OhNoBoJo: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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My friends, Boris Johnson here. You will have observed that I have been appointed to the grandest of parliamentary departments, The Foreign Office, a wondrous honour for a lowly Old Etonian like I. Echoing the peregrinations of Phileas Fogg and Passepartout, I shall soon be depart across the seven seas furthering the interests of Britannia. My first task is of course to promote to our friends across the globe the greatest of British exports, social enterprise. I outline below some of the dazzling examples that we have to offer.

Bona fide

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (via @davemcglashan)

Righto, let’s begin with news of the 2017 Clore Social Leadership Programme, a spiffing 12 month programme for emerging leaders who have an appetite to lead and make social change happen. If only I had attended before putting in my bid for my old chum Dave’s job.


Northwards now to the Steel City and news that the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network have launched a spanking new grant programme, with grants of £1k, £5k and £10k available (enough to pay for two of my Daily Telegraph columns!). They’ll be celebrating at their free summer party on Thursday 21st July. Should be jolly.


Let us rest a while longer amongst the purple heather and rolling moors of Yorkshire where The Kiveton Park & Wales Community Development Trust seek a Chief Executive. The job based in the fine town of Rotherham.


Innovative, Impactful, Financially Sustainable, Scalable, Compelling and Compatible. Not words used to describe my plans for Brexit but words that form the criteria for the 2016 UBS Social Innovators program. On offer is $40,000 (enough to pay for six Daily Telegraph columns!) and twelve months of support from UBS and Ashoka.


Boris Bikes. Boris Buses. Boris Island. All parts of Brand Boris my friends and a glorious example of the extraordinary powers of marketing. I urge you, therefore, to bury yourself in this free marketing guide from social enterprise Community Catalysts before going forth heroically, tweeting and sharing and liking and posting.


Fellow students of philosophy will no doubt recognise Henri Bergon’s quote ‘Homo sapiens, the only creature endowed with reason, is also the only creature to pin its existence on things unreasonable.’ And pin our existence we must, which is why I lend my support to the The Unreasonables, a start-up delivering leadership development programmes and consultancy in schools. They are now looking for young entrepreneurs (18-25) to inspire young people as guest speakers in schools. You can find more here.


I love renewable energy with a passion. One of my great hopes is that one day the great minds of these fine shores will harness the hot air I waffle and transmute it into electricity. I will become a living, breathing alternative to Dungeness. Until then, however, SSE Fellow Andy Heald will be showcasing three different low carbon technologies – solar PV, wind & hydro at his community energy investor pitch event in London on Thursday 28th July. The event features founder of Solar Aid and Chair of Carbon Tracker Jeremy Leggett.


Meet the 50 radical-thinking individuals and organisations changing the UK for the better” cry Nesta. A list that includes no politicians but does include SSE Fellows Abi Billinghurst, Cemal Ezel and Molly Mathieson.


Finally amigos I have you, the taxpayer, to thank for my upcoming global escapades. I can hear you gulp, but fear not: you can travel too. The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship will send people from all walks of life and every corner of the UK, on an overseas travel sabbatical.


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