In the jungle, the mighty jungle: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Have you been watching I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? Don’t judge me, it’s perfect TV escapism on a cold November night.

For those of you haven’t had the pleasure of viewing, the premise of the show is fairly simple: a group of ‘celebrities’ (you won’t have heard of most of them) are left to fend for themselves in the rainforest in Australia. While there, they carry out a series of fairly mundane and repetitive tasks (called Bushtucker trials) in order to earn stars that earn them a meal that evening. The tasks are made harder and more unpleasant by adding an element of physical or mental jeopardy – one of the tasks this week involved contestants suspended in a glass box 50 feet in the air that was filled with rats and various creepy crawlies.

It all seems very far removed from reality, until you look at more closely. Think about it: this week, I have come to work to perform various tasks in order to earn money to pay for a meal each evening. I have carried out these tasks at my desk, which is contained within a glass box-like office on the second floor, about 20 foot in the air. We have a mouse problem, one could run across my feet at anytime. All that’s missing are Ant and Dec.

There’s only one thing for it: “I’m a School for Social Entrepreneurs employee, get me out of heeeeeeeeeeeere…”

Enjoy the news.



I got 439,200 seconds to go

At 11am today there will be just 439,200 seconds until we close applications for our Community Business Trade Up programme. (I know you’ve done the maths already, but just to confirm that’s 1pm on Wednesday). If you are running an organisation or project that exists to improve your local neighbourhood, village or town and you would like to grow your income from trading, make more impact and become more sustainable then click below for more info.

Just here

As rare as hen’s teeth

Odd expression that. Still, it’s not often that one of our Measuring Social Impact courses doesn’t sell out but we still have a couple of places on our course taking place at the end of the month. If you want to come on what I believe is officially the best two-day Measuring Social Impact course taking place on 27th + 28th November in London facilitated by nef consulting in the entire world then you should book your place soon.

You can do so here

Here’s one I made earlier

Once you’ve been on the Measuring Social Impact course and you’ve gathered all your impact data the next thing to do is to put an impact report together. Looking for an example of one? Well, Social Investment Business have recently released theirs, giving a bit of insight into one of the longest track records in social investment (£400m+ over 17 years).

You can read it here

A – Z

When I first moved to London I had to queue up every week to buy a paper zone 1-3 weekly travel card, which I’d invariably lose at least once a month. Now, if I wanted, I could pay for my journey to work using my mobile phone. Mind blowing. (I don’t because I always worry about my battery running out. Same with plane boarding cards. No way I’m risking that one). But now London needs some new ideas, so the 2019 Civic Innovation Challenge is open…

The  programme will bring together tech startups, leading organisations and London communities to co-create innovative solutions to complex social challenges. There’s an opportunity to be awarded a £40k public sector contract to pilot your solution and grow your business, with support from GLA, Microsoft and Social Tech Trust to co-design and refine your proposition with Londoners.

Apply by 12th December

Ho ho ho

I know Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You readers are an efficient lot and you all did your Christmas shopping months ago but if you’ve got a couple of extra gifts to buy our friends at Social Enterprise UK have just published their Christmas gift guide. Yes, it contains some socks for your dad.

Read it here

Does what it says on the tin

Yesterday was Social Enterprise Day, a day dedicated to all things er, social enterprise (the name kind of gives it away, doesn’t it?). The team at Thomson Reuters gathered the views of some of the world’s foremost experts in the sector (including SSE India’s CEO Shalabh) to discuss how social entrepreneurship has evolved in the past few years and what should happen next.  

See what they said here

The job bit

SSE Scotland are looking for a part time (2.5 days) programme administrator (£20k pro rata) to provide effective and efficient administration & logistical support to the whole SSE Scotland Team. The role is home based, as long as you can get to Edinburgh once a month for a team meeting, raising the possibility of some Planes, Trains and Automobiles type escapades. Deadline to apply is 4th December.

Breathe Arts Health Research have an exciting full time Head of Development (£40k) role based in London. Founded by SSE Fellow Yvonnne Farquharson, Breathe is a really cool social enterprise; they’ve picked up loads of awards including Action for Children’s Arts Outstanding Contribution Award, NHS England’s Innovation Challenge Award, PwC’s Social Entrepreneurs Club Award and Nesta’s ‘New Radicals’ accolade. Apply by 24th November.

Impact Hub Kings Cross have a vacancy for a programme administrator (£21k) to assist on  programmes for sustainable and socially conscious food start ups. It’s a 6 month contract with a view to be extended in the future (subject to funding). Apply by December 4th.

Read all about it

Finally, I hope this link works (it points to Twitter) but there’s a lovely bit of coverage in the Metro for SSE Fellow Rose Deakin and her social enterprise The Crop Club, which helps people to grow their own food.

You can see it here

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It seemed like a good idea at the time: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

On November 5th 1994 George Foreman became the boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion aged 45, defeating 26 year old Michael Moorer by knockout. Last year, 81 year old Mavis Paterson became the oldest woman to cycle from Land’s End to John o’Groats, completing the 960 mile journey in just 24 days. The oldest person to scale Everest? 80 year old Yuichiro Miura, who reached the summit at the grand old age of 80. He plans to repeat the achievement aged 90.

All of this seems remarkable, until you hear the following: tomorrow, aged 38, I am going to a nightclub with my colleague Nils, who’s aged about 50 or something. Nils has a dodgy back and my left knee has pretty much stopped working so we’re going to make quite the pair on the dancefloor. Lucky we’ll both be sporting our Global Hypercolour t-shirts to show just how down with the kids we are.

Wish us luck…


Back up crew

If several hours of big fish little fish cardboard box does push Nils’ back to the point of no return we may well need someone to come in and cover his workload. Fortunately, we’re currently recruiting up to seven freelance learning facilitators to come and help us design, plan and facilitate programmes and workshops at SSE London. The contracts range from 12 to 45 days work with a daily fee of £200 – £350. It’s a very cool way to get involved with everything we do at SSE. Apply by 9th December.

We’re also looking for a finance officer (£32k) on a 12 month contract – if you’ve got some experience working within a small finance team in a charitable organisation and are looking for something new, apply by 27th November.

Featuring a contemporary music reference from 1979

I’m not sure that The Buggles’ ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ will get a sounding tomorrow but it’s a message that we play close attention to here at SSE. It’s with that in mind that we’ve put together an exciting film full of top tips on applying to our Community Business Trade Up programme which you can watch here.

There is still time to apply (the deadline is 27th November) so if you’ve got a community business and want to grow your income from trading, make more impact and become more sustainable you should check it out here.

Chill out area

After a big night out at my age I’ll probably need a about a month off to recover. So I’ll be taking a good look at Fairbnb (see what they did there), a brand new marketplace for “authentic, fair and conscious tourism” that promises to donate 50% of its commission to social projects selected by local residents. At the moment, you can book accommodation in Valencia, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Bologna and Venice.

Check it our here 

Ready to mingle

I’m married so fortunately won’t be needing to bust out any zinging chat up lines tomorrow. If I was single, however, I’d be almost certain to roll out an old classic: “Have you accessed finance from a Responsible Finance provider (also known as a community development finance association) in the last five years?”. Boom. To keep conversation flowing, I’d then point out that the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2019/20 are now open for applications, and that four social and micro enterprises nominated by their responsible finance provider will pick up a prize of £7500.

Entries need to be in by 6th December

Words of advice

If Eminem was my mentor he may well quote lyrics from his song ‘Without Me’ as a warning ahead of tomorrow: ‘you’re too old, let it go, it’s over, nobody listens to techno”. He isn’t though so it’s a situation which is unlikely to occur in the next 24 hours. My lesson to you? Don’t be an Eminem. We’re currently on the look out for volunteer mentors to support social entrepreneurs on our learning programmes. If you have an in-depth understanding of the process and challenges of starting and running a business / social enterprise / charity and can commit to one hour a month to support one of our fantastic students we’d love to hear from you.

Find out more here and apply by 9th December.

The Fresh Prince

If nightclubs aren’t your thing, Nesta’s Geoff Mulgan is going to be delivering a banging conversation on ‘Social Innovation: How societies find the power to change’ at Nesta’s HQ in London on Tuesday 26th November. The event takes place from 5.30pm – 8.00pm and it’s free to go along. Among other things, Jazzy Geoff (no-one calls him that) will be sharing how the field of social innovation can provide the answers to today’s global social, economic and sustainability issues.

Get involved here

Reflection section

Sunday will be full of questions – why did I think that was a good idea, how did I manage to spend that much, why is it that when you try and be quiet walking up the stairs you invariably make more noise than if you just walked up in a normal manner?  None of the answers to these questions are of relevance to the good people of Pioneers Post, however. What they are interested in though is what you think of them. They want to hear from the social entrepreneurs they aim to serve – what they want from a specialist/independent media and how Pioneers Post can provide it to them in the most useful format.

There’s a quick survey to take part in – you could win an interview or feature by Pioneers Post, a gift card from Divine Chocolate or Soap Co or a ticket to the ‘Good Leaders event’.

Take the survey here

Some cool jobs being advertised this week:

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship are looking for a marketing and communications manager (£32k -£44k) on a maternity cover basis. It looks a really interesting job spec and it’s based in Oxford, which everyone knows is the world’s greatest city. Apply by 25th Nov.

SSE Fellow Charlotte Whitakker is looking for a programme officer (£22 – £24k) to help design and deliver InCommon’s unique intergenerational programme working to bring children and older people together. It’s a part time role based in Hackney. Apply by 24th November.

And for the very speedy among you, fellow Tooley Street residents The Psychosynthesis Trust are looking for a communications and marketing manager (£31k – £34k. If you are an experienced communications and marketing professional with creative flair who thrives in being accountable for a broad and diverse remit, they want to hear from you. Only catch is the deadline is 5pm today.

Take a stand

All marketeers know of ‘the ‘4 P’s of marketing’ (product, price, placement, promotion – 90% confident I’ve remembered that right). But do you know the 4 Ps of brands taking a stand? Tim McClimon discusses them here.

Why’s this of any interest? Well, we’re running our How to Create an Authentic Mission Led Brand workshop in London next Thursday and I thought it might make some interesting pre-course reading. We’ve still got a few places available,

You can book one here

A hackneyed headline

Did you know that the Hackney Social Enterprise Conference is taking place at Hackney Town Hall next Thursday between 1pm and 5pm? Did you know it’s free to go along and features a whole range of speakers discussing all things social enterprise?

You do now

Ain’t no party like an SSE party

Finally, SSE Fellows are invited to join SSE Northwest in Liverpool on Thursday evening for a night of campaigning, communicating and collaborating. Hosted by SSE Fellow Grace Dyke, there’ll be drinks and delicious food and speakers including Margaret Aspinall, Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group and SSE’s very own head of communications Sophie Hobson.

Book a place here

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Onboarding: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I’ve got two urgent matters that need to be completed by the end of the day: 1) write this newsletter 2) draw up an induction plan for a new member of staff starting on Monday. If I was to do the two things separately it would involve working well into the afternoon, which as everyone knows is completely unacceptable on a Friday. So, as part of my on-going quest for workplace efficiency I’m going to combine the two.

I should really run a course on time management…

Enjoy this week’s news


Take some time to settle in

Welcome to SSE. It’s a magical place, very much the Narnia of social enterprise. I’d recommend some time familiarising yourself with everything that we do – we published our annual report yesterday so that seems like a good place to start.

You can find it here

Understand the product

One of the things that you’ll notice as you work here is that we occasionally take some time out from emails and meetings to deliver some really rather good courses for social entrepreneurs.

At the moment, we’re accepting applications to our Community Business Trade Up programme. In case anyone calls to find out more, it’s a free learning programme (12 days over 9 months) for people people running community projects, community businesses, social enterprises which even comes with a match trading grant of up to £10,000. The deadline to apply is 1pm, Wednesday 27th November so tell anyone interested that they need to get a move on.

And then point them to this page on our website

Keep a suitcase ready

Who knows where your job at SSE could take you? Leeds. Dartington. Liverpool. Or even Cambridge, if you decide to go beyond the call of duty and apply to the Judge Business School’s Social Venture Incubator. It’s a cracking package of support that aims to help social ventures to secure finance, embed their social mission, measure their impact, develop strong governance and grow to the next level. It’s open to all, you don’t have to have anything to do with the University of Cambridge.

Make sure you apply by Monday 20th January

In fact, keep two suitcases ready

Because you might like to head up to Bradford next week for the M&S Community Business Challenge – Bradford event, which takes place on Wednesday. Attendance is free and open to anyone that wants to connect with and help to celebrate those businesses helping to create more cohesive communities and stronger local economies in Bradford.

You can book a ticket here

Be inspired

By the inspirational leadership. Don’t be insolent. There is no room for insolence at SSE. You are surrounded by hidden greatness, or so I’m told. If it seems a little too hidden and you wish to seek leadership development elsewhere, you could take a look at The King’s Fund’s Cascading Leadership Programme, which starts in March next year. It’s a free peer-to-peer leadership development programme for organisations working in health and wellbeing.

Closing date for applications is 9th December

Get to know our students and Fellows

They’re an impressive bunch. Take Teresa Reynolds, for example: she’s been featured in Pioneers Post’s latest ‘Ladies who lunch’ feature. Teresa’s social enterprise Incredible Brilliant Youth was set up in July 2012 ‘to help empower and improve the confidence of young people through workshops and talks on self esteem, beauty, body image, education and employment’. Teresa has a ‘get started with makeup’ course for those aged 16-25 and not in education, employment or training in Kennington coming up in November. It’s free, if you know someone who could be interested put them in touch with Teresa via [email protected].

Upstairs downstairs

Yes yes, there is a bar directly below our offices. But don’t neglect the upper floors of the building – that’s where you’ll find the friendly team at Social Enterprise UK. They’re currently busy planning Social Enterprise Day, which takes place on 21st November. Social enterprises can take part in the #WhoKnew campaign, giving social enterprises the chance to tell their stories, show what makes them different from traditional businesses and shout about the impact of their work.

It’s super easy to get involved: visit their website to find out more

Use the correct bins

We’ve got different bins for paper, food, plastic and metal. I don’t know if that would qualify us for our own Environment Entrepreneurs Programme, however. We’re looking to support the leaders of fifteen community organisations delivering environmental change in the Midlands, North West, Yorkshire and the North East.  The six month programme is funded by the Co-op Foundation and begins in January next year.

Apply by 14th November

Make sure you listen to the right people

But if it gets a bit too noisy, you might like to listen to the radio instead. I recommend ALL FM 96.9, a Manchester based community radio station whose director is SSE Fellow Ed Connole.  They recently picked up ‘Station of the Year’ at the Community Radio Awards. The judges described the station in glowing words: ‘possibly the most inclusive, diverse station I have ever heard and is a wonderful example of what Community Radio should be’.

You can read more about the award here or you can listen to the station online here.

Network with the other organisations in the sector

They’re a good lot, all in all. Obviously ***** are a bit strange and you might want to steer clear of ***** but there are lots of decent people to speak to. Take the team at Clore, for example. They’ve just launched their Emerging Leaders Programme: Women and Girls sector for those working in organisations run by, for and with women and girls. It’s a 5-month programme for those ‘keen to build their leadership impact, connect with other leaders, and drive social change.’

You can find out more here – deadline to apply is Monday 9th December. 

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A ship without a rudder: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Between June 13th 2010 and 5th December 2011 Belgium had no government. That’s 541 days without a government. Nothing bad happened. It’s a similar situation at SSE HQ this week – we’ve been without any senior managers in the office since Tuesday afternoon. They are all on holiday at an international ‘away day’ for the SSE network in Dartington. Nothing bad has happened. Yet. I guess there are still a few hours left in the week for someone to burn the building down. Still, it does pose a few interesting questions…

Have a good weekend, and if anyone knows of a printer who can do same day A5 brochures in London please let me know – I’m having a bit of a crisis today!


An item about Zurich containing minimal Zurich info

What do you know about the city of Zurich? I realised while writing this that I know next to nothing about Zurich. I should really find out more, it looks quite a nice place. I do know that it’s home to Zurich Insurance, hosts of the 2020 Innovation Championship. They are looking for ‘startups with an existing and differentiated product or service that can help us create a social impact’ to enter, with a deadline of 17th December.

You can read all about it here

Celebrate good times

I missed this a while back but congratulations to SSE Fellow Danny Dawes, who recently won the 2019 Small Business Big Heart Awards. Danny runs Grandad’s Front Room, a social enterprise in Bognor Regis that acts both as a shop and as a resource and space for the local community. It’s a well deserved award.

Read more here

Work out

Children’s charity have launched the rather fantastically named Cahoots, a flexible work space for innovative charities and social enterprises near Old St, London. It’s £350 per month, you get free breakfast and lunch and you can take your dog in with you. It’s also a social enterprise – all profits go back to

Everything you need to know is here

Time filler

If you’ve got a spare half hour today perhaps you could take part in some academic research? Dr Yanto Chandra at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Department of Applied Social Sciences is currently investigating how social entrepreneurs develop and organise their social enterprises. There’s a 30 minute survey that you can complete to get you half an hour closer to the weekend.

Find it here

Property ladder

A really neat idea from SSE student Suzanne Noble: she’s launched, matching older homeowners with long-term renters to help alleviate loneliness, provide a social connection and generate a passive income stream. At the moment they are operating in London and looking for both older home owners with a spare room and also for people of any age looking for somewhere to live.

Check it out here


Venture capital firms, angel investors, partners, leaders and influencers and you could be at the Collective London Accelerator 2019 Demo Day in London on 21st November. Six social entrepreneurs will be showcasing their organisations and there will be a panel discussion on ‘connecting communities through social innovation’. It’s free to go along – let me know if you meet someone who describes themselves as an influencer, I’ve never met one.

Book a place here

Human after all

At some point in the future this newsletter will be written by a robot. The quality will almost certainly be better and it would save me a job so it would be good news all round really. Sadly the technology isn’t quite there yet, so maybe I should enter Microsoft and Social Tech Trust’s AI for Good 2020 accelerator. It’s a four month programme of talks, workshops and seminars at the Microsoft for Startups space in Shoreditch. To be eligible to apply you need to have working tech product in existence.

Find out more

All rise

Social entrepreneurs in Plymouth should take a look at RISE Trade Up: The Trading Development Programme, which is being delivered by SSE Dartington. The programme aims to help the leaders of social purpose organisations to increase sustainability and social impact through growing their trading and sales, with two years of training, support and finance.

Apply by 4th November

Hot off the press

Natwest and Pioneers Post have literally this morning opened applications to the NatWest SE100 and Social Business Awards, giving you ‘the chance to join a prestigious cohort of the UK’s most groundbreaking social enterprises from the past decade’. There are eight categories to enter.

Apply by 31st January – it will be here before you know it.

Looking to make sense of social investment?

Finally, we’ve got places available on next Thursday’s Unlocking Social Investment workshop. It’s a really good line up of speakers: Denise Holle, Portfolio Director, Big Society Capital; Joanne Wedderspoon, Funder Relations Manager, CAF Venturesome; Deborah Smart, Head of Programmes + Grants, Social Investment Business and Caroline Morgan, Chief Executive, Local Food Links.

You can find out more here

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