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 Child.org 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 Child.org.

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 Silversharers.com, 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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