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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