Black Lives Matter: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

It’s not a week for flippant introductions so instead I’ll begin with a commitment from SSE.

Black Lives Matter. Be an ally, educate yourself, sign petitions, protest, donate if you can – this resource hub outlines ways to help and I’ve shared some articles, resources and reports below.

We stand in solidarity with the Black community. Today and always.

Huge thanks to my colleagues Henna, Amy and Sophie for putting this list together:

  • A great thread on Twitter highlighting UK anti-racism charities and organisations you can support right now is available here.
  • Layla F Saad has put together an anti-racist reading list in the Guardian in the hope that books can fortify a long-term struggle after this news cycle is over and social media posts about diversity die down.
  • It’s not the racists we have to worry about” argues CNN’s Van Jones in a hard hitting 5 minute clip and that the white community as a whole needs to look in the mirror and question how black opportunity and dignity is being choked.
  • Fearless Futures have a really interesting informative newsletter on inequalities, including inequalities specific to this pandemic, signposting to some great articles and resources. You can find it here. They also have an infographic outlining how systemic racism has caused COVID 19 to hit BAME communities harder.
  • Spark & Co has created a resource hub designed to help those from BAME backgrounds navigate this crisis. Check it out.
  • An interesting article on how important it is for grant-makers responding to COVID-19 that we don’t inadvertently perpetuate and exacerbate existing bias, racial inequity, and injustice through their giving.
  • Charity So White have put together a paper highlighting the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities and the action that needs taking to address this. You can read it here.

This week’s social enterprise news

  • New research from Shift, CAF Venturesome, Unltd and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation reveals the social sector’s need for equity and equity-like funding is three times greater than current demand. There is a blog available here that summarises the findings with access to the full report.
  • Grants Online have put together a list of  recently launched funding programmes to assist local organisations in responding to the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic. It includes funding of £10,000 to grassroots women’s organisations from Rosa and a new Youth Futures Foundation fund among others. You can see the full list here.
  • We’re recruiting a Personal Assistant to the CEO & Managing Director on a 6 month contract. It’s a part time role (28 hours) and we’re flexible on location. Closing date is 17th June.
  • Social Enterprise Mark are looking for new board members. If you have Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategic leadership, and corporate relations; OR
    Franchising and licensing management, and international expansion they would like to hear from you. Details here.
Share Button

The dog ate it: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

A bit of a brief newsletter this week. I could come up with some highly improbable excuse like ‘I’ve been too busy driving around testing my eyesight’ to explain it but the truth of the the matter is that I’ve left writing it until 30 minutes before I want to send it. It’s also a rare week where my inbox isn’t bursting at the seams with content to share with you.

Still, what has made it in is all good stuff. Enjoy…



The National Lottery Community Fund is now open for applications and will provide grants to activities supporting people and communities affected by COVID-19. All the info you need is on their website

MyCommunity, a new website providing ‘the latest tools, tips and ideas to make your community an even better place to live’ launched earlier this week. I’ve only had a quick look through it but there are loads of guides, case studies, podcasts and tips on the site. Check it out here.

Pioneers Post have put together a cracking list of ten social impact events taking place in 2020 that will now be happening online. It’s your chance to visit the US Social Innovation Summit, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Virtual Conference or the Social Enterprise World Forum from the comfort of your living room. You can see the full list here.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation launched ‘Explore’, a new early stage digital funding strand for their Tech for Good programme. Charities and not-for-profit organisations with incomes of between £75,000 and £10 million can apply for a grant and a 12-week learning programme to scope digital services and to explore how digital technology could transform the ways they work. The deadline to apply is 22nd June.

You may remember that a few weeks ago I wrote asking you to lend your signature to a letter to be sent to Rishi Sunak asking for additional support for the social enterprise sector. Over 1000 organisations have now signed the letter, and there is some further coverage here.

Finally, brewer Brewdog is getting involved with the social enterprise action with a new ‘Barnard Castle Eye Test’ beer, with all profits funding production of free sanitiser for the NHS and healthcare charities. Cheers.

Share Button

Communicating effectively: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I thought it was important to clarify some of the guidelines for reading Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You. Remember, if you are reading this on an iPhone, you need to wear gloves and ensure that the phone is in landscape mode. For Android users, put the phone inside a glove and then take a photo of a landscape before reading. For desktop computer users, DO NOT PRINT THIS OUT. This does not apply if you are translating it into French, or if your printer serial number is exactly 13 digits long and can be divided by at least three prime numbers.

Whatever you do, do not forward to friends or family members. You can forward it to strangers if you can guess their email address.

Hope that’s cleared everything up.


  • Power to Change have launched the C-19 Emergency Trading Income Support Scheme for community businesses that have lost trading income as a result of COVID-19. It’s available to current and previous Power to Change grantees, and to community businesses which are members of Power to Change’s strategic partners – Co-operatives UK, Locality and the Plunkett Foundation. The next funding round opens on 19th May at 10am and 100 grants will be available. You can find out more here.
  • Power to Change are also conducting a Community Business Market 2020 survey, aimed at understanding more about the community business market and to get a better understanding of how the current crisis is impacting on community businesses and what support they may need
  • Social Enterprise UK have launched an online forum, designed to bring the social enterprise community together to share their experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic, to discuss important topics and to post offers of support and calls for help. You can register for it here.
  • Third Sector have made an additional 1500 free places available for their Fundraising Conference on 20th – 21st May. Places are only available to registered charities, however. You can book a place here.
  • Supply Change and the Social Value Exchange have created an open-source directory of social enterprise suppliers which are still offering goods and services during this time. From cleaning to coffee, you can search for suppliers for your organisation here. If your social enterprise or community organisation is still operating or needs support, you can feature in the directory by filling out this short form.
  • Well done to all those who made the NatWest SE100 Index, the annual list of the UK’s leading 100 social enterprises, compiled by Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital. It’s always good to see so many SSE Fellows in the list, which you can see here
  • SSE Fellow Hayley Stanton has launched Quiet Connections, an app which offers a safe space to easily connect with new friends and get support for those who struggle with meeting new people and speaking up in groups and conversations. Quieter people can share similar stories so they can support and learn from each other, and gain acceptance, friendship and understanding. You can find out more here.
  • If you’re at home trying to teach your children maths then Maths on Toast, a social enterprise founded by SSE Fellow Alex Fitzsimmons, could help. They are releasing lots of resources to support parents with primary age kids, including Fun Maths Monday, a creative crafty maths activity each Monday, and blog posts for parents, addressing common issues like how to help with a maths problem you can’t immediately see how to do yourself. Head here for more info.
  • Re-defined is a new, virtual conference that celebrates and cultivates the resilience of female founders and women in business in the UK. Taking place on May 29th, a programme of inspirational speakers and workshop facilitators will celebrate the successes and endurance of female founders and women in business. You can buy a ticket here.
  • The Fair Education Alliance are currently accepting applications to their Innovation Award. Open to anyone with an idea that could help end educational inequality in England, five winners will recieve 6 months of full-time salary, a place on an Innovation Incubator, an intensive programme of technical and leadership training, supportive mentoring and expert advice to help you develop, pilot and scale your idea. You can apply here.
  • Let’s end on a musical note. First up, SSE Fellow Martha Wright’s social enterprise Mindful Music have released a free set of singalong and deep relaxations with an accompanying resource pack for parents, carers, educators and anyone needing to take care of their inner child during this crisis. You can sign up here.
  • And finally, SSE Fellow Blue O’Conner is co-founder of Talk Club, a talking and listening club for men. Last week they released Soul to Save, a charity music single. You can hear the single here and find out more about Talk Club here.
Share Button

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

Share Button

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.


Continue reading

Share Button