Sent with love: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Roses are red, violets are blue

Nothing says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’

like Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You. 

Quite pleased with that. I may recycle it and use it in the card I give my wife later. (I’m joking, of course. I’ll save time and just send her a link to this.) And they say romance is dead…

Enjoy this week’s news.


One plus one = phwoar

What do you get if you combine an SSE member of staff (and SSE Fellow) with a current SSE student? You get a cracking campaign to ‘pay it forward’ this Valentine’s Day, asking people to buy a meal for those in need. Charlie Wright (SSE / Hopeful Traders) and Ruth Rogers (Canvas Cafe) have teamed up and are asking you to donate to provide free meals to people in the most deprived borough in London, Tower Hamlets.

Find out more here

Like Tinder, if Tinder was a four day training course on digital leadership

If you do have a date tonight then there is apparently a 32% chance that you met online and experts reckon that by 2035 more people will meet their partner online than offline. I think this is a good thing, it prepares you for the evenings when you both just stare at your phone rather than talking to each other.

Digital is changing the world, so it’s a good thing that we are going to be running our Third Sector Digital Leaders course again this year. The four day course will start on 14th May.

You can find out more here

It’s a lorra lorra laughs

That’s a Cilla Black reference, for those of you who weren’t brought up on the Gladiators / Blind Date Saturday night double. Also a lorra lorra laughs will be our new Start Up Plus programme. If you run a start-up social enterprise (with a turnover of less than £15,000) and want to build stronger trading skills to achieve lasting impact you should check it out. It’s a six-month programme of ten action-based learning days and is open to leaders of social enterprises across the UK.

Deadline to apply is 18th March

I heart this

This is cool – The Ethical Events Company are building a directory of social enterprises that supply the event industry. If you run, or know someone who runs, a social enterprise providing venues, catering, decoration, production and so on then complete this form and get added onto the directory. (Additionally, if you’re a web developer who’d like to get involved with the project then also get in touch via the form).

Community and business sitting in a tree…

Valentine’s Day, of course, is a celebration of love. But what if that isn’t what you want, and you’d rather have a celebration of Community Business? Do not fret, for SSE Yorkshire & North East are here to help. On March 17th they are bringing together people from across the region who believe in the transformative power of the community. There will be loads of inspirational stories from businesses that are shaping the places we live; making them happier and more inclusive and a key note speech from Jen McKevitt, Chief Executive from Back on the Map.

The event takes place in York from 1pm. Get all the details here. 

March forward

Also in Yorkshire, also in March is SheFest, ten days of fierce, feminist fun from 5th to 15th March across Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster. There is loads going on, from a workshop on ‘how to make the most of Instagram for business’ to a ‘women in beer and brewing walking tour’. It all looks really good. 

Find out more

Baked beans, Coke cans, a button

A quick Google suggests that gifts made of tin are traditionally given on a tenth anniversary.  Worth bearing in mind if you are heading to Social Enterprise Mark’s ten year celebrations on 2nd March. Taking place at the Wesley Hotel in London from 6pm, the event promises drinks, canapes and the opportunity to recognise long-standing Social Enterprise Mark holders.

You can book a ticket here

Puppy love

For some people Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with their pets. People love spending time with animals. But what if you could take it to the next level? (Not like that. Behave.) SSE Fellow Kathryn Kimbley is running a 3 day Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling course starting on for Saturday March 28th in Wolverhampton. It’s aimed at counsellors, psychotherapists, health professionals,  social workers and student in any of the health fields wanting to find their niche or USP for their professional practice and a unique approach to add to their professional “toolbox”.

Find out more

Girl Talk

SSE Fellow Kim McCabe has been in touch with details of her Rites for Girls International Facilitator Training, a training programme that ‘provides you with meaningful employment that can fit well alongside raising a family and other commitments’. You can acquire the skills and knowledge to deliver year-long Girls Journeying Together groups and become affiliated to a professional association.

There is a free webinar explaining more on Sunday 1st March.


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Avoiding controversy: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I’ve been writing this newsletter for about four hundred years. During that time I’ve received emails from people who like it, emails from people who hate it and emails from people commenting that I’m not as funny as I think I am (and those haven’t all been from my wife). But nothing has provoked a response quite like my claim last week that Boosts were a mediocre chocolate bar. My email inbox has never seen anything like it. Ok, I get it. Some of you like Boosts and I’m sorry for offending you.

Anyway, it’s forced me to revise this week’s newsletter, which was going to be about how milk in tea and coffee is disgusting, that pineapple is an excellent topping on a pizza, and all fish tastes the same (like sea water) and focus on the social enterprise news instead.

Have a good weekend.


Made to measure

When I’m not responding to emails about chocolate bars I’m in the process of launching a new stream of work for SSE. Imaginatively titled ‘SSE Bespoke’, it’s a programme of support that we’ll come and deliver in house to charities and social enterprises that want to generate new income through trading and sales. You can view some introductory slides at the link below (or check out our website). Let me know what you thing (good or bad) or if you’d be interested in finding out more and please do circulate far and wide! Before you ask, it is something you’ll have to pay for…

View the slides here

Not a postcode lottery

Postcode Trust have opened applications to their latest funding round – grants of up to £2,000 are open to not for profits who aren’t registered with the charity commission and up to £20,000 to those who are. They are interested in funding three themes: promoting human rights, combating discrimination and preventing poverty.

Applications need to be in by 24th March

Back to the future

NCVO have fired up their DeLorean to take a look at what the future holds for the voluntary sector. ‘The Road Ahead’ is a really detailed report analysing ‘forces and trends that are shaping the sector and are likely to have an impact on organisations in the future’. It covers everything from Brexit to the economy and the increasing role of digital.

Well worth a look

Ice cool

A long time ago I went to watch Oxford United play Oldham at Boundary Park and it was possibly the coldest I have ever been. Oxford lost and it took about five hours to get home; I swore that day that I would never return to Oldham. I may have to break my vow, however, for E3M’s ‘Growing the New Economy’ conference on 12th February. It will apparently bring together ‘an exciting mix of key decision makers from local authorities, health and other local public institutions, leaders of co-operatives and social enterprises with funders and investors to explore how the social economy can play a much more central role in the economic and community wellbeing of places across the country’.

Fingers crossed they have the heating on

Look North

Hannah Corbett from our comms team is running a new series of blogs exploring social enterprise in each of the ten regions in the UK that we have an SSE school. First up is Yorkshire and the North East.

It’s a good read

Trading places

SSE Yorkshire and North East is one of four SSE schools (along with Scotland, Dartington, and London) that will be delivering our Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme this year. It’s a great programme if you’ve been running a project for at least a year, have a total yearly income of at least 15k and want to increase your income from trading and make your organisation more sustainable. You’ll get a fully funded learning programme and a match trading grant of up to £4k.

You can register your interest in the programme here

SSE this, SSE that…

Loads of SSE news this week. Someone must have put sugar in the coffee.

Applications are open for our new programme for people in the arts and cultural sector. If you want to strengthen your leadership skills and you’re driven by social impact in your work, Creative Leadership could support you. We’re offering a part-time learning programme and grant of up to £2,000. We’re especially keen to support people of colour and people from minority ethnic backgrounds; D/deaf and disabled people, including those with learning disabilities and hidden disabilities; people with caring responsibilities; LGBTQ+ people; and people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Deadline for applications is 1pm on Wednesday 4 March

Food glorious food

A few interesting jobs for you to consider. SSE Fellow Meg Doherty is currently looking for a Progression and Engagement Officer, a Marketing and Press Officer and Trustees for her social enterprise Fat Macy’s. Based in Aldgate,  Fat Macy’s is a social enterprise serving cooked food and dining experiences at supper clubs, events and offices across London while training and supporting young Londoners living in temporary accommodation and help them move into their own homes. All the details here.

In Harbury, Warwickshire, SSE Fellow Lynne Barton is after an Employment Development Manager for her organisation Entrust Care Partnership, which provides work experience for individual disabled young adults in three community cafes. The role is ideal for someone with strong personal commitment to the field of disability combined with an understanding of the hospitality sector. Apply by 21st Feb.

Mandatory reading

I’ve been meaning to include this for a while because it’s brilliant: Basecamp’s Guide to Internal Communication, which covers ‘how to keep everyone in the loop without everyone getting tangled in everyone else’s business’. There’s loads of good stuff in there, but I particularly like ‘five people in a room for an hour isn’t a one hour meeting, it’s a five hour meeting’.

Read more here

Six letter word

Finally, I wasn’t going to mention the B word this week (there’s enough of that elsewhere) but an article titled ‘Expert Views -Into the unknown: UK social entrepreneurs brace for Brexit’ piqued my interest, particularly when I saw it featured a quote from SSE Cornwall’s CEO Sally Heard.

Read it here

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