Jumpers for goalposts: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

You’re reading this at a time of high excitement for me. For a couple of months a group of us have been planning a birthday surprise for one of our friends and tomorrow it reaches its denouement. We’ve all clubbed together and he’s going to be the match day mascot at Barnet FC v Dagenham and Redbridge tomorrow. He’ll be dressed in the full kit, he’ll walk out onto the pitch (wearing bright orange boots that we’ve bought him) with the players before kick off and at half time he’ll be taking penalties against Mr Bumble, the Barnet club mascot, in front of the home fans. We’ve even got the Barnet Times interested in running a story about it.

He’s 50 years old. It’s going to be amazing.

Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have as good a weekend as I’m planning too!


Fixture list

Back in the olden days the release of the next season’s fixture list was a day of great excitement. Now it’s been rendered almost meaningless because every game gets moved for TV coverage. Fortunately this shouldn’t be an issue for most of the events highlighted in the 2020 Giving Dates Wall Planner, which covers all the awareness dates you need to know about in the coming year. Tomorrow is Winnie the Pooh day, for example.

You can download it here

Shifting the goal posts

Do you want to help shape the future of social purpose funding? Social innovation charity Shift, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, are running a survey to explore the need for social investment, equity and other alternatives to grant funding.

The survey takes 15 minutes and the results will be fully anonymised. To say thanks for your time, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win £100 for a charity of your choice.

You can complete the survey here

Half time oranges

Do professional footballers eat oranges at half time? I can find no evidence to suggest that they do. There is evidence of basketball player LeBron James consuming some during a game but nothing for football. If you’re a professional footballer reading this let me know.

If you’re a social entrepreneur who could provide half time oranges (or indeed if you’re a social entrepreneur running a sustainable food business) you may want to take a look at Impact Hub’s Feeding the City Accelerate programme. It’s kicks off in February and over six months will support the next stage of growth, helping sustainable food businesses to overcome the key challenges they’re likely to face when they come to scale.

Deadline to apply is 9th February

One of our own

Our very own Henna Patel had a busy 2019 collating lessons from experts and social entrepreneurs with first hand experience with social impact measurement. Every time I asked her what she was doing, she’d reply ‘collating’. Now she’s put together a blog post for Good Finance summarising her findings.

You can read it here

Sideways pass

While we’re on impact, individuals and organisations are invited to apply to a tender opportunity at Delight, a social enterprise founded by SSE Fellow Kathryn Mills. They are looking for someone undertake the evaluation of Delight’s intensive multi-year model of art-based learning. There’s a fee of £16,000 available to the successful party.

It looks a really good piece of work to get stuck into, you can find out more about it here.

“You’re not talking”

Anyone who has played Sunday league football will be familiar with the player who spends most of the match clapping and shouting things like “you’re not talking to each other” at the other players on the pitch. I’ve always wondered if at the top level the players can actually hear each other over the crowd noise (obviously this isn’t an issue at Arsenal).

Still, communication is important so it’s good to see that creative marketing agency Good Beans are hosting a one day workshop for purpose-driven organisations who need some help communicating with on and offline audiences. It takes place in London on 30th January and readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You can get a 15% discount with the code EXPRESSYOURPURPOSE.

Book a spot here

Managerial merry-go-round

According to the League Managers Association the average managerial tenure within the men’s football league is under two years. That’s an awful lot of C.V. updating. Perhaps if Messrs Klopp, Mourinho or Guardiola decided to move into a more stable occupation they could check out one of the following:

  • Cracked It are looking for a Relationships Lead (£22k – £27k, London) to co-ordinate repair clinics, manage corporate relationships and provide great customer service. Cracked It were founded by SSE Fellow Josh Babarinde and combine business and tech to support young ex-offenders away from crime and towards employment. Apply by 27th January.
  • SSE Fellow Rebecca White is looking for an Operational Manager (£31200, Norwich) for her social enterprise Your Own Place. It’s a a chance for you and the team to grow, and the role has been designed to allow a leader to lead a high-performing team and manage the operational running of services. Your Own Place are committed to finding new solutions to old problems with the prevention of homelessness as their impact. Apply by 24th January.
  • Back in London, Hatch Enterprise are looking for two programme co-ordinators (c£25k) to support their Female Founders and Social Enterprise programmes. If you are interested in supporting entrepreneurs to set up businesses and fulfil their individual potential then make sure to apply asap.

Ten years at the top

Staying at the top is difficult in football. Ten years ago Chelsea were champions, and look where they are now. The world of social enterprise support is somewhat different, however, as evidenced by the fact that SSE Dartington are celebrating their tenth birthday next month. To mark the occasion they’ll be hosting an SSE Fellowship event on 13th February. If you’re an SSE Fellow in the South West it’s a a great opportunity not only to catch up with people from your programme, but also from all of the programmes run in region and beyond.

Book a spot here

Training academy

Finally, Social Enterprise Mark have some upcoming focus group events at the University of Westminster that will help influence the design of new postgraduate course in social enterprise. They are looking for input from the wider social enterprise sector to ensure the course meets the needs of the market. You can join them in London on 28th January or in Plymouth on 12th February.

Find out more here


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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Here we go then. Welcome to what is officially the funniest, best written and most widely read Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You of the decade to date. It’s also the least funny, worst written and most poorly read version of the decade so far but I’m not going to dwell on that, I’m going to try and maintain a degree of optimism for at least the first part of the year.

Hopefully you all had a decent Christmas break. I think it’s actually some sort of mandatory social etiquette that you add it ‘seems like a long time ago already, doesn’t it?’, so, seems like a long time ago already, doesn’t it?

Remember, if you ever have anything you’d like to have included in this newsletter send it my way and I’ll do my best to include it. You don’t need to have been on a course at SSE or anything, just make sure it’s fairly interesting…



It’s a kind of magic

Some great news for SSE Fellow Yvonne Farquharson’s organisation Breathe AHR. Josh Parsons, who came through the Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy programme aged 13, has recently been made a member of The Magic Circle. Josh has hemiplegia (a form of cerebral palsy) and Breathe’s programme used magic tricks in place of traditional occupational therapy to build Josh’s dexterity.

It’s a remarkable story

On point

One of the key things you’re taught about marketing is that you should always put yourself in your customers shoes (perhaps a little trickier if you’re actually trying to sell them shoes). Someone who has absolutely nailed this is SSE Fellow Jen Gale, who yesterday published ‘The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide: Everything you need to know to make small changes that make a big difference.’

The pitch: if you want to save the planet, but your to-do list is already pretty long and remembering your re-usable coffee cup feels like a Herculean task, then this is the book for you.

I’ve ordered a copy

Not so secret garden

If your new year”s resolution is to learn everything there is to know about sustainability and impact then here’s an absolute humdinger of a resource for you. Impact Garden has been designed to help navigate newcomers and enthusiasts around the fundamentals of sustainability as applied to business, finance, innovation/ entrepreneurship and personal journeys’. There are loads of videos, links and articles to get stuck into.

Which you can do here

Behind the curtain

There has always been a lot of intrigue around what exactly happens at an SSE graduation and we’ve always tried to keep it a closely guarded secret. Need to know basis and all that. But someone has leaked coverage of our recent SSE Plymouth Graduation, so the cat is out of the bag with that one.

You can watch it here

Team work makes the dream work

I used to have a manager in a previous job who spouted nonsense like that all the time. Incredibly demotivating. What isn’t incredibly demotivating, however, is the news that SSE Scotland and Social Enterprise Alliance Midlothian are teaming up to bring you a Bright Ideas Workshop on the evening of 5th February in Gorebridge. If you have a business idea that could help make the world a better place and want an introduction to the wonderful world of social enterprise then check it out.

Book a free ticket here

Oodles of impact

I’m calling it now: 2020 is going to be a huge year for impact measurement. It’s going to go mainstream. Dinner parties will be filled with conversations about theory of change, qualitative engagement and participatory appraisals. Children will run home from school talking about their latest pilot led evaluation. Simon Cowell will launch a talent show based around SROI. So make sure you get ahead of the crowd and know what you’re talking about or you’re going to look silly.

The best place to start for an introduction is this ‘How do you measure social impact‘ video from Good Finance.

After you’ve watched it, you may want to go one step further and book onto our Measuring Social Impact course on 27th + 28th January. We’ve only got two places left…

Book your place here

Good eating

If you do come on the social impact course (or indeed any other course at SSE London) and want a lunch or dinner recommendation then Hot Dinners have compiled a list of ‘do good London – the restaurants and cafes that are giving back’. It’s a decent list and features both Dusty Knuckle and Old Spike Roastery, both founded by SSE Fellows.

See the list here


If you’ve walked back into your office after the holidays, sat down and asked yourself ‘what am I still doing here?’ then there are a few options for alternative employment this week.

Leicester based charity Pedestrian are looking for a Director (£32k – £37.5k) to develop and lead the team. The charity provides education and training to young people at risk; individuals whom are often socially excluded and from disadvantaged backgrounds. If you understand the challenges and complexities of working in the third sector, and have a track record of working at a senior level within an organisation of a similar size and structure they would like to hear from you. Quickly though, the deadline is midday on 13th January.

We’ve also got a number of open vacancies at SSE. We’re looking for two Development Officers (£32k – 33k, location flexible), a Learning Facilitator (£26k, Liverpool) and a Programme Administrator (£26k, London). You can check details of all the roles here.


You want a flake with that?

If you are applying for one of the jobs at SSE and you have previous experience selling ice cream you’ll fit right in, at least two of us have it on our CV. Biggest player in the UK ice cream world? I’d argue it’s Walls although Cadbury’s are making headway.  Walls, of course, were run by Thomas Wall II in the 1900s and the foundation that he established has a new grant programme for 2020. Organisations working towards improving basic digital skills for people in need can apply for grants of up to £5000.

You can find out more here

Get yourself a mentor

Expert Impact have launched a new mentoring service for businesses. Following the growth of the Human Lending Library, Expert Impact have announced a new staff learning and development service, training company employees to mentor social entrepreneurs. A film of the new service, featuring Belu staff as mentors, is available to view on YouTube.

Social entrepreneurs interested in participating should get in touch at hello@expertimpact.com

West Midlands Powerhouse

Finally, West Midlands Combined Authority have given themselves the bold ambition to double the scale of the social economy in the region over the next ten years. They’ve pledged to spend at least 5% of their procurement budget on social enterprises, which is great to see.

You can read more here

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The morning after the night before: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

There’s only one topic of conversation this morning really isn’t there? After what seemed like weeks of endless hype, build up, comment and media coverage we now know the result: İstanbul Başakşehir beat Mönchengladbach 2-1 in the Europa League. I know, I didn’t see it coming either.

Will things ever be the same again? Only time will tell. But I guess we just have to come to terms with it and move on, and how better than a bit of social enterprise news…



I suppose we’d better talk about it

There was of course an election yesterday and a couple of weeks ago I promised to let you know how readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You intended to vote. After a busy night last night counting ballot papers I can exclusively reveal the results:

  • Labour 62.18%
  • Liberal Democrats 14.29%
  • Greens 10.92%
  • SNP 5.04%
  • Conservatives 4.2%
  • Co-operative Party 0.84%
  • SDLP 0.84%
  • Brexit Party 0.84%
  • Other 0.84%

We can dream, I guess..

As easy as abc

I’ve been practicing my grammar this week, paying particular attention to the Oxford comma. Want an example? Here you go: take a look at this great article featuring some of the top quotes from the Women In Social Enterprise 100 event from a whole range of amazing, exceptional and inspirational social entrepreneurs, and our CEO Alastair Wilson.

Read the article here 

Free money

Do you work for a charity, community interest company, charitable incorporated organisation or community benefit society with annual income of less than £500,000? Would you like an unrestricted grant of up to £30,000? Then step over here my friend and allow me to introduce you to The Fore. They are currently accepting registrations for the next round of funding – be quick though, the number of registrations is capped.

Find out more

Don’t be a Kylie

My colleague Kylie borrowed my drill about six months ago and she is yet to return it so it’s probably best if we don’t tell her about the recently opened Human Lending Library in Manchester. Social entrepreneurs looking for business advice can ‘borrow’ a business expert for free, to help them solve their challenges and scale fast. And they’ve got some pretty impressive experts, including the founders of Pret-a-Manger, Carphone Warehouse, John Frieda, Mumsnet and many other leading companies.

You can get more info here

Ooh ah, PR

The PR and Communications Council will be encouraging PR and communications agencies to “buy social” from social enterprises in 2020. Simon Francis, the newly elected Chair of the Council, is keen to hear from any HIGSENFY readers who can suggest social enterprises that the sector should be using. If you’d like to get in touch with him, you can reach him on Twitter: @si_francis

Something to smile about

Congratulations to SSE student Alex Winstanley, whose organisation Happy Smiles has been chosen as a Co-op Local Cause in Wigan. Happy Smiles was set up with the aim of improving social inclusion, by showing what people with disabilities can do, rather than what they can’t and supports people with disabilities to become inclusion champions. They’ll receive 1% of Co-op members’ shopping bills in the Wigan store.

Read more here

Express yourself

Forward planners can now complete an expression of interest form for our Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme. It’s SSE’s biggest learning programme offers a peer-to-peer support network with like-minded social entrepreneurs, a mentor and a grant (£1k for start-up, £4k for trade up and £7k for scale up). If you complete the form we’ll pop you an email as soon as we open applications.

Further details here

Do you want a new job?

Because here are a few that might be of interest:

We are looking for two development officers (£32,061 – £33, 023 pro rata) on a part time basis to bolster our fundraising efforts. We’re flexible on location – you could be based from one of our network schools or even work in your pyjamas at home. Apply by 13th January.

The SEIDs Social Innovation & Enterprise Hub in Wembley (look it up on a map, Arsenal fans) are recruiting a Managing Director (£65k). The successful candidate will manage, scale and develop SEIDS existing social enterprises and oversee the successful development of new enterprises – if you’ve got wide knowledge of the social enterprise or business sector you can apply here by Sunday 15th December.

Collaborate and listen

We recently ran an event in Liverpool for SSE Fellows on the subject of campaigning, communicating and collaborating (I can think of a few people who should have attended). Our head of comms Sophie has put together a blog covering how the event unfolded. By all accounts it was brilliant – keep an eye out for similar events throughout 2020.

Read Sophie’s blog

Heal the world, make it a better place…

An interesting looking conference in London on 5th – 8th February: The Creative Change Makers Conference will connect the best creative minds in industry and business’ who share a vision to build a fairer, healthier and more sustainable world. Charities and NGOs can apply for free or discounted tickets.

Check it out here

Gift aid

Finally, a frankly incredible resource from Madeleine Sugden – if you’ve still got a Secret Santa gift to buy she’s put together a whole list of ideas so that you can avoid buying pointless plastic tat.

See the list here

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Like YouGov for the social enterprise sector: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

You can do this thing on Facebook which allows you to build a profile of your audience based on people who like your page. For example, someone who is connected to SSE is likely to favour Owen Jones as a journalist, read the Guardian and be a fan of David Lammy and Caroline Lucas. The Wilderness Festival is where they get their musical kicks and if they are looking for a new job they’ll do it via Guardian Jobs. They get their electricity from Ecotricity and if they were having a day out in London it would be at either the Royal Academy of Arts or the Barbican Centre.

What it doesn’t tell me, however, is how they are likely to vote for in the election. So I’ve created an anonymous, one question poll: let me know who you’re voting for and I’ll share the results next week.

(If you’re interested, the results from the last time we did this in 2015 are available here.)

Enjoy the news…


Pin the tail on the donkey

Can you have too much election coverage? I’m going to go for an unequivocal yes. Once you get to three debates, a couple of Andrew Neil interviews and some melting globes it begins to feel excessive. If you’ve reached saturation point but feel like you really should know how the election is going to impact the charity and social enterprise sector then ACEVO’s Kristiana Wrixon has you covered. She’s put together a blog summarising how each party’s manifesto will affect the sector.

Read it here

If you’d like tonight’s lottery numbers

Using figures from the 2011 census I have calculated that there are 565,217 houses in Wales. I have stayed in one of them. In one of those ‘gosh, isn’t the world a small place’ scenarios I’m fairly confident that it’s the one hosting the Female Social Entrepreneurs Retreat in January. The odds on that? 565,217 to 1 I’d guess.

What is the Female Social Entrepreneurs Retreat? It’s a 3 days connection, learning, social impact planning and rejuvenation in the beautiful wilds of the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales running from 21st – 23rd January.

You can find out more here

A brand new section in this newsletter

For possibly one week only, here’s all your latest crowdfunding news:

SSE Fellow Christina Wheatley is crowdfunding for Edible Rotherhithe, delivering free after-school workshops to children & young people who live in areas of economic deprivation, food insecurity and poor air quality. A successful campaign will mean they are able to dramatically increase the number of workshops they are able to run. You can back the campaign here.

In Liverpool, SSE Fellow Paul Myers is raising money for Greens for Good, a campaign to bring fresh, nutritious, local greens to schools, homes and businesses across the city. You can pledge from £5 and rewards span from a postcard to and edible wall…back the campaign here.

If all of this has piqued your interest and you want to know how to run a crowdfunding campaign for your organisation, we’ve still got places on Monday’s Crowdfunding for Charities and Social Enterprises workshop. You can book one here.

What do Romania, Barbados and Scotland have in common?

No, the answer isn’t anything to do with failing to qualify for World Cups. They all celebrate St. Andrews Day, which is tomorrow. But only Scotland is searching for social enterprise hotspots that can become the country’s newest Social Enterprise Places. If you live or work somewhere that social enterprise is thriving and are interested in finding out more contact naomi.johnson@socialenterprise.scot.

Roll of the dice

An interesting opportunity from the British Council, who are looking for organisations with an in-depth understanding of the UK’s social economy to become suppliers to their DICE programme, which works with entrepreneurs across Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK. They want to hear from researchers, organisations that can deliver training and conveners – ‘ facilitators, artists, event designers, theatre practitioners and conference planners (etc) who are able to bring together people who often hold diverse, and often contradicting perspectives. ‘

Find out more here

Music sounds better with you

If you find yourself in Brighton tomorrow evening at a loose end you could go and see ‘Kind Rebellion’, a new performance from New Note Orchestra (founded by SSE Fellow Molly Mathieson). Featuring newly composed music, film, animation and poetry it’s been extremely well received so far, gaining a standing ovation at The Attenborough Centre a couple of weeks ago.

It starts at 7.30pm at the Brighthelm Centre on North Road and you can buy a ticket here. 

Ready, steady, grow

The Growth Project are looking for the leaders of charities with a turnover of £200k – £2m to take part in a one year Growth Programme, which will bring together charity
and business leaders to help charities ‘maximise their impact on the
world.’ It’s free to take part and the content looks really good.

Applications close on 10th January

Apply for Thrive

Also looking for applicants are Unltd, who are recruiting for their Thrive social accelerator programme. They want to hear from you if you’re working to improve access to employment for those distant from the labour market or you’re developing products and services for an ageing society. On offer is six months support and the opportunity to secure investment of up to £50,000.

Find out more here 

Situations vacant

We’re looking for a Development Manager (£37,085 – £37,903) to come in a raise loads of money for SSE. If you believe in the potential of social entrepreneurship to create social change, if you are ready to build exciting new partnerships that will diversify our income and support our long-term sustainability and if you are willing to work collaboratively as part of a fun yet focused team then apply by Monday 9th December.

Fancy working for London’s first specialty coffee training academy? Well you can, if you apply for Well Grounded’s Programme Manager (£26-£30k) role. Set up by SSE Fellow Eve Wagg, Well Grounded connect people looking for work with sustainable careers in the coffee industry, regardless of their background. If you’ve got great programme management, leadership and organisational skills then apply by 2nd December.

For the impatient

If you really can’t wait until December 12th and want to vote for something right now then you can support SSE Fellow Alex Baine and his organisation London Football Journeys in the Charity Film Awards. Unlike the election, your vote really does count.

You can vote for them here


Finally – pointless emails: they’re not just irritating – they have a massive carbon footprint. I’d better start planting some trees.

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Stumbling into the ’20s: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

So then, the last newsletter before Christmas. The last newsletter of 2019. The last newsletter of the decade indeed. It should be momentous, but for once, I’ve not got much to say (I’ve been up since 5.20am this morning and energy is running low…)

Instead, I’ll use this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and thank you for reading over the last twelve months. It’s been a funny old year, hasn’t it? Make sure you have a fantastic break and I’ll see you again in 2020.


Money matters

I’ve read a lot of gift guides over the last couple of weeks. If you want to know what to buy a three year old boy, a ninety five year old grandfather or a sixty five year old mother then let me know and I can send you some options. But in all the guides I’ve read, there has been one glaring omission: our Sources of Funding for Charities and Social Enterprises workshop on 17th January. Suitable for all ages (although three year olds might find it a little dull), it’s guaranteed to get your 2020 off to a good start.

Book a place here

Cheque this

One possible source of funding could be Lloyds Bank Foundation. They’ve just launched a shiny new website and made some revisions to their funding process. Applications can now be made by registered charities and CIOs throughout the year (as long as your organisation’s turnover is between £25,000 and £1 million).

Find out more here

Cash point

Also handing out the cash are Comic Relief and Groundwork, offering community grants of up to £4000 to grassroots community organisations with an income of less than £250,000. There are four areas of work that they are interested in funding.

Which you can read about here

Looking back…

The good people at Pioneers Post have put together a list of their most read stories from 2019. In the unlikely event that you missed something the first time round, it’s well worth a read over your lunch break.

Read it here

Looking forward…

It’s this time of year that the boffins at Nesta turn to their tarot cards and make their predictions for the year ahead. They reckon that 2020 will see fireworks replaced by drones, the rise of digital twins and and increase in quadratic voting…

I’ll leave them to explain it to you

On the a-scent

Congratulations to SSE Fellow Blue O’Connor, whose social enterprise Kings Grooming just picked up the social enterprise award at the 2019 Start Up Loans Delivery Partner Awards. Kings is an ethical aftershave fragrance and grooming brand which fund men’s mental health projects. I’ve got a bottle of the aftershave and it’s really good. There may just be enough time to get some in time for Christmas.

Buy a bottle here

Time filler

If you’re looking for something to distract you while you wait until 5pm, denim firm Hiut have put together the ‘Do One Thing Well List 2019’. It contains experiences, products and services that ‘bring together innovation, tradition, and great design, to make something that is just right’.

It’s really rather good

Coming soon to a workplace near you

Finally, something for us to all look forward to next year: a tilted toilet that aims to increase employee productivity.

Good times

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