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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Please, respect your elders: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

This newsletter has occasionally been used to poke fun at our Chief Executive, Alastair Wilson. But there will be none of that today, because yesterday was his birthday. His 50th birthday. And that’s a momentous occasion. For those of you for whom 50 is just an impossibly large number and you need some greater context, here’s just how long ago this was:

  • When Ali was born, man hadn’t yet walked on the moon
  • England were the reigning World Cup champions
  • BBC One was still broadcast only in black and white

It truly was a different era, and so we should applaud Alastair for the way he has adapted to the modern world with only minor complications. His rapid evolution would stagger anthropologists: after only half a century Wilson has developed the capacity to send a tweet with only minimal supervision. Remarkable.

Of course it’s worth noting that Ali was not the only man born in 1968, products of the dying embers of the first summer of love. Others include Daniel Craig, Will Smith and Owen Wilson, and Ali shares a lot in common with them: they were all born in 1968, for example. I’m sure there are other similarities, I just can’t think of any at this moment in time.

So, happy birthday Ali. Or HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALI, to save you having to reach for your reading spectacles.

I’m going to and hide in a cupboard now. If he can’t see me, he can’t fire me.


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Bashing the Balearics: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

One of my big regrets in life is that I’ve never been to Ibiza. I don’t know why, a week of nights out clubbing and days spent recovering on the beach would have been perfect in my twenties.

Good news, however, as this week I have made up for it all by booking a trip to…Centerparcs. In January. Ok, it might not be 30 degrees and sunny but apparently the ‘Fun Pots with Tots’ activity is better than a night at Pacha and ‘Toddler Party Hour’ is the new Sundays at Space. The comparisons don’t end there – people always complain that Ibiza is horrendously expensive. Guess what, Centerparcs is too! I’ve looked online and it’s £5.40 for a pint of Peroni. So, why head all the way to San Antonio or Ibiza Town when you could go to Longleat or Woburn Forest. See you in the Aquazone…


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Return of the Mack(glashan): Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Right then, what have I missed?

A huge thank you to Sophie for taking on the mantle of writing this newsletter for the last four weeks. It was much better than usual wasn’t it? I need to raise my game or I’ll be finding myself in the dole queue faster than you can say ‘be the change’. For those of you who happened to have subscribed to this newsletter over the last month I’m afraid that’s certainly the best it will get and it’s all downhill from here. Sorry about that.

Lucky for me that it’s a good week of news so I can ease myself back into a working routine. After all this time out of the office and with a hint of sleep deprivation I can barely type, let alone think of anything interesting to say in the newsletter…

Have a super weekend


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The challenge of starting a social change movement

By Tracey Ford, JAGS Foundation

Social Entrepreneur, Tracey FordSocial Enterprise JAGS

One year ago I sat nervously in the offices of School for Social Entrepreneurs – applying for a place on the first ‘Power Up’ course for social entrepreneurs.   I had no idea what was meant by ‘social change makers’, I just knew that I wanted to be part of this exciting new programme.

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