some news that cheered me up yesterday as I was feeling under the weather – SSE Fellow Caroline Morgan and her social enterprise Local Food Links were crowned Scale Up Buinsess of the Year at the south west region FSB Small Business awards. A well deserved prize!

Find out more about Local Food Links on their website. 

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What’s on at SSE:

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Poking the bear with a stick: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Alright, I’ll admit it. This newsletter has been occasionally used to poke fun at our chief executive Alastair Wilson. Mocking the management is one of the main reasons that I bother to write it to be honest. Anyway, I’ve been away for a week (Centreparcs, highly recommend it. Enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would) and in an interesting turn of events have come back to a new line manager at SSE: our chief executive Alastair Wilson. Ooooooooooooh.

After doing a detailed SWOT analysis over the first half of this week, however, I have decided that this is an opportunity more than a threat. Readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You now have a direct link into the mind of our CEO and all the wisdom that it contains. The quality of content in this newsletter will certainly differ in the future.

Enjoy this week’s news, there’s some great stuff going on. If you want to help share it then please click on either the Twitter or Facebook button below. That way I can impress my new line manager with things like engagement and sign up rate and other numbers that sound really clever.


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