Call for more support like SSE in Lords debate

In a recent social enterprise debate at the House of Lords, Baroness Scott of Needham Market talked about the support the sector needs. The “dedication and enthusiasm will carry [social entrepreneurs] a very long way, but professional support in finance and business planning, legal frameworks and so on is key, and this is where the school comes in. The Ipswich school [SSE Suffolk] is great, but we need more of this sort of thing right across the country. We also need social enterprises which themselves help other social enterprises”. Continue reading

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Social Enterprises more resilient

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) have just published an interesting article based on the research and evaluation it carried out on SSE's impact. It found that:

"organisations in the sample were 20% more likely to survive for five years than the average UK business, had very high average growth rates (17% annually) and reported continuous growth even during the recession. This is similar to previous studies, including the 2009 Social Enterprise Coalition study that showed that 56% of social enterprises reported an increase in turnover during the recession compared to 62% of charities who reported reductions in funding" 

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A sociological look at the SSE

Hello everyone.  It's Ryan!

Today I wanted to discuss something that hit me the other day when I was sitting in on an SSE Taster Day.  Wale was talking about his business and the SSE…something he mentioned was how the SSE brings in all sorts of different people…different age groups, different backgrounds and ethnicities, and just people with different ideas overall.  He said that it is so important that the SSE keep doing this as this experience is so important in life because these people all bring something to you.  These different exposures not only make you a better and more cultured person, they bring new ideas, different approaches and perspectives to the table that wouldn't ever occur to you, as a student, without the exposure.  In the context of the SSE, it helps all the students to be better social entrepreneurs as it helps them open their mind to so many different ways of going about creating a business.

I thought this was interesting as I agree it’s also so important in life to be able to do this… it just opens your mind completely and you can never understand how it will change you until you are exposed.  For example, I can’t relate to a person living in bad areas until I have lived in bad areas or at least been exposed to the thoughts, the culture, and the people from these areas.  It brings this idea…you can’t judge anyone on anything because the reasons behind our actions are based on how we are raised and in what conditions.

With this in mind, it also brings up the importance of how the SSE recruits people from all over London.  There is an idea that was shared with me by someone on the staff and they said something along the lines of, "The people who know how to fix the worst areas of London are the people from the worst areas of London."  It's a thought that never even crossed my mind, yet makes so much sense in context, especially anthropologically.  

For example, it's great that people all over the world want to help refugees in Africa by making 'Westernized' schools and such, but perhaps this is the wrong approach.  If we were to do this the SSE way, we would go in and support people from Africa that have ideas on how to make Africa better instead of applying our own cultural needs to theirs.  It makes me think about the different ways I could help my own community at home… perhaps the people I would be best at helping are the homeless and less well-off people of the suburbs where I live, not necessarily the people from inner Chicago!

I hope you can understand my major 'brain dumping' here!  Thanks for reading!


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The next few days are looking up!

Hello everybody!  It's Ryan again.

I just wanted to mention a few things coming up this week that have me really excited!  

First, we have an SSE taster tomorrow!  We will be meeting some potential students to talk about what we do at the SSE!  Any opportunity for me to meet new social entrepreneurs is a great one in my book!  

Next, there is a visit to Happy Computers Ltd. that I will get to go along with!  I hope to gain some more insight as to what different people are doing to help their communities.

Finally, on Friday, there will be a sort of fair at Wilkins South Cloisters at UCL where we will be getting a little publicity!  It sounds like there will be UCL students there buying/selling goods and it all sounds like great fun!  If you feel like stopping by, Im sure you could.


Cheers everyone!

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January is here, and so are the new interns!

Social Entrepreneurs everywhere, my name is Ryan Trostrud and I am one of two new interns here at the School for Social Entrepreneurs all the way from Northfield, Minnesota.  Might I say, I am loving it here in the UK; it's my first time here and even though the weather is somewhat dreary, taking the tube to work every day sure beats brushing a foot and a half of snow off your car at 6:30 in the morning and sitting in traffic for 2 hours! 

But in all seriousness, it has been so inspiring meeting all of these great Brits and social entrepreneurs!  I think the best part of this whole job is being able to sit down with a fellow and listen to them tell you their story.  You can just tell by the way they talk about it that it is truly their love in life, almost as if this enterprise they have built is their own child… and this child is a star athlete, A+ student, and wonderful person all in one!  (I'm not sure if my metaphor translates perfectly into British culture but I'll go with it anyway)

So just to introduce myself a bit, I am a senior at St Olaf College which means I'm in my last year.  I've studied Sociology, Anthropology and Management Studies (which in my head is perfect for what I'm doing) and next year I hope to get into the marketing/communications part of business!  At the SSE, I'm working mostly under Nick Temple contacting some newspapers and working on getting the SSE's name out there!

As this set of classes starts to slow down, it becomes really busy around here.  That said, I am going to have to sign off for now, but I will be sure to keep you updated as things get even more hectic around here!

Cheers everyone!

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