Losing the plot: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Don’t worry, this edition contains no spoilers for Game of Thrones, Line of Duty or the new Avengers film. You have to tell people that these days, watching things has become a serious business and people seem to get very upset about it. I’ve only ever seen three episodes of Game of Thrones, none of the Marvel films and none of the current series of Line of Duty so you’re safe here. Just don’t talk to me if you want to avoid finding out what happens in Peppa Pig or Ben and Holly.

I did recently have some time off with flu, however, and ended up re-watching The Thick of it in bed. For those who haven’t seen it, the main protagonist is a chap called Malcolm Tucker, a tallish, slightly greying Scotsman in his 50s who swears a lot. For some reason watching it gave me a strange sense of being back in the office, although I can’t quite put my finger on why. It certainly didn’t hasten my recovery.

Enjoy the long weekend, here’s a whole load of excellent social enterprise news to ease you into it…


By the power of greyskull…the community business fund

Power to Change have opened applications to The Community Business Fund, ‘designed to support existing community businesses with grants to help them progress towards self-sufficiency’. They aren’t messing about either; grants of £50,000 – £300,000 are available, as long as you can demonstrate how the funding will
help you to increase your trading income, secure an asset or significantly reduce your costs.

Apply by midday on 22nd May

This is the one

In the week of the 30th anniversary of the Stone Roses’ debut album it would make sense to have some news from Manchester. Fortunately, Flourish CIC have a whole load of events coming up over the next few weeks for me to shout about including a Social Enterprise Discovery Day and Getting Ready to Grow, a day focusing on social investment.

More details here

Summer school

Aged 18-24? Looking for a free six-day business course in Falmouth this summer? Then SSE Cornwall have just the thing: ‘Got an idea?’ is a free programme for anyone aged 18 to 24 who has an idea or a cause they are passionate about and who wants to explore how to bring that idea to life. The course kicks off on 5th June.

You can apply here

Making an impact

Inspiring Impact have recently launched a very snazzy looking new website promising free online resources, peer learning networks, and grant funding, so you can plan, understand, and improve your impact. I’ve had quick look through and there is loads of good stuff on the site.

Check it out

Child’s play

A nice piece of coverage for SSE Fellow (and previous social entrepreneur of the year finalist) Tracey Murdoch and her organisation Kidzeco, recent recipients of a £45,604 grant from the People’s Project which will allow them to fund a new early-years. community space. Based in West Lothian, Kidzeco support families who want to buy high quality preloved children’s clothes, toys and equipment at an affordable price.

Read more here

On the list

Also making the news (and also a former social entrepreneur of the year finalist) is SSE Fellow Katie Buckingham, who has been named a finalist in Birmingham Live’s 30 Under 30 campaign. Katie is the founder and director of Altruist Enterprises which provides resilience, stress management and mental health awareness training to organisations and schools nationally.

It’s been a busy few month’s for Katie – In partnership with Daden, the Institute of Employment Studies and the University of Worcester, Alturist have been awarded funding by the MOD to develop a life coaching application for military personnel via a chatbot.

Keep the peace

SSE Fellow Whitney Iles is running a number of workshops in London to help participants understand violence and the impact on those affected by it, with the aim being to create more peaceful communities. They are particularly relevant for those working within organisations that have a youth focus. The first workshop is on 14th May and covers the causes of inner-city adolescent violence.

Find out more 

Cash converter

As reported on the excellent Civil Society News website, our friends at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales has opened applications to it’s ‘Enable’ grants programme. Registered charities with income between £25,000 and £1 million who work to support people aged 17+ who are facing one or more of our specified complex social problems are invited to apply for grants of up to £15,000.

Apply here

Weekend reading

‘Let’s make this a better society’ is the rather sensible suggestion from Charlotte Young, a founding member, current trustee and former chair of SSE. Writing in a personal capacity Charlotte has written an excellent paper outlining how the ‘Trust Society’ can unite to create a movement to improve conditions for those facing the most challenges. It’s a particularly well-timed paper given news earlier this week that ‘inequality in Britain is now entrenched from birth to work‘.

Read Charlotte’s paper here 

Help, we need somebody (you).

Over the past ten weeks we’ve been supporting fourteen budding social entrepreneurs in Haringey, north London. Next Thursday we’d like you to invite you to share your own expertise with them as we host the Future Communities Programme: Haringey – Vision Pitch Night. It’s a one-off event giving you the chance to come and help us give these individuals the opportunity to create a lasting impact. The event runs from 5.45pm – 8.45pm at Linklaters, just round the corner from The Barbican.

Find out more

Celebrate good times

Our school in India recently partnered with the Usha Silai School for the inaugural Michael Young Memorial Lecture, celebrating the 20th anniversary of SSE, the  3rd Anniversary of SSE India & the Graduation Ceremony of the Social Start-Up Fellowship Programme 2018. Keynote speaker was Baroness Glenys Thornton, a Labour and Co-operative member of the House of Lords and a long time advocate for the social enterprise sector. It sounds as if it was a really successful event.

You can read more and see some pictures here

Nudge nudge wink wink

I can’t give away too much here but a food-poverty and food waste enterprise based in west Devon / Cornwall and founded by an SSE Fellow are looking for a a self-starter to step in due to the current Director’s change in personal circumstances. The enterprise has been running a few years and offers a chance for the right person / team to run their own catering business with a social twist. The ideal person would have a background in catering / food and be based in the south west. If you’d like any further info contact Leila Sharland ([email protected]) and she can give you the details…

On the company dime

A long time ago I used to work in recruitment and it was a well observed trend that applications for jobs fell off a cliff over weekends and bank holidays. It makes sense really, why waste your own time applying for a new job when you can do it during the working week?

I know that readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You are (mostly) more conscientious than that, however, so here are some jobs to apply for over the weekend:

  • SSE Fellow Amma Mensah has two vacancies at her London based social enterprise Beyond The Classroom, which delivers innovative life-skills programmes to young people. Amma is looking for an Education Officer and a Partnerships and Business Development Manager – details here.
  • Also in London, also with two vacancies and also an SSE Fellow, Eve Wagg is looking for a Partnerships and Marketing Manager and a Progressions Administrator for her social enterprise Well Grounded, a specialist coffee training academy. More here.
  • In Plymouth, SSE student Matthew Pontin is looking for a non-exec director to join the board of Fotonow,  a creative and forward-thinking media social enterprise specialising in community-focussed photography, film and education projects. Find out more.
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