Enterprising solutions and other things

Racking up things to blog about at the moment, so here’s a round-up of a few things to clear the blog intray…..

Enterprising Solutions Awards last night, organised by SEC (well done all), with some worthy winners (see the shortlist on the site), an entertaining host and a really moving speech by the main winner Sunderland Homecare….supplement on the winners in the Observer this weekend.

– Ed Miliband was also there last night, and worth mentioning the philanthropy research centre he launched last week; see the Cabinet Office press release for more. I assume they will be speaking to SSE Fellow Dave Pitchford, whose Intelligent Giving site goes live soon….

– Gordon Brown, meanwhile, gave a speech at the Corporate Social Responsibility dinner which talked of Britain being the world leader in CSR and talked of the achievements in social enterprise and volunteering….see here for more

– Interesting report on social enterprise and housing associations
from the Camberwell Project; coming at it from the housing associations
creating/becoming social enterprises, rather than empowering their
residents, though….

– Loving some new terms in this field: vetrepreneurs and hyperpreneurs; oh yes.

– Amidst all the hullabaloo (sp.?) about social enterprises delivering in health and care (after a big conference recently + a new initiative), it’s worth pointing out a more cynical view of the current trend from a practitioner who points at three drivers for becoming a social enterprise, namely:

  • Looking impressive to political masters
  • Trying to stay one-step ahead of the next      organisational restructuring
  • Pure cold-blooded knee-trembling fear

– Finally, what about cut your friends, improve your effectiveness as a strapline for the future? Food for thought….

[via lots of places, but especially, VoluntaryNews and Xpress Digest ]

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3 thoughts on “Enterprising solutions and other things

  1. I am very flattered that you have linked to my blog entry about social enterprises but I wouldn’t say it was neccessarily a cynical view. We left the NHS to form a social enterprise about 4 years ago and there have been a small number of other SEs that emerged from the NHS or were created to support the NHS. There has been nothing stopping NHS organisations or teams forming into social enterprises for the last dozen years but very few chose to.
    Now there are hundreds of senior NHS managers interested in creating social enterprises who had little or no interest in this a year ago. I beleive that these are not all people who have had a “damascus like revelation” but who are responding to organisational and political pressures. As I said in the piece I think there are 3 drivers for many of these and I am not sure that becoming an SE is the right solution if they are motivated by “Looking impressive to political masters, Trying to stay one-step ahead of the next organisational restructuring or Pure cold-blooded knee-trembling fear”.
    When we meet up with other social entrepreneurs they seem to be “real evangelists for the cause” and seem driven by the desire to change the world, the desire to do things differently and a passion about their local community or stakeholders. I believe that there are a few like this within the NHS and I hope there will be more, but the majority of senior NHS managers I come across are not like that at all.
    Anyway, that’s my twopenneth and I am genuinely flattered by the link (and the fact that anyone is reading or blog) 🙂

  2. Sorry if that was a slight misrepresentation, Dave. I meant that you were doubtful about the sudden interest / change of heart, not about social entrepreneurship in the healthcare arena. Many of our SSE Fellows have set up organisations and projects operating in the field (see http://www.sse.org.uk/people/paul.hodgkin and http://www.sse.org.uk/people/becky.barrett for example), and it is clearly an area for growth.
    I guess we would want to see appropriate independent and trusted support for social entrepreneurs in the healthcare field, who will decide what is the most appropriate structure/governance/income stream to achieve their objectives/outcomes. This could as easily be inside the NHS or even within an existing department as something external or devolved.
    So I don’t think we disagree…we (as social entrepreneurs / social enterprise movement) should probably underpromise and overdeliver, rather than social enterprise being viewed as the panacea for the whole NHS…
    I found you via VolNews in this post (http://www.voluntarynews.org.uk/wp/2006/10/promoting-social-enterprise-in-health-and-social-care/). They call you an antidote to the enthusiasm, rather than cynical….

  3. No apology needed Nick 🙂
    I think the discussions are all very healthy and whatever the drivers are for the “suddent change of heart”, I think that anything that develops more social enterprises and supports social entrepreneurs is a good thing.
    Great blog by the way!