Student Spotlight: Synchronised swimming (on dry land)

Mermaid Gala, Image by Lizzie Coombes

Lucy Meredith is currently a student on Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme in Leeds. Lucy set up ‘Yorkshire Life Aquatic‘ to  promote health, well-being and positive body image. Yorkshire Life Aquatic uses creative performance to encourage people to use their local leisure facilities without feeling intimidated or embarrassed about wearing a swimming costume in public.

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Lord Young would be proud…and so would Lord Sugar

SSE launches its new impact evaluation report this evening (watch out for the press release and a further post here tomorrow to see and download the report). New Philanthropy Capital, who SSE commissioned to undertake the evaluation, have a blog post up today which looks at one of the SSE Fellow case studies, Steve Garrett:

“Steve had a bunch of problems he wanted to solve. The Riverside estate he lived on in Cardiff struggled to attract businesses and lacked jobs. A number of people in the area were eating a bad diet, and as a result their health was suffering. And on top of that lots of the food local people were buying came from the other side of the world, which meant their weekly shop had a big carbon footprint. Twelve years ago he came up with an idea that would address all these problems—run a farmers market, using it to generate jobs and encourage people to eat healthy, local produce. The Riverside Community Market Association (RCMA) was born.”

Heartily recommended: read on here at the NPC blog

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A week is a long time in social enterprise

For the social entrepreneur and social enterprise aficionado, there are two main event seasons: the cluster around October / November (Good Deals, Social Business, Global Entrepreneurship Week etc), and the end of March extravaganza of the Skoll World Forum, its fringe Oxford Jam and (this year), Voice 11. A few reflections on the events of last week, then… Continue reading

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Catch 22 Mag: developing young talent and creating success

C22 Party-78It seems to have been one of the busiest periods of activity I can remember here at SSE. Barely time to get the head up from the various Big Society initiatives, new forthcoming evaluation or social franchising programme that I've been immersed in.

One of the worst bits about that is that you miss out on some events and SSE Fellow-related things you would normally go to. I was particularly gutted to miss Catch 22 Magazine's reception the other night over at ITN to celebrate the second anniversary of their Academy programme.

Tokunbo (that's him on the left in the photo) and his team do a stellar job, have genuine credibility, and really deliver on their promises; something which is at times too rare in the social enterprise space. Read the annual report for more info on their achievements (and their honesty about the challenges), and to admire their design work too. Or, watch this short video: 6 minutes very well spent. Congrats from all here.

CATCH 22 LONG from Catch22Mag on Vimeo.

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Environmental social entrepreneurs

Nice to see this column by Lucy Siegle in the Observer magazine asking if social entrepreneurs can be green. Of course, many social entrepreneurs do work to a triple bottom line of financial, social and environmental. And a fair number of our latest SSE Fellows from Liverpool SSE all do so; sadly I couldn't be at their graduation, but this video by SSE Fellow org Brava Design, is the next best thing. Enjoy:

School for Social Entrepreneurs – Environmental Programme from Brava Design on Vimeo.

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