Featuring the word ‘kumquat’ for the first time: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

According to people who know these things, the average native English speaker has a vocabulary of between 20,000 and 30,000 words. Most of these are useless, of course. Everyone knows the word ‘kumquat’ but have you ever heard anyone actually use it in a sentence? No-one has ever been sent to the shop to pick up a loaf of bread, twenty B+H and three kumquats.

Excitingly, we all have a new word to use: ‘prorogue’. Of course, we’re all pretending that we’ve known what it means for years (no doubt learned at the same time as our deep understanding of the unwritten constitution) but be honest, you know a lot more about kumquats than you do prorogation. I got all excited when I first heard it: “Dave, it’s your turn to take the bins out” said my wife on Wednesday evening. “I’m proroguing the bins this week” was my response. In my mind, I was going to be walking around proroguing everything: meetings, trips to the supermarket, rounds at the bar. It was going to be fantastic (my wife seemed less enthusiastic).

Turns out you can only prorogue sessions of parliament or legislative assemblies. So now I’m stuck here with my kumquats taking the bins out and still going to meetings. Life can be so cruel.

On with the news…


Sing for your supper

What’s the first thing that comes into your head if I say ‘Covent Garden’ to you? Opera? Buskers? The Transport Museum?

Well, that could all be about to change – SSE and partners are currently exploring creating a retail and experiential learning space in the area. At this very early scoping stage we’re looking for social businesses with retail products or catering services to take a short survey to help us understand the types of business that could fill the space.

If your social enterprise has a product that you sell or a catering offering that could take advantage of this opportunity, we would love to hear from you. Complete the survey by Friday 20th September and we’ll pop you into a draw to win a £50 John Lewis voucher.

The survey should only take about five minutes

The only source of knowledge is experience

SSE Fellow Rhiannon Griffiths of Comic Youth has put together a great blog post about the importance of leaders of organisations in the third sector having lived experience of the issues they are seeking to solve: “I found it extremely frustrating to see people in power continuously make decisions without the first-hand knowledge or experience to do so”. A sentiment that could be extended far beyond the boundaries of the third sector…

Read the blog here

Socks and sandals

Way back in 1928 or whenever it was that I started working at SSE I turned up to work on my first day wearing a suit and people laughed at me. I often wonder how things would have turned out if I hadn’t made that mistake. I’d probably be CEO of some massive charity and have a knighthood by now, instead of churning out this nonsense each week. How was I to know that the dress code was in fact ‘clothes you’d usually throw on if you needed to go and get something from the shop quickly at 7am but you hadn’t had a shower yet’?

Fortunately, these mistakes don’t need to be made by others moving into the social impact sector. Our friends at On Purpose, _SocialStarters* and Year Here are hosting ‘How To Transition Into A Social Impact Career, on 19th September in Islington. It’s ‘an evening of lightning talks, inspiration and the chance to meet likeminded professionals over drinks and nibbles’.

Book your place here

*SocialStarters are also currently recruiting an incubator programme manager – if you’ve run start-up or career change programmes before you can find out more here.

Thurrock and roll

You’re based in Thurrock and you’ve got an idea for a project that helps other people or the environment. How do you get it up and running?

You come along to a taster session for our Thurrock Social Entrepreneurship Programme, that’s how. We’ve go sessions taking place on the 6th and 9th September from 10:00-15:00 – you’ll learn all about the programme (which starts in October) and how it can help you get a social enterprise, charity or business that helps people off the ground.

You can find out more here

Have I Got ‘Social Enterprise News Fer Tha

It’s all systems go at SSE Yorkshire and North East:

They are running an online Start Up Boost course, starting on 11th September. It’s open to anyone and will give you support prioritising and business planning for a successful social enterprise. There are only two places left, book a spot here.

It’s the last couple of weeks to apply for the M&S Community Business Challenge in Bradford. The school are hosting an information session on Wednesday, September 4 from 11am to 1pm at Carlisle Business Centre. You can help and support with your application for the £10k grant fund and tailored business support. Book your place here.

On October 10th, join SSE Yorkshire and North East for ‘Big Futures’, an event in York celebrating change-makers from across the region. £29 gets you dinner, drinks, networking and speaker sessions. Get a ticket here.

If you’re happy and you know it…

You may well be on the Independent’s Happy List, an annual celebration of ‘people whose kindness, bravery and dedication make the UK a better place’. I’ve spotted a number of SSE Fellows: Chris Fleet, Emma Baines, Declan Flynn, Jude Habib and Jane Hatton – congratulations to you all.

You can see the full list here

Meaningful vote

Let’s keep those awards for SSE Fellows coming- Vie Portland of VieNess Discover You Love You CIC has been nominated in Hampshire’s VIP Business Awards 2019, celebrating local Hampshire businesses. She’s up for both The Feel Good Award and The Future Minds Award.

If you can spare 30 seconds, you can voter for her here

Back to school

A great looking job opportunity with Impacted, co-founded by speaker at SSE Owen Carter. They are looking for a Head of School Partnerships (£38k – £47k), leading on their school-facing strategy and developing a team to deliver on it. ImpactEd’s mission is to improve pupil outcomes and life chances by addressing the evaluation deficit. The job is based in London and would suit someone with a deep understanding of the UK school system.

Apply here by 9th September

When stars align

If you’re looking at your diary and thinking ‘what I could really do with is a Working with Corporates type workshop at SSE London on 12th September’ then guess what? We have a Working with Corporates workshop, in London, on the 12th September. Remarkable. Come and find out all you need to know about how your charity or social enterprise can work with the private sector, from what type of support you can get, who you need to speak to and how to maintain a good working relationship.

Book a place here

Fail to plan, plan to fail

If you’re like me, you tend to leave everything until the last minute. Life tends to be more exciting that way – why have a to do list when you can have a list of things that you should really have done three days ago but haven’t got round to but will do eventually? Still, let’s try and do one thing differently today. I know it’s weeks away, but if you could book onto our next Fellows event in Bethnal Green on September 26th right now it would be appreciated. It will save some meetings.

It will be a fun event and it’s free for SSE Fellows (although there is a refundable £10 deposit). All others are welcome too, as long as you promise not to wreck the joint (and stump up 10 quid).

It only takes a minute so why not do it now

Gear shift

SSE Fellow Jem Stein is looking for a digitally savvy marketing manager (£38k, London) to supercharge his organisation The Bike Project’s marketing as they enter the next phase of growth. If you have proven experience in being able to plan, deliver and manage others to create and roll out activity across all digital channel you should take a look.

Deadline to apply is 9th September

That is lit

Finally, SSE Fellow Frances Weetman is in the process of setting up ‘Lit’, a social enterprise and website that aims to encourage young voter turnout, while finding the solutions to problems like climate change, inequality and the housing market. She is keen to produce some articles and videos about topics that will interest young people and which will impact their day-to-day living. If your social enterprise has direct experience working in any of the following areas and you’d like to be featured then please contact Frances:

Healthcare / the NHS; Drug addiction / drug policy; Homelessness and the housing market (including rentals and first time buyers); The environment and climate change; Refugees & problems regarding immigration; Prison overcrowding & rehabilitation; Human rights, both in the UK and abroad; Knife crime (particularly in London); Education; Austerity.

You can contact Frances at [email protected]

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Home again home again jiggety jig: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Right, I’m back after a couple of excellent weeks in the States. I wouldn’t say that I was hugely refreshed; it turns out that children and jet lag go together like toothpaste and orange juice. I was so tired earlier this week that I had a very bizarre dream that Donald Trump had tried to buy Greenland. Can you imagine how confusing that was?

But your not here for my idle chit chat, you’re here for the news. So here’s two week’s worth.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend.


(p.s – I’ve been allowed to get involved with the organising of this year’s SSE Christmas party. Any tips for fun places to go in London will be gratefully received…and yes I know it’s August.)

Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye

A quartet of award news to start this week…

First up, a huge round of applause to Tracey Muirhead, CEO of SSE Scotland, who has been nominated as a finalist in the Social Leader of the Year category of the Scottish Women’s Awards. Tracey is amazing and if the organisers are reading this you should definitely give the award to her.tag heuer aquaracer replica

Read more here

The Hundred

Next, nominations have just opened for the third annual NatWest WISE100, a listing of leading UK women driving social impact. There are six categories to enter, with the WISE100 Women’s Champion being a non-gender specific award.

Find out more here

Foundation for success

SSE Fellow Lynne Barton is a finalist in the Persimmon Homes Building Futures awards and needs your votes. Her organisation Entrust Care Partnership provides a range of much needed services to support disabled children and their families. If successful, they’ll use the award to raise funds for a place of their own to deliver services.

Take two minutes and vote for Entrust here

All caps

And finally in the awards section of the newsletter, Shoreditch hipsters Unltd have partnered with caps lock fans The PRECIOUS Awards, the leading awards programme for women of colour in the UK. They’ve created a new awards category to recognise and support women who are driving lasting social change – The PRECIOUS Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award will give the winner £15,000 to support their social venture to grow.

You can find out more here

It’s all just atoms anyway

What’s your Friday night tipple? A pint of lager? A glass of wine? Well, here’s something new for you to try – vodka made from grain grown in Chernobyl. It’s a good story; a group of scientists from the UK and the Ukraine have formed a social enterprise called The Chernobyl Spirit Company and hope to sell the vodka (which they’ve named Atomik) to support the local community’s economic and social development.

In America they now sell Bud Light Lemon Ice Tea – surely nuclear vodka is preferable to that.

The bar is this way

Local news for local people

Calling all Southwark social entrepreneurs: Southwark Council has established the Southwark Pioneers Fund to provide access to finance, workspace, networks and business support. To continue this support, the council are now applying to a new £33m Local Access Programme. As part of the application, they are carrying out a survey to uncover your organisation’s activities, plans and aspirations.

They are looking for as many responses as possible so if you are based in the borough and can spare 15 minutes you’ve got until 31st August to take part.

Which you can do here

Money for old rope?

A good piece of work from Time to Spare claiming that 46% of grants cost more than they are worth. While they readily admit that their figures are estimates it makes for an interesting read.

Check it out here

A shaggy dog story

SSE Fellow Marie Yates has today released ‘Luna’s Woodland Adventure’, the first book in a new series encouraging and developing a growth mindset in children aged five-six years old. The idea came to Marie while she was sitting in a witness session during SSE Bristol’s Start Up Programme several years ago. The book looks an excellent gift for a son / daughter / niece / nephew etc etc…

Order a copy here

Shop til you drop

Sticking with shopping, former Third Sector Digital Leaders participant Lucy Willoughby has launched Good Things. It’s a new website selling ethical, fairtrade and sustainable gifts for children from around the world, including toy boats made from discarded plastic bottles and fairly made eco-friendly cotton animals. She’s obviously doing something right as she’s just won this year’s Fast Track to Growth programme in Devon.

Check out the site here

Step on the gas

Our friends at Spring Impact are piloting a new, issues-led version of Scale Accelerator, a tailored programme that helps mission-driven organisations to scale their impact and change more lives. They are looking for six charities and social enterprises to join a six month programme starting in January 2020. If your organisation works with people who face multiple complex needs (such as homelessness and substance abuse) then subsidised places on the programme are available.

Find out more

Jobs jobs jobs

The good people at The Funding Network, based in London, are looking for a Communications and Membership Coordinator (£24k + benefits). If you’ve got a flair for creative content, a collaborative attitude and a keen interest in the social impact sector, apply here by Wednesday 11th September.

We’ve extended the deadline on our Marketing and Engagement Officer role (£32,061 – £33,023) to Friday 6th September. I mean, what were we thinking trying to recruit while everyone is on holiday. It’s a fun job – you can find all the details you need here.

A jolly good get together

Finally, for SSE Fellows – we’ve got two networking events for you to take part in during September. On Tuesday 10th, Unltd Scotland and SSE Scotland will be hosting a joint event giving you the opportunity to expand your networks and make some great new connections. It’s free to take part, register here.

In London, we’re running a networking event with the theme ‘Boundaries and Burnout: Managing your wellbeing to increase your impact as a social entrepreneur’ on September 26th in Bethnal Green. At the moment, the room is going to be somewhat empty so if you are planning on attending go ahead and book your ticket now so I can stop worrying about it. Book your spot here.

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Yeeeeeeeeehaw! Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

G’day mate.

Yep, you guessed it this week’s edition comes from the east coast of the USA. Cape Cod in fact. Apparently there have been 150 sightings of great white sharks off the beach here since June – you can see them here. So going for a swim is not on the agenda for the time being.

Because I’m away, it does mean that this newsletter will be on a brief hiatus for a couple of weeks. I know, I know. I’ll miss you too.

Back on 23rd August, have a great couple of weeks.


It’s not the destination it’s the journey

National Lottery Community Fund have a new web page providing a whole load of tools and resources to help you measure your organisation’s impact. There’s some useful stuff there – they aim to provide ‘the assistance you need to help you navigate all stages of your data and evidence journey’. What a journey that will be.

Find out more

Dubai or not Dubai

Dubai will be hosting Expo 2020 Dubai next year and as part of it the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme is offering grants of up to $100,000 (yeah, I deal in dollars these days) to social enterprises, startups and grassroots projects from around the world.

Alongside the grant you’ll receive international exposure and business and partnership opportunities, apparently. I think you may also get a place at the Expo.

Find out more here

All aboard

A great piece of coverage for SSE Scotland Fellow Jordan Butler and his social enterprise Heavy Sound, which uses an out-of-service single decker bus as a mobile community centre offering support, advice and music-making activities to disadvantaged communities. Jordan bought the bus for a quid, throwing shade at all those people who say you don’t get much for a pound these days.

Read more here

Help is at hand

_SocialStarters have partnered with Pernod Ricard UK to bring together 15 of their senior leaders across marketing & comms, sales, operations, HR, financial management and legal to support 15 social enterprises over 9 months to help them grow. You could get a dedicated business specialist who will be all yours for 2-3 hours a month to fight fires as well as put together essential growth & operational plans.

The Impact Mentoring Programme includes a kick off session by _SocialStarters, a 1 day Troubleshooter event in November where a team of employees work on your business challenge, plus additional support to ensure your objectives for the next year are met.

Apply by 12th August


Some fairly substantial funding news – the Bright Ideas Trust has opened its latest funding round to support ‘new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000’.

Applications are open until 30th September

Heal the world

SSE Dartington are running a free 3 day Climate Action for the Social Economy programme for business leaders in Bristol who want to respond to the climate emergency. The course takes place over 5th, 12th, and 19th September. If you are a social entrepreneur, business owner, project managers HR managers, sustainability
lead or green champion in Bristol or the west of England please check it out.

Apply by 17th August

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