Not so juvenile anymore: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

The signs have been there for a while. Things click when I stand up. I not only watch Gardeners World, but have recently found myself wondering where Monty Don gets his shirts from. I have more conversations about primary schools than I do about nights out.

But this week saw final confirmation that my youth is behind me and I am in fact middle aged: I spent 40 minutes online looking for a magazine rack for my living room. I found a good one, but that’s not the point. What am I doing with my time? I’m not sure what happens next – do I start wearing corduroy and reading the Mail? Cups of hot milk at bed time? One of the more elderly members of the team at SSE recommends a drink called a ‘Hugo’ as something of an elixir, so maybe I’ll give that a go.

Still, my enthusiasm for social enterprise news remains youthfully exuberant so let’s get on with it…



The letter ‘e’ has had a difficult time of it recently. All these companies and apps that have turned their noses up at it – Tumblr, Grindr, Flickr. And now there’s further humiliation, as new app ‘Fundr’ launches. It’s a tool that promises to help ‘build a targeted corporate fundraising pipeline for your charity by searching over 500 continually updated corporate partnership opportunities’.

I’ve not had a chance to try it; it costs £1.99 and my SSE expense account won’t stretch that far, but it looks like it could be useful.

Check it out here

Money money money

Ian McLintock, founder of the Charity Excellence Framework, has put together a handy list of funding sources for social enterprises, comprised of government contracts, trusts and foundations, social investors and more. It’s a sample of the resources available from the framework, which is free to access here.

Read 30+ Sources of Funding for Social Enterprises

The most important meal of the day

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. 

The answer, if you happen to be in York on October 11th, is a slice of a toast with a side of leadership chat. SSE Yorkshire and North East are hosting a leadership breakfast with Liam Black, author and social entrepreneur. It takes place at the Micklegate Social and begins at 9:30am, giving you plenty of time for a lie in.

Book a ticket here

Don’t call it a comeback…

But our crowdfunding for charities and social enterprises course is back. A bit like when Lucy Robinson came back in Neighbours it will look and sound a bit different but the overall theme remains the same. Forward planners will be glad to hear that it takes place at SSE London on December 2nd.

You can find out more here

Once upon a time in the West

A cracking looking event in Bristol on October 21st: ‘The New Western Frontier’ is for anyone interested in how the regional business community can create growth and deliver positive change. It’s free to register and there are speakers from a whole range of organisations – Creative England, Simpleweb, Mayden Academy, Creative Youth Network, Triodos, Engine Shed, Knowle West Media Centre, Sureserve Foundation, Ashley Community Housing, DotEveryone, Resonance Ltd, Ecomotive, Working Knowledge and the School for Social Entrepreneurs.

I’ve been told that tickets are likely to go fast, so book asap

Heal the world

Our North West, Midlands, Yorkshire & North East schools have joined forces with the Co-op Foundation to run a brand new programme for environmental entrepreneurs.  Taking place over 10 months in 2020, the programme will offer the leaders of 15 organisations the support to increase impact and become more sustainable.

There’s loads more info on our website: apply by 31st October.

Work out

What do you need from a co-working space? I’d say that the essentials include meeting rooms, fibre-optic internet, 24hr security and specialty coffee. Which, would you believe it, are the exact things on offer from Well Grounded’s new co-working space in King’s Cross, London. Membership starts at £279 per month and you’ll be supporting Well Grounded’s mission to help people out of unemployment and into meaningful and sustainable jobs in the coffee industry.

You can find more here

No laughing matter

Comic Relief Community Fund have opened grants to grassroots community organisations in England with an income of less than £250,000. Two types of grant are available – capacity building grants of up to £500 and project delivery grants of up to £4000.

All the details here

Be the change

Big Issue are looking for nominations to their Changemakers 2020 list, celebrating ‘the people working hard without any recognition to make a difference’. The first part of that sentence rules me out, but if there is someone you’d like to nominate you can email [email protected] with your suggestions. Last year SSE Fellow Jem Stein of The Bike Project made the list.


A long time ago I used to work in recruitment and we used to make notes on all the candidates that we used to interview. One day, one of my colleagues accidentally emailed the entire database of notes to the entire database of candidates. On realising her mistake, she looked up and uttered the immoral line “Er…I think I may have done something wrong”. Quite the understatement, it certainly made for an interesting couple of days.

If only we’d had SSE’s head of comms Sophie’s guide of ‘What to do when things go wrong.’ Swear a lot doesn’t appear as one of the options.

Read the article here

Situations vacant

If you’re looking for a new job it seems you’ve come to the right place, there are loads this week:

At SSE headquarters, we’re looking for a Salesforce Administrator (£32,061 – £35,032, 4 days per week) to, er, ‘support Salesforce and data system development and evolution, alongside administering the systems as built to maximise efficiency and ensure data quality’. If those words mean anything to you, apply by midday on Monday 7th October.

Living Streets are looking for a Business Development Coordinator (£26,519 – £33,513 per annum pro rata, plus London weighting if in London) on a fixed term contract until March 2020. It’s a tight deadline – you need to apply by Monday – but it looks like an interesting job. You can base yourself in London, Newcastle, Cardiff or Edinburgh. Further info here.

SSE Fellow Martin Cosarinsky is on the hunt for a safeguarding trustee for Breadwinners Foundation, ‘a small but multi award winning and ambitious charity providing employment and training opportunities for refugees and people seeking asylum’. If you have knowledge of safeguarding policy and can commit to 8 hours per quarter you can find out more here.

Our friends at Impact Hub Kings Cross would like to meet a passionate and resourceful communicator looking for their next challenge. If this sounds like you, take a look at their Communications Manager (£25k) position based in – you guessed it – Kings Cross, London. Deadline is 7th October

Something a bit different, but equally as important: The Ivy House pub in Nunhead are looking for a general manager. “Why are you advertising pub vacancies Dave?”. Well, the Ivy House is London’s first co-operatively owned pub and Co-Chair of the Management Committee Emily Dresner is a current SSE student. It’s also only a ten minute walk from my house so I have a vested interest. Find out more here.

A slightly further walk (maybe 20 minutes) is Catford, home of SSE Fellow Amy Kimbangi’s social enterprise Good Measure which delivers a training programme in catering and bakery for long-term unemployed people. Amy is now recruiting a project manager (£28k pro rate, 30 hrs / week) with a strong background in the catering industry to play a key role in growing the business. Deadline to apply is 4th October.

The Katie Piper Foundation has a fantastic part-time, flexible, remote working Communications Executive role that would work really well for someone who needs time for their own project be it family or a start-up.  They need a marketing and communications person who can think big, start small and grow quickly.   You’d be telling the fresh story of their brand new Rehabilitation Centre for survivors of burns to potential service users, supporters and other stakeholders.  Deadline 9.30am Monday 7th October. You can apply here.


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Faster than a cannonball: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

How quickly can I write a newsletter? Today I’m going to find out. I’ve got a million and one other things that I should have done by now so this week’s edition is all about speed. It’s the Usain Bolt of newsletters, the Ferrari of email bulletins, the…well, you get the picture. I’m not messing around..

Time for a coffee break.

Enjoy this week’s news…



You spoke, we listened

Turns out that for a lot of people, Bethnal Green isn’t as convenient as London Bridge so we’ve moved the location of our Fellows event on September 26th. It will now take place from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at our offices on Tooley Street. This does mean that the capacity is slightly reduced, so book quickly is you want to come along for an informal evening of drinks, canapes and networking with other SSE Fellows and social entrepreneurs. (We’ll be running other events outside of London soon).

Book a spot here

Speculate to accumulate

Tonight’s Euromillions jackpot is £143 million but I’m afraid there is no point you entering because I’ve already planned how I’m going to spend my winnings. (I’ll give everyone who read this newsletter £100.) But fear not, because you could be in with a chance to win a share of $1 million through the Chivas Venture prize.

I know it’s easy to think ‘I’ve got no chance, they’ll never pick me’ but SSE Fellow Cemal Ezel picked up the main award previously so why not give it a go? Entries need to be in by 31st October.

Find out more here

Keep it to yourself

“Let’s all finish up early and go for a drink”. “The meeting has been cancelled”. “Looks like tomorrow will be a snow day”. Three of the greatest sentences that can be uttered in an office. But none are quite as powerful as “do you want to know a secret?”. Everyone loves a good office secret. Just that opening gambit opens up a whole world of speculation and excitement. So it’s quite something that the good people of Good Finance will be broadcasting their own ‘secrets to preparing for the due diligence process’ live on the internet during a webinar on 26th September.

It’s free to take part, you can sign up here

Bear necessities

A nice piece of press coverage for SSE Fellow Kathy King, whose social enterprise Wild Wonder and Wisdom offers ‘Bear Grylls style adventure for young women facing anxiety, depression and isolation’. They’ve just completed a six week programme for six 14 -16 year olds who learned to kayak, SUP, light fires and cook over a campfire in a supportive and all female environment.

You can read about it here

Contender, ready…. Facilitators, ready

Social enterprise, Wellbeing Enterprises CIC, are currently looking for freelance facilitators, social enterprises and voluntary organisations to work with to co-deliver fun, exciting and educational social prescribing courses across the Liverpool City Region. It doesn’t matter what your skill, background or interest is, they want to hear from you. They hope to give people the chance to discover new skills and passions, so get in touch if you can help. Good facilitator rates are available. Contact Caitlin Laws on 0151 237 2670 or via email at [email protected]

Find out more here 

Stir it up

The New Economy Programme have launched ‘Stir to Action’, a series of workshops taking place in  Plymouth, Bradford, Newcastle, Bristol, London, and Dorset from October 2019 to July 2020. There’s a whole range of topics on offer, from ‘Building Spaces for Community Inclusion’ to ‘Building a Powerful Brand Identity’ or ‘Movement Building Canvas’.

Funded places are available from a range of funding organisations

To boldly go

A useful opportunity for social enterprises in Scotland: ethical brand specialists BOLD are offering five social enterprises the chance to win high quality investment in their brand. They want to hear from organisations that ‘can demonstrate that they are approaching a point of change or would benefit significantly from a top level branding exercise.’

Enter by 7th October

Up with the larks

The next Social Founders Forum takes place in London on Tuesday 1st October at EY London (just round the corner from us). It’s an early affair, kicking off at 8.30am and will cover ‘founder brand and communications’ – how social founders can harness the positive brand story of being a founder, and balance this with the brand of their organisation to win-win effect. Sarah Corbett of Craftivist Collective and Dr Hany El-Banna OBE of Islamic Relief are the headline acts.

Book a space here

Help a Fellow out

Two SSE Fellows have campaigns running at the moment that could do with your support:

Caroline Stephens’ organisation Footprints and Life Works, based in Dorset, has made it through to the last 15 charities for a potential grant of £50,000. The grant will to allow them to hire a workshop and staff to grow their delivery of training for ex-offenders and work experience opportunities in the community. If you follow this link and hit ‘show your support‘ you’ll help them on their way – it literally takes 10 seconds.

Meanwhile, Suzanne Noble is crowdfunding for her social enterprise Advantages of Age, which aims to build an online hub for the over 50s in the UK and provide the resources needed to start their own business. It’s a really interesting campaign, you can read more about it and back it here.

Social life

Finally, if you know a charity CEO (or trustee, leader, or rising star) who is a dab hand at social media or other areas of digital then now is the time to nominate them for this year’s Social CEO awards. There are eight categories to enter, voting closes on 27th September.

Nominate here

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And now, the news: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

A bit of a panic earlier this week. I didn’t really have anything to put in this newsletter. What’s the first thing you do to when you find yourself in such a situation – scour the internet looking for relevant articles? Put out a call to your colleagues for items to be included?

Nope. The correct answer is that you waste some time Googling ‘has there ever been no news?’. It sounds a ludicrous question (the best ones often are) but it turns out there has indeed been a day with no news: 18th April 1930. The BBC news announcer simply said ‘there is no news’ and then they filled the rest of the time with piano music. It sounds like bliss.

Fortunately, some good stuff has come in. We can leave the piano music for another week.



Take an accountant

A bold campaign from BECO (owned by social enterprise Clarity and a sister company to The Soap Co): Steal Our Staff aims to reduce the disability employment gap by giving companies the opportunity to hire some of Beco’s staff (thus creating opportunity for them to hire additional people with disabilities). Great campaign, great branding, great website.

It’s well worth checking out

Waste not want not

This week has been Zero Waste Week, designed to ‘help individuals, businesses, organisations, schools, universities and community groups reduce landfill waste, save money and preserve resources’. Pebble Magazine have put together a handy list of 50 brands that will help you go plastic free. Good to see some alternatives to those awful paper straws that go soggy as soon as liquid touches them.

See the list here

Every little helps

If you want to go one step further than reading a list online the Ethical Consumer Conference 2019 is taking place in London on 25th October. It looks to be an impressive line up of speakers; they be tackling how ‘consumers, businesses and campaigners can work together to help tackle climate change and environmental breakdown’.

Check it out here

Bag for life

A cracking crowdfunding campaign from SSE Scotland Fellow Hazel Smith and her organisation ReTweed. Hazel is raising money for ‘Bordersbags’, tote bags made from discarded textiles made by participants on ReTweed’s business incubator. For every bag purchased, ReTweed will donate one to a local foodbank so they can cut down on plastic bag use. It’s a triple whammy of environmental, enterprise and social impact work all rolled into one.

You can buy a bag here 

Power Rangers

Power to Change are opening the next round of their Community Business Fund next Wednesday, offering grants of £50,000 – £300,000 to community businesses that want to progress towards sell-sufficiency. If this all sounds like a very good idea to you, they are hosting a webinar on Thursday 12 September from 14:00-15:00 where you can find out more.

All the details are here

Beat you to it

If you were planning on sending me an email to ask me if I know when the next Cambridge Social Ventures Social Venture Weekend at the Cambridge Judge Business School is, there’s no need. It’s on the 8th – 10th November. It’s £75, and comes highly recommended. The weekend is for anyone running a business dedicated to making social impact, whether it’s a fully-fledged business or still just a bright idea.

Further info here

Booster seat

Over in Bristol, SSE Dartington have launched the Bristol Business Booster 2019, a three day course across November that will help socially responsible businesses focus on key foundation elements. There are 22 free places available to individuals operating within Bristol and the West of England.

Deadline to apply is 14th October

All the fun of the fair

Our friends at Impact Hub Kings Cross are hosting a social enterprise funding fair on September 12th at 224-226 Tower Bridge Road, London. The event takes place between 5.30pm and 9pm and features funders such as Seedrs, Mustard Seed and Crowdfunder. Each attendee will be given the opportunity to meet with up to three investors.

Best of all, Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You readers can get in for free – use the code SSEMember2019 when you make your booking.

Which you can do here

To infinity, and beyond

The Firstport LaunchMe programme sounds like something you’d expect to find at Cape Canaveral but it is in fact a social enterprise accelerator in Scotland. It has fairly broad criteria: start ups with a scaleable idea, social enterprises looking to develop a new product or service and community groups looking to develop a product or asset that can generate income.

There is loads of support on offer, including £10,000 seed funding, one to one and group based business support and professional expertise.

Apply by 21st October

Porcine affairs

If anyone can tell me why ‘Ham’ is in South West London but ‘West Ham’ is in East London and is actually east of Ham then I’d be keen to know. Add ‘Newham’ into the mix and you’ve got enough ham for a picnic.

If you are based in Newham you should take a look at the Newham Business Awards, open to all organisations based in Newham, or organisations who have completed substantial business in Newham. They are particularly keen for more applications to the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, open to those aged under 30.

Get your applications in by 13th September 

Oh ah Leicestaaaaaah

A couple of bits from Voluntary Action Leicestershire. Short notice, but on Monday they are running their annual conference for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Leicester. It’s free to attend, you can book a place here.

Then on 16th September they are running a free financial planning workshop for organisations that need support to develop their financial resilience – the workshop ‘will improve your financial skills and knowledge which will help your business to be more successful in the market’. Book a place here.

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