1/52: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Happy new year to you! Isn’t 2019 shaping up to be a cracker? We’re only four days in and already we’ve had people being angry about vegan sausage rolls that no-one is forcing them to eat, shipping companies with no ships being lined up to save us from armageddon and a 3.1% increase in rail fares to make it even more expensive to go to work. Where your boss could well have earned more this week than you will do in a year. Woohoo!

Fortunately the world of social enterprise is a far more refined and positive environment so this newsletter should provide a more optimistic view of the world. For those of you who have recently subscribed, feel free to send any news my way for inclusion and I’ll do my best to include it in a future edition. Any news from outside of London is most welcome (and indeed encouraged).

Enjoy this week’s news…



If a three day week is too much for you and you are already exhausted and thinking about booking a holiday (you are, aren’t you?) or if you simply want to look at some pictures of places that aren’t work (who wouldn’t?) then take a look at Bouteco. The site lists hotels that are ‘defined by their responsible practices and positive contributions to the planet’. They certainly look better than Travelodge. (Worth noting at his point: you can take eight days of annual leave this year at Easter for sixteen consecutive days off work).

Check them out here

Ready, steady, oh?

A good piece by David Floyd looking at the huge challenges faced by social enterprises  that want to scale. It’s a provocative post and the outlook isn’t wholly positive: ‘based on the current funding and investment landscape, scaling up a consumer-focused and/or product-based social enterprise is virtually impossible’. There’s already an interesting discussion forming in the comments below the post.

Read the blog here

It’s good to talk

Our friends at Good Finance are running two ‘Let’s Talk Good Finance’ events this month, one in Braintree on 17th January and one in Wolverhampton on 29th January. The events bring together charities, social enterprises and organisations with social investors to network, share information and discuss the latest issues relating to repayable finance. It’s free to attend.

Register for a place here

On repeat

I included this at the end of last year but I’m including it again because who was paying attention to anything during December?

The Fore Trust have opened applications to their grants programme to support funding and strategic support to early-stage charities and social enterprises. Development funding of up to £30,000 is available to charities, social enterprises and community interest companies with a turnover of less than £500,000 per year. The deadline for applications is 7th January.

More details here

The SSE website…is fake news?

Despite what it may say on our website, we’ve still got a few places left on the environment and conservation stream of our Scale+Accelerate programme. You’ll benefit from 10 days of learning at no cost to you, spread between February and September 2019, focused on helping you scale your organisation. Take a look at the course information here and email [email protected] if you’d like any further details.

Pay to play

I’m always slightly suspicious of awards that you have to pay to enter (particularly when they come with a workshop that you can pay for before entering) but the 2019 Global Good Awards are now open for entries if that sort of thing takes your fancy.

You can enter here

Blast from the past

A long long time ago (like two years or something) SSE had an employee named Leonie. You may remember her from featuring in this newslettter when it was revealed she used to go to school on a Shetland Pony.

Anyhow, she’s now working for a tech start up called CoGo connecting ethical consumers with brands that hold their value. They are looking for social enterprises to sign up to the platform and help find you to customers. At the moment they are based in London only but hope to roll out nationally through 2019.

Sign up your enterprise here

Trade up, up and away

A reminder that we’re currently accepting applications to the Community Business Trade Up programme, a fully funded programme is for community businesses who want to grow by increasing their sales. If you plan to grow your organisation’s plans trading by at least £10,000 in the next year then be sure to apply by February 14th.

Apply here

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

I’d always thought that was the introduction to Jackanory but I’ve just Googled it and it turns out it’s from a radio show called Listen With Mother. I really do learn something new at work every day.

If you would like to learn how storytelling can be used within your organisation’s marketing and communication then ‘Good Stories’ in London on February 26th could be worth checking out. It’s a ‘one-day event to arm you with practical tools and tips, targeted specifically at social enterprises’ and features SSE’s head of comms Sophie Hobson as a speaker.

Buy a ticket here

Celebrate good times

SSE Fellow Lisa Stepanovic is hosting an evening celebrating the achievements of the young people that have been supported by her organisation Social Ark. Taking place in Canary Wharf on January 30th between 6pm and 8pm the event promises to be a lively night full of short performances and inspirational words.

It”s free to attend and you can book a spot here 

Now everyone’s favourite section: procurement news

New research by Tusell on behalf of Social Enterprise UK has found that of the 10% of government contracts listed as suitable for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations only 11% of these were actually one by VSCE organisations. Of these, only 1% were picked up by CICs. As SEUK’s Charlie Wigglesworth says, “More needs to be done by the government to signal to procurement teams that social enterprises should be taken seriously when they are bidding for contracts”.

Or perhaps someone just needs to set up a community interest shipping company. The fewer boats involved the better.

Read more here

New year, new you?

Finally, SSE Fellow Anne-Marie Douglas is recruiting for a Youth Engagement & Coproduction Manager for her organisation Peer Power Youth. Based in London, Peer Power Youth support the most vulnerable children and young people in society; those impacted by adverse childhood experiences, including abuse, trauma, rejection and loss, those most excluded and not heard in society, and often with experience of social care and youth justice agencies.

The job pays £29,177 – £36, 644 and the deadline to apply is January 21st.

Apply here

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