Featuring the word ‘kumquat’ for the first time: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

According to people who know these things, the average native English speaker has a vocabulary of between 20,000 and 30,000 words. Most of these are useless, of course. Everyone knows the word ‘kumquat’ but have you ever heard anyone actually use it in a sentence? No-one has ever been sent to the shop to pick up a loaf of bread, twenty B+H and three kumquats.

Excitingly, we all have a new word to use: ‘prorogue’. Of course, we’re all pretending that we’ve known what it means for years (no doubt learned at the same time as our deep understanding of the unwritten constitution) but be honest, you know a lot more about kumquats than you do prorogation. I got all excited when I first heard it: “Dave, it’s your turn to take the bins out” said my wife on Wednesday evening. “I’m proroguing the bins this week” was my response. In my mind, I was going to be walking around proroguing everything: meetings, trips to the supermarket, rounds at the bar. It was going to be fantastic (my wife seemed less enthusiastic).

Turns out you can only prorogue sessions of parliament or legislative assemblies. So now I’m stuck here with my kumquats taking the bins out and still going to meetings. Life can be so cruel.

On with the news…


Sing for your supper

What’s the first thing that comes into your head if I say ‘Covent Garden’ to you? Opera? Buskers? The Transport Museum?

Well, that could all be about to change – SSE and partners are currently exploring creating a retail and experiential learning space in the area. At this very early scoping stage we’re looking for social businesses with retail products or catering services to take a short survey to help us understand the types of business that could fill the space.

If your social enterprise has a product that you sell or a catering offering that could take advantage of this opportunity, we would love to hear from you. Complete the survey by Friday 20th September and we’ll pop you into a draw to win a £50 John Lewis voucher.

The survey should only take about five minutes

The only source of knowledge is experience

SSE Fellow Rhiannon Griffiths of Comic Youth has put together a great blog post about the importance of leaders of organisations in the third sector having lived experience of the issues they are seeking to solve: “I found it extremely frustrating to see people in power continuously make decisions without the first-hand knowledge or experience to do so”. A sentiment that could be extended far beyond the boundaries of the third sector…

Read the blog here

Socks and sandals

Way back in 1928 or whenever it was that I started working at SSE I turned up to work on my first day wearing a suit and people laughed at me. I often wonder how things would have turned out if I hadn’t made that mistake. I’d probably be CEO of some massive charity and have a knighthood by now, instead of churning out this nonsense each week. How was I to know that the dress code was in fact ‘clothes you’d usually throw on if you needed to go and get something from the shop quickly at 7am but you hadn’t had a shower yet’?

Fortunately, these mistakes don’t need to be made by others moving into the social impact sector. Our friends at On Purpose, _SocialStarters* and Year Here are hosting ‘How To Transition Into A Social Impact Career, on 19th September in Islington. It’s ‘an evening of lightning talks, inspiration and the chance to meet likeminded professionals over drinks and nibbles’.

Book your place here

*SocialStarters are also currently recruiting an incubator programme manager – if you’ve run start-up or career change programmes before you can find out more here.

Thurrock and roll

You’re based in Thurrock and you’ve got an idea for a project that helps other people or the environment. How do you get it up and running?

You come along to a taster session for our Thurrock Social Entrepreneurship Programme, that’s how. We’ve go sessions taking place on the 6th and 9th September from 10:00-15:00 – you’ll learn all about the programme (which starts in October) and how it can help you get a social enterprise, charity or business that helps people off the ground.

You can find out more here

Have I Got ‘Social Enterprise News Fer Tha

It’s all systems go at SSE Yorkshire and North East:

They are running an online Start Up Boost course, starting on 11th September. It’s open to anyone and will give you support prioritising and business planning for a successful social enterprise. There are only two places left, book a spot here.

It’s the last couple of weeks to apply for the M&S Community Business Challenge in Bradford. The school are hosting an information session on Wednesday, September 4 from 11am to 1pm at Carlisle Business Centre. You can help and support with your application for the £10k grant fund and tailored business support. Book your place here.

On October 10th, join SSE Yorkshire and North East for ‘Big Futures’, an event in York celebrating change-makers from across the region. £29 gets you dinner, drinks, networking and speaker sessions. Get a ticket here.

If you’re happy and you know it…

You may well be on the Independent’s Happy List, an annual celebration of ‘people whose kindness, bravery and dedication make the UK a better place’. I’ve spotted a number of SSE Fellows: Chris Fleet, Emma Baines, Declan Flynn, Jude Habib and Jane Hatton – congratulations to you all.

You can see the full list here

Meaningful vote

Let’s keep those awards for SSE Fellows coming- Vie Portland of VieNess Discover You Love You CIC has been nominated in Hampshire’s VIP Business Awards 2019, celebrating local Hampshire businesses. She’s up for both The Feel Good Award and The Future Minds Award.

If you can spare 30 seconds, you can voter for her here

Back to school

A great looking job opportunity with Impacted, co-founded by speaker at SSE Owen Carter. They are looking for a Head of School Partnerships (£38k – £47k), leading on their school-facing strategy and developing a team to deliver on it. ImpactEd’s mission is to improve pupil outcomes and life chances by addressing the evaluation deficit. The job is based in London and would suit someone with a deep understanding of the UK school system.

Apply here by 9th September

When stars align

If you’re looking at your diary and thinking ‘what I could really do with is a Working with Corporates type workshop at SSE London on 12th September’ then guess what? We have a Working with Corporates workshop, in London, on the 12th September. Remarkable. Come and find out all you need to know about how your charity or social enterprise can work with the private sector, from what type of support you can get, who you need to speak to and how to maintain a good working relationship.

Book a place here

Fail to plan, plan to fail

If you’re like me, you tend to leave everything until the last minute. Life tends to be more exciting that way – why have a to do list when you can have a list of things that you should really have done three days ago but haven’t got round to but will do eventually? Still, let’s try and do one thing differently today. I know it’s weeks away, but if you could book onto our next Fellows event in Bethnal Green on September 26th right now it would be appreciated. It will save some meetings.

It will be a fun event and it’s free for SSE Fellows (although there is a refundable £10 deposit). All others are welcome too, as long as you promise not to wreck the joint (and stump up 10 quid).

It only takes a minute so why not do it now

Gear shift

SSE Fellow Jem Stein is looking for a digitally savvy marketing manager (£38k, London) to supercharge his organisation The Bike Project’s marketing as they enter the next phase of growth. If you have proven experience in being able to plan, deliver and manage others to create and roll out activity across all digital channel you should take a look.

Deadline to apply is 9th September

That is lit

Finally, SSE Fellow Frances Weetman is in the process of setting up ‘Lit’, a social enterprise and website that aims to encourage young voter turnout, while finding the solutions to problems like climate change, inequality and the housing market. She is keen to produce some articles and videos about topics that will interest young people and which will impact their day-to-day living. If your social enterprise has direct experience working in any of the following areas and you’d like to be featured then please contact Frances:

Healthcare / the NHS; Drug addiction / drug policy; Homelessness and the housing market (including rentals and first time buyers); The environment and climate change; Refugees & problems regarding immigration; Prison overcrowding & rehabilitation; Human rights, both in the UK and abroad; Knife crime (particularly in London); Education; Austerity.

You can contact Frances at [email protected]

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