Bants, buzzwords and bosses: Have I Got Social Enterprise (And Charity) News For You

You may well have seen this advert from Dettol which has popped up on billboards on the London Underground. It was met with much mirth on Twitter, and it’s easy to see why; ‘proper bants, plastic plants, meetings and buzzwords’ seem more like a reason to jack it all in and live a monastic life somewhere far away from the rest of human civilisation, rather than a reason to head back to the office.

There is one thing I miss though. Inane conversations about nothing in particular. Zoom etc are great but it does tend to be a bit work heavy. I’m tempted to set up a hotline, where if you’ve got a few minutes spare and want to talk about last night’s dinner, a football match you’ve watched or a scurrilous bit of gossip you can just dial in and natter away.

Let me know if you’d be interested in funding it.

Enjoy the news…


Women in Innovation Awards 2020/21. Innovate UK is offering 10 Women in Innovation Awards to female entrepreneurs across the UK. The awards are looking for women from across the UK who are solving a range of pressing societal, environmental and economic challenges. Winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support. Applications need to be in by 14 October 2020 at 11:00am. More info here.

SSE Fellows / students. I have a request from a colleague for a piece of work he’s currently doing – if you are (or know) an SSE fellow, or student, running any type of leisure or team building activity that is delivered virtually please get in touch with [email protected].

Morrisons Foundation funding. Morrisons are offering grants of up to £25,000 to registered charities which make a positive difference in local communities across England, Scotland and Wales. I’ve had a look and I can’t find a closing date – see if you can find one here.

Free webinars. UnLtd Scotland, the School for Social Entrepreneurs Scotland and firm CMS have partnered to deliver a series of four workshops that will cover the basics of setting up your social enterprise from a legal perspective. Topics include how to use contracts, accounting, real estate basics and employment basics. The first webinar is on 16th September. You can register here.

Trustee opportunities. Edinburgh based charity A Place in Childhood are looking for four new board members to support their transition from start-up to longer term sustainability. If you have experience in charity governance and business administration, architecture and design, business development or charity fundraising they would like to hear from you.

Job opportunity one.  SSE Fellow (and trustee) Joel Davis has two vacancies at his social enterprise Tutors United, a programme officer (£24k – £29k) and a part time online programme coordinator (£20k – £23k pro rata). Tutors United match university students with pupils from low-income backgrounds to narrow the attainment gap. Closing date is 25th September.

Job opportunity two. SSE Fellow Abigail Melville is hiring a training manager for We Rise, an award winning community business with a mission to empower young people to create successful futures. The successful candidate will develop and deliver an impactful youth mentoring programme for young people in Lambeth. You can find out more here.

Job opportunity three. SSE Fellow Greg Sanderson is on the hunt for a membership manager (£25k) for Smart School Councils, a charity that helps every child to engage with and lead change in their world through democracy, with a focus on supporting marginalised voices. The post holder will be focused on helping teachers in member schools and supporting the development of  weekly Home Debate Clubs. Apply by 21st September.

Uncovering suppliers with a positive social impact. The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Council has launched a new drive to uncover suppliers with a positive social impact. Charities, community business and social enterprises have been invited to apply to become part of a new social impact supplier directory for the sector. The directory will provide social enterprises, charities and community businesses who could offer services and products to PR and communications agencies and in-house teams an easy way to market their offer. Organisations can apply online by completing a brief form here.

Social Value UK are hosting their annual Members Exchange and AGM on the 10th and 11th September. It’s an annual conference for members of the UK social value community to come together and share best practice, discuss ideas and drive innovation in the sector. There is a great lineup of speakers. Readers of this newsletter can get a 20% discount on tickets by booking using this link .

Radio Ga Ga Last week’s Window Swap proved to be ridiculously popular so here’s something similar for you: Radio Garden lets you tune into over 8000 radio stations from around the world. Close your eyes and pretend you’re in the back of a taxi in Bangkok, Havana or Addis Ababa. Give it a listen here.

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With a slightly different name, it’s Have I Got Social Enterprise (and Charity) News For You!

First off, thank you for everyone who got in touch after last week’s email, I was really quite touched by your kind words! Luckily, our daughter is much better and back to her normal modus operandi of slowly destroying our house.

Second, you’ll notice that the newsletter has had a lick of paint and a slight change of name – don’t worry, the content will remain the same. It’s more an acknowledgement that a fair amount of what goes in here has a broader appeal than just social enterprises. All detail that you’re probably not that interested in, so I’m going to stop writing about it. Right now.

Enjoy the news and have a great bank holiday weekend. Let me know if you forget and find yourself logging onto your computer at 9am on Monday morning, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be doing the same.



Community Business leaders.  You’ve only 4 days left to apply! Community Business Online Boost is a short, FREE, high-impact programme running throughout September for community businesses in England hit hardest by Covid-19. If you need help with selling online, diversity and inclusion, managing remote teams and volunteers – then this is for you.  It’s designed to help you through the challenges and opportunities the pandemic has thrown at you. There are priority places for people from Black, Asian & minoritised ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and those supporting the arts, health & social care sectors, BAME community and deprived areas. Apply by 2nd September.


Navigating the New Normal. We ran a webinar earlier this week introducing our new Navigating the New Normal course, which starts at the end of September. It was a great discussion covering what the content of the course will be along with a wider view of what the post Covid-19 funding landscape will look like. You can watch the webinar here. If you are interested in the course, there are only ten places and we’ve already had a few bookings. You can find out more here.


Trustee recruitment. The Katie Piper Foundation are looking for new trustees. In particular, are you someone who’s tuned in to financial governance and money management in charities or social enterprises?  If you understand that sometimes its not the hands-on, glamourous side of volunteering that can make the biggest difference to a charity’s future – please apply.  They’re the only UK charity giving live-in rehabilitation and hair restoration to survivors of burns. Apply by September 30th.


Political thinking. Labour this week set out its plans for the charity sector should it happen to find itself in government again. You can read all about it here.


Meet our students. ‘Wealth Manager – the site for professional investment managers’ isn’t the first place I’d look for news about the School for Social Entrepreneurs but I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a somewhat unusual year and it seems the usual rules no longer apply. Anyhow, there’s a nice profile of the students that we are working with on a Start Up programme funded by Brewin Dolphin. You can ‘meet’ the students here.


Free brand support. Are you a new charity looking to establish a brand identity but lack the resources to do so? Or are you a not-for-profit in need of a brand refresh or re-positioning and would welcome some input from students at The University of Reading? They are offering a free eight-week ‘design-thinking brand jam’ to charities and social enterprises, starting in October. All the details are here.


Bristol Local Access Partnership Programme Manager vacancy. A great job opportunity for someone in Bristol. The Local Access Partnership ‘aims to catalyse a step change in the city’s social economy by challenging inequality, building community ownership and increasing collective social impact’. This role will facilitate the partnership’s collaborative planning and delivery as it evolves. If you’ve got programme management skills and can work in Bristol, the deadline to apply is 7th September.


Work for SSE. Our Dartington school are looking for a marketing associate (part time, £23,522 pro rata) and a learning facilitator (part time, £22,895 pro rata). Both roles are part of the South Bristol Enterprise Enterprise Support Project, offering tailored advice, coaching and grants to individuals and businesses across South Bristol. Further info here.



Evaluate SSE. The deadline for tender submissions is 14th September We are looking for an external consultancy to undertake an interim evaluation of our flagship programme, The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme.  The evaluation will assess progress across all programme outcomes, but with a particular focus on Match Trading as an innovation in grant funding.


Fair Education Alliance Innovation Award. 10 Finalists for the Innovation Award have been chosen by the FEA and a panel of experts from across the sector. Vote for the idea you believe will make the biggest impact on educational inequality to win this year’s Community Choice Award and £500 to develop their idea.  Meet the 10 finalists and make your voice heard. Voting closes 6pm on the 8th September.


Startup School for Seniors. This is a neat idea – on 5th October, Advantages of Age is launching a new e-learning course, Startup School for Seniors. Funded by City Bridge Trust, this 8-week course is aimed at unemployed or recently made redundant
Londoners over 50 to learn how to start a business, taught by those who have been there and done it. You can book a place here.


A different type of coffee break? SSE Fellow Bela Emerson is offering online coffee-break musical staff wellbeing sessions throughout September. If you think your team could feel happier, connected and more engaged then a session could be just what you need. Find out more here.


Change your view. Finally, I love this. If you’re bored of looking out of your own window, why not look out of someone else’s? (Virtually of course. I’m not suggesting you break into people’s houses to stare at their garden). Take a peek here.


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That Was the Week That Was: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I’m not going to lie to you, I have not had the greatest of weeks. Our daughter has been ill and it’s involved multiple trips to A+E, a drive through coronavirus test (negative) and not much sleep. It’s been a bit grim. Certainly not one for the highlights package although thankfully she seems to be on the mend.

Anyway, now is not the time to wallow, and indeed there is another positive. For some unknown reason it appears my main coping mechanism when stressed is to clean, so our house now resembles a show home. Another few days like this and I’ll be flyering for Dave’s Cleaning Services throughout the neighbourhood. It could be the start of a whole new life!

See you on the other side.


Community Business leaders – you’ve been working flat out since Covid hit. Do you need some free help right now? Community Business Online Boost is a short, free, high-impact programme starting in September for community businesses in England hit hardest by Covid-19. We’ll help build new skills, resilience and provide peer networks so you can keep adapting to the challenges and opportunities the pandemic throws your way. Priority places for people from Black, Asian & minoritised ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and those supporting the arts, health & social care sectors, BAME community and deprived areas. Apply by 2nd September.


Are you interested in becoming a Mental Health First Aider? SSE Fellow Jo-Anne Shellum is offering Mental Health First Aider training through the MHFA England Online Learning Hub. Learning takes place through four live training sessions, spread across two weeks, with self-learning activities in between. Courses are running in September and October and you can currently get a place at a discounted rate of £180 per person. Further details here.


New funding! The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust has announced a new phase of support for organisations in the light of the Covid-19 crisis. According to the blurb, ‘JRCT is keen to support work that responds to the dual harms of the Covid-19 pandemic and systemic racism. Specifically, we wish to encourage work within or across our existing programme areas that scrutinises the responses and policies of powerful institutions and actors, and which envisions and builds support for transformative social change based on justice, peace and sustainability’. You can find out more here.


Calling all SSE Fellows. SSE is keen to hear about your experiences of our recruitment processes.  We’ve been examining our diversity data and we think we can do better.  And your feedback is crucial. Fellows (people who’ve been on our courses) are invited to an online 1-2 hr focus group taking place late September. Help us shape our processes to make them more inclusive, for the benefit of social entrepreneurship. We will offer a small payment for your time.We’re particularly keen to hear from you if you identify as LGBTQ+, are a person of colour or are a disabled person.

Interested?  Please get in touch with [email protected] for more info and to register your interest.


Bates Wells launch Crisis Decision Tool. Law firm Bates Wells have launched a new tool to help charities and social enterprises that are currently facing financial difficulties. If you are looking for guidance around collaboration, merger, cost-saving measures, income generation and more then it’s well worth taking a look. Which you can do here.


Ch-ch-changes? We’re very excited to be delivering a new ‘Creating a Theory of Change’ course with nef consulting from next year. Nef have been running our extremely popular Measuring Social Impact course since way back in 2013 so this feels like a natural step to take. You can find out more here.


Digital Manchester. Community Tech Fellowship are looking for eight people in Greater Manchester who may have very little experience in technology, but a lot of experience of working in communities, and curiosity about the ways in which technology is shaping everything that we do. The programme will bring together a series of 8-10 sessions and workshops for people to debate, share, learn from each other, problem solve, and make sense of the future for civil society in Greater Manchester. It starts in September, details here.  


West Midlands start up survey. SSE Fellow Kathyrn Kimbley is looking for individuals who are thinking of starting a social enterprise or who have recently started a social enterprise in the West Midlands. She’s undertaking research to looking at the journeys of nascent social entrepreneurs and nascent conventional entrepreneurs and trying to identify the factors that influence and impact upon their journeys. There is a ten minute survey to take here.


More new funding. The Volant Trust is accepting applications to their Covid-19 Response Fund.  Registered charities, community interest companies and community organisations that ‘demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic’ can apply. Details here.


What’s changed in Social Investment? That’s the question that Good Finance will be answering on a free webinar on Tuesday 1st September. They’ll explore the various new funds and schemes that have been launched to support social enterprises and charities navigating the new normal. Sign up here.

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Hot stuff: Have I Got Social Enterprise New For You

I don’t think there has ever been a time when I’ve been so delighted that today is colder than yesterday. It all got a bit much, didn’t it? Give yourself one point for each of these phrases that were uttered in your household over the last week or so:

  • “It’s too hot to sleep”
  • “What do you think about a portable air conditioner?”
  • “If it gets any hotter I’m sleeping in the car”
  • “I think it’s going to break soon” (bonus points if this was said at least five times in the week without any noticeable drop in temperature after it was said)
  • “According to my mum it’s raining in (insert location where your mum lives).

Still, at least it’s given us all something else to talk about over Zoom.

Have a great weekend


The second round of the Social Enterprise Support Fund is now open for applications. Grants of £10,000 to £300,000 to organisations in England that had annual income between £25,000 and £1.5 million before COVID-19. Applications close at 1pm on Thursday 20th August. You can apply for the fund here, and our friends at Unltd have written a blog on how to write a strong COVID-19 funding application that you might want to read before applying.

British Gas have also opened a Covid Response Fund. It’s only open to charities or not for profit CIC or CIOs with an annual turnover of between £200,000 and £1,000,000 and the funding is restricted to certain areas (largely across England and in Dundee for Scotland). There is a total of £800,000 available and the deadline to apply is Wednesday 19th August. Apply here.

Last chance! If you know a Brent resident who is unemployed, on benefits or struggling to find enough work, we could support them to start a social enterprise or community project. We’re offering free learning sessions and a £500 grant with our SEIDs Pre-Start Up Programme. All they need to do is complete a short form or send us a voice note before 5pm today: Apply here.

A detailed report into Futurebuilders, the UK’s first social investment fund, has been published. The fund ran between 2004 and 2010 and provided funding to 406 charities and social enterprises. It’s an interesting read – alongside analysing the impact that Futurebuilders had it also makes some recommendations for the role that social investment can continue to play in the charity and social enterprise sectors. Get stuck into it here.

One of the conclusions that the report draws is that social investment needs subsidy to be most effective, so the announcement of £4 million in blended grant funding from the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund is well timed. Open to charities and social enterprises based in and delivering the majority of their impact in England, grants of between £40k -300k will be used to help organisations that would struggle to meet a viability threshold for the wider loan fund. You can read all about it here.

SSE Fellow Jane Rich is looking for a part time Finance Officer to join her organisation Cambridge Community Arts, which offers community arts courses for adults at risk of social exclusion, primarily due to mental ill-health. The role will be for 7.5 hours per week to be worked over 1-2 days initially based at home, however, a regular presence in the Cambridge office will be required when it is safe to do so. The deadline to apply is 31st August.

Digital agency Manifesto have authored a new report, The Future Charity – How to drive change and innovation across the sector. There are a lot of interesting ideas, from how to prepare for technological change, to securing the right people, and overcoming inertia.

Comms2point0 put together a webinar on digital presentation skills for the Local Government Association that they’ve added to Youtube – there is a plethora of information for anyone who wants to grow some confidence presenting online. You can watch it here.

Campaign group How Do Companies Act are asking businesses, social enterprises, public bodies or charities to sign a letter calling for replicas relojes government to create a stronger legal framework to enable business to take the lead in building a stronger, more resilient and fairer economy. You can read more about the campaign and sign the letter here.

Social Enterprise Mark and The Good Business Club are teaming up for a new series of webinars to debunk the myths around social enterprise. The first webinar takes place at 1pm on 27th August and will explore what a social enterprise is and what it looks like practically to run one. You can register here.

And finally, the deadline for the 2020 Blue Patch Sustainable Business Awards is the 16th of August. Small businesses across the UK and Ireland are invited to come forward to nominate themselves for one of our eight categories. To take a look at the criteria for application and then apply here.

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Not in the mood to think of a headline: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

A short intro this week because I’ve been up half night the feeling ropey so I’m going to get this out and go back to bed. Luckily everything except these two sentences was written yesterday!

Take care


I’m going to start with some news from the sales and marketing team at SSE, because, well I can. We’re very excited to have launched a brand new course, Navigating the New Normal. The course will help organisations develop a recovery plan to respond to the challenges emerging from Covid-19 and also build a new peer support network of like-minded sector. There are ten places available, the course kicks off in September and we’re running an online Q+A about the course at the end of August. You do have to pay (£850) but we’ve worked hard to ensure that the content will give you maximum value. You can find out all about it here.

Lloyds Bank Foundation have dug around the back of the sofa and pulled out £7.4 million that they’ll be giving away in grants to 140 small and medium sized charities. Opening at 10am on Monday, the COVID Recovery Fund will offer grants of £50,000 to charities with an income of between £25,000 and £1 million a year that are helping people overcome complex social issues such as dependency, homelessness and domestic abuse. You can get all the details here.

If filling in application form is something you’d also like to do next Tuesday, Power to Change’s Covid-19 Community-Led Organisations Recovery Scheme is open again for another three hours from 10am. Grants of up to £100,000 are available to community organisations in England who are facing financial difficulties caused by Covid-19. Make sure your on this page on Tuesday morning.

Straight after you’ve submitted your application on Tuesday you can check out the next free webinar in our Recover and Rebuild series at 1pm. ‘Social entrepreneurs parenting through the pandemic’ will give you practical advice and support on juggling parenting with running a social enterprise.

Also handing out the lolly like a beach side kiosk on a hot summer’s day are Firstport, who have opened applications to their Social Entrepreneurs Fund. The fund is a Scottish Government-funded programme that supports individuals in Scotland to test, start, and grow social enterprise ideas. There are currently three separate funds that are open. Find out more.

Black-led social enterprises and charities can apply to Common Call, a grant fund powered by Do it Now Now. The fund is looking for organisations that are creating impact in deprived communities and providing services to people that have been adversely affected by the COVID crisis in terms of physical health, mental health and/or financially. Grants of £1k to £3k are available to UK based organisations. Apply here.

We’ve joined a cross-sector consortium to create the Build Back Better Hackathon, and we’d love you to get involved! On the weekend of the 19th-20th of September, the Hackathon will bring a diverse range of people together virtually to solve challenges focused on health, inclusive work, sustainable communities, food systems, education and more for a better future. Are you an expert in one of our themes? Share your expertise with our teams or submit a challenge for them to solve.  You can get involved in the Build Back Better Hackathon here.

We’ve still got places available on our Digital Marketing and Press workshop on August 11th. It sold out last time and the feedback exceptional (sample quote: “Really clear and useful course – exactly what I needed”). You can book a place from £79 here – it’s great if you’re looking for an introduction to the topic or if you simply want to refresh your skills.

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SSE Fellow Theodora Cadbury is looking to recruit a part time (2 days per week, £150 per day) Organiser to join a small, ambitious non-hierarchical team at her organisation Xenia. The organisation brings migrant, refugee, asylum-seeking and British women together to connect, share and learn together. Applications from people who identify as Black, from an ethnic minority, or from migrant or refugee backgrounds are particularly encouraged. Because the successful applicant will be required to attend Xenia workshops once a month, the post is restricted to women applicants only. The role will combine remote and co-working at an office in Hackney. You can apply here.

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