Looking on in horror: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I’ve seen it all this week: incompetent leadership. No apparent vision. A complete lack of strategy. Colleagues squabbling and spending their time stabbing each other in the back rather than working together towards a united goal.

I’m writing (of course) about the ongoing drama of Brexit, which is now beginning to resemble one of the more far fetched plot lines from an episode of Eastenders. People keep talking about a divided country but I think we can all agree on one thing: we’re governed by a group of grown up toddlers. What a wonderful mess we’re in.

So this week’s news should be a bit of light relief. There won’t be a newsletter next week because I’ll be at Centreparcs standing in a swimming pool surrounded by screaming children. Woo!


Time is of the essence

The early-bird discount for our fantastic Social Replication and Scaling course expires soon (31st Jan) so don’t hang about if you’d like to book a place. Obviously I’m going to tell you that it’s a brilliant course and you should definitely come along, but it is a brilliant course and you should definitely come along. I will personally refund you* if you book a place and leave disappointed. (*By telling our finance department to issue a refund. I won’t actually pay for it myself).

You can see a course schedule and book your place here.

It could be you

The first ever Be The Change awards are open for nominations until 31st January. The awards will recognise independent, ethical & sustainable brands  having a positive impact on communities, people and the planet. There are thirteen categories to take part in and the awards will be presented at Ethical Brands For Fashion Revolution event in London. It’s free to enter.

Enter here

Every day is a learning day

We don’t just sit here all week at SSE writing newsletters you know. Well, I do, but a few of the people in the office do occasionally break out of having meetings and do some work. For example, we’ve added a whole host of new articles to the resources section of our website. The new additions include pieces on starting a social enterprise in ten steps, accounting, finding a mentor and developing a brand.

Gain important knowledge here


Bethnal Green Ventures have opened applications to their Tech for Good accelerator programme. This year the programme is focused on a number of themes: health, sustainability, education, civic engagement, tech to support young people, and workertech. If you have an innovative idea that uses technology to address challenges in one of those impact areas they want to hear from you. Applications are open until 18th February and if you’re successful you’ll get a whole load of support from them.

Apply here

Policy announcement

Attendees at SEUK’s The Future of Business Summit got a rare treat this week; an actual coherent policy announcement from the Labour party. MP Rebecca Long Bailey revealed that “Social enterprises will be “at the heart” of Labour’s economic policy”. I wasn’t there so can’t confirm that her next words were “but our first priority is obtaining a general election and then of course all other options will remain on the table”.

Read more here

Everyone likes drinks and canapes

Resurgo Ventures are launching their second social impact accelerator, a 12 week programme offering bespoke training, mentorship and a free space to work from. To celebrate the launch they are hosting an event a 1 Broadgate Circle near Liverpool Street between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on 5th February. Drinks and canapes will be provided, which sounds an excellent idea.

Book a free place here

Time to be social

Miss Macaroon are running Social Enterprise Tuesday every week, giving aspiring entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs the chance to ask questions about Miss Macaroon do, how they manage and it can relate it to any challenges they are facing. Questions can be asked through direct messaging on Twitter @iammissmacaroon, emailing [email protected] or ask by using the hashtag #SocEntQandA. They will respond to questions every with a video every Tuesday on their Twitter page.

Quick question

Here’s a question you don’t get asked very often: would you like to mentor a Haringey early stage social entrepreneur?

We’re looking for mentors for pre-start social entrepreneurs in Haringey London, for our Future Communities programme supported by Linklaters. Students on the programme are Haringey residents who are looking to create new social enterprises in their community. We’re ideally looking for fellows of SSE and social entrepreneurs who are able to offer 3 mentoring sessions between March and May 2019. There will be an information session and training on 4 March in London.

If you’re interested, please contact [email protected] to express an interest and for further details.

Tramping on

The Trampery are recruiting for the Spring cohort of Trampery Pathways, a three month support programme for creative entrepreneurs. Based in London’s Old Street, the programme is a curated mix of Peer Challenge Groups, workshops on business planning, motivations, pitching and wellbeing, and access to expert support from programme partners. It’s free to take part, but you must be based within, have an operational address (such as a co-working space), or contribute to the economy of Greater London to be eligible.

Apply by 14th February here

Money don’t make the world go round

But it certainly makes things easier. Registered charities or CIOs can apply to Lloyds Bank Foundation for a grant of a minimum of £30,000 to a maximum of £100,000, delivered across three years. You can apply for either a core costs grant or a project costs grant, you just need to make sure that you apply by 8th February.

Which you can do here

Au revoir, Bethan

A few jobs if, like our communications assistant Bethan (who leaves SSE today), you decide it’s time to move on to pastures new:

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford is hiring a new Programme Manager for Social Ventures (£32,236 – £39,609) to support the development and accelerate the impact of entrepreneurial ventures with a social and environmental purpose in Oxford. Apply here by 4th February and if you get the job I highly recommend The Punter pub on Osney Island for a post work drink.

SSE Fellow Nicky Forsythe is looking for an Operations Executive (£24k) for her organisation Talk for Health, a small, fast-paced, innovative mental health social enterprise based in London. The successful applicant will play a key role in supporting the CEO and Operations Manager in running services and the organisation. Find out more and apply here.

SSE Fellow Jem Stein is looking for an Operations Manager (£26k) to to set up, establish and manage service delivery for The Bike Project in the West Midlands. The Bike Project collect donations of second-hand bikes, fix them together at their workshop, and then donate them to asylum seeking refugees. Apply by 4th February here.

Read all about it

A nice bit of coverage for SSE Fellow Ali Millican and her social enterprise Nurture Parents, which aims to empower and enable all parents to develop their resources and confidence to fully embrace and enjoy parenthood.

Read the article here

In da club

Social entrepreneurs in Sussex should take a look at The Good Business Club, a new membership network for social enterprises in the region. It hopes to continue some of the work that was carried out by The Platform, which sadly closed last year.

Find out more here

Let’s do lunch

Finally, congratulations to SSE Fellow Caroline Morgan and her social enterprise Local Food Links, named a South West Area Finalist in the Federation for Small Businesses’ Scale Up Awards. Local Food Links is an independent caterer and a not-for-profit social enterprise that supplies 3,700 meals a day to 50 schools in Dorset, Somerset and Devon – they predict that they’ll serve a staggering 1,534,000 meals in the 2018-19 academic year!

Find out more on their website

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