Elon, no-one likes a showoff: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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This week, multi billionaire and founder of Paypal Elon Musk launched a car into space. Only 46 years old, Musk also runs the car company Tesla, solar energy provider Sun City and Hyperloop, a concept for a high-speed transportation system which aims to revolutionise the way that passengers and cargo journey between long distances.

In the same week, I had my own transport adventure when my 20 month old son was violently sick all over me during the early stages of a journey on the 285 bus between Kingston and Teddington, much to the obvious disgust of my fellow passengers. I own no car companies (I can’t even drive), no energy providers and consider using contactless card payment on the tube to be a major revolutionary step.

I’ll leave it to you to decide who had the better week…


Mad Skillz

RBS have opened applications to the Skills and Opportunities Fund. It’s open to projects that help ‘people in disadvantaged communities to learn new skills that will enable them to become self-employed, set up their own business, grow their business or become financially capable.’ Grants of up to £30,000 are available.

Apply here

Kittens are Evil

Not my words, but the name of a brand new website ‘shouting about any and all critical analysis of social enterprise, social investment and social innovation’. It’s a good idea – a healthy counterpoint to a lot of the overly effervescent hype that can still be found surrounding the sector.

Check it out here 

Turn that frown upside down

Amazon have announced that Amazon Smile is now open to all UK registered charities. The scheme allows shoppers to make a donation to a chosen charity each time they make a purchase through Amazon. The other week I accidentally ordered £99 worth of ear plugs (don’t ask), someone could have done quite well out of that.

More details 

The wheels on the bus go round and round

In the 18th and 19th centuries it was customary for young, mainly upper class men and women to embark on a ‘Grand Tour’ through Europe in search of art, culture and the roots of Western civilization. Destinations might include Paris, Venice and Rome.

By venturing outside of the United Kingdom the grand tourists missed a trick. They could have instead headed to Edinburgh, Weston-Super-Mare, London, Port Talbot, Bradford, Birmingham, Liverpool and Sunderland. Instead of exploring the world of renaissance art, they could have explored how the arts, social enterprise and business can work together to create social change. And instead of travelling by horse and coach they could have travelled on a bus (if they had been invented).

Luckily, today’s 18-26 year olds don’t have to repeat the mistakes of the past as they can embark on Drivers For Change, a unique 11-day bus journey around the UK this June to inspire young people to be creative and entrepreneurial, and to take ownership of driving change in their communities.

Applications to take part are currently open

An article about Articles

Unltd this week unveiled Purposely, a new digital tool to help companies embed purpose into their Articles. It’s aimed at founders who re using or considering the company limited by shares legal structure and who want to embed their purpose.

Well worth checking it out

Liverpool news (part one)

SSE North West are looking for an Advisory Board Chair with strong interpersonal and communication skills to liaise with various stakeholder groups and can bring insights, networks and connections into fields that would help to advance SSE and our students’ business.

If you are passionate about social enterprise and have previously made a positive impact in a governance or advisory role please take a look!

Details here

Liverpool news (part two)

Capacity: The Public Services Lab are working on Ageing Solutions, in partnership with UnLtd and the Innovation Agency, to support innovative ideas that will improve services delivered to older people in the Liverpool City Region. Ageing Solutions will provide funding and enterprise support to 12 different social enterprises and charities that seek to transform the way services are delivered to older people.

More here 

Circle of Life

Nice coverage of SSE Fellow Turly Humphrey’s organisation Circle Collective, celebrating a graduation ceremony for twenty young people on their Get Employed training course. The five week course gives 18-30 year olds the skills needed to kickstart their careers including work experience in the Circle Collective store at Lewisham Shopping Centre.

You can find out more here

Au secours! ¡Auyuda! Aiuto! 

Nesta launched The Good Help Award this week to ‘reward an organisation or team that demonstrates they are helping people transform their lives by helping them develop their sense of purpose and confidence to take action’. There’s a first prize of £15,000 and two runners up prizes of £5,000.

Enter here

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone

Nesta are also part of the Social Innovation Community project, a consortium of twelve European organisations aiming to strengthen social innovation organisations across the continent. They are currently running a survey to gather views from social innovators and social entrepreneurs about how European policy can support social innovation better and want to hear from you. You might as well fill it in while we still have a modicum of importance within the EU.

Take the survey here

A taster this, a taster that

On Purpose are holding a free taster session for their 2018 CEO Programme in London on Thursday 22nd February from 6pm – 9pm at Mannaz in Bloomsbury. The programme itself is six months long and aimed at CEOs and Managing Directors of established, purpose led organisations, usually with a turnover of £1m or higher. As an aside, I’ve often thought about setting up a similar programme for aquatic marine mammals, On Porpoise.

Sign up for the On Purpose event here

Last, but by no means least

Finally, The Platform in Brighton are still looking to recruit a Head of Social Enterprise to manage and develop their social enterprise support delivery and drive the growth of the social enterprise sector across Brighton. It looks a fantastic job for the right person – applications close at midday on February 27th.

Apply here 

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