Old but not yet obsolete: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

It was my birthday yesterday. If you think about it, birthdays are quite an odd thing to celebrate. If I’m perfectly honest, I didn’t really have a whole lot of input on the whole thing, my mother did the hard work. I have no memory of the occasion. I can remember my third birthday, however – I hid in a cupboard because I was scared of candles.

Still, it gives me a chance to do a ‘birthday party music special’. So for this one we’re going back 39 years (yeah, I know) to the 1981 singles chart. Turns out it was a pretty good year for music. I just wish a few more of the artists had thought a bit harder about how their song titles could be used almost four decades later…A song called ‘Social Investment (Share the Equity)’ would have made life far easier.

Have a good weekend



Just The Two Of Us, Grover Washington, Jr. & Bill Withers

If Withers and Washington aren’t for you, there is also this cover by Will Smith (but if you do prefer it, you’re wrong. And I say that as something of a Will Smith fan). It there were only two people in total, it would certainly make things quicker for the people running the UK Census, which is taking place next year. There is an interesting opportunity through Good Things Foundation for organisations that could deliver support to people wishing to complete the census online between March and May 2021 – you’d essentially get paid for everyone you helped.

You can find out more here

Absolute Beginners, The Jam

Absolute beginners, those with a little experience and those who just want a refresher are all invited to our Finding New Customers and Making More Sales workshop in London on Thursday 6th March. It’s a fab course – if sales is something you find challenging and you’d like some support it’s well worth coming along. Currently it’s a smallish group as well so there should be lots of opportunity to discuss your organisation.

Book a place here

Start Me Up, Rolling Stones

A song that would later be used by Microsoft to advertise Windows 95. Remember that? Windows 3.1 to Windows 95. Software upgrades were what used to pass as excitement back in 1995. Now, Microsoft are keeping excitement levels high with The Microsoft Global Social Entrepreneurship Program, which ‘supports social impact startups with technology, connections and grants so you can focus on bringing your big vision to life and making the world a better place’. Just as long as Clippy is nowhere near it, it should be good.

Details here

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da, The Police

De do do do, de da da da, here comes Lord Adebowale. Yeah I know it doesn’t scan properly but you try and find a song title from 1981 that pithily encapsulates the recently announced Adebowale Commission on Social Investment. The Commission will be investigating the current state of the social investment market and how social investment could better support the growth of social enterprises. They are now looking for social enterprises to get involved with the research.

Read more here

The Best of Times, Styx

I have not heard of Styx before. It turns out they broke up in 1985, when I was four. I was probably too busy watching Pigeon Street to be listening to a band ‘best known for melding hard rock guitar balanced with acoustic guitar, synthesizers mixed with acoustic piano, upbeat tracks with power ballads’.

I have heard of SSE Fellow Alex Winstanley and his social enterprise Happy Smiles, however. The organisation, which empowers young adults with disabilities to create positive social change, has recently been nominated for a National Diversity Award. Now Alex needs your support – if you’d like to vote for him to win you can do so at the link below.

This one


There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis, Kirsty McColl

Surely one of the great song titles of all time. If the chip shop happens to be a social enterprise (not as unlikely as you might think) based in London and if Elvis fancies some mentoring from property business Grovesnor, he should check out a new programme from SocialStarters. It’s free to take part, and the scheme runs over six months. If you would be interested in accompanying Elvis, identify two or three business challenges in different business areas (or in the same area if there is a larger challenge you are trying to solve) you would like to address and SocialStarters will match you with a mentor.

Apply here

I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Roger

This is an 11 minute cover of the Marvin Gaye song by funk musician Roger Troutman. It sounds very 80s and the keyboards are a bit like that episode of Friends when Ross is playing them.

But enough of that, because this week heard on the grapevine that SSE Fellow Katie Buckingham has a published a Guide to Developing a Workplace Mental Well-being Strategy’, a 24 page resource aimed at employers and Human Resources professionals who are looking to update their employee well-being approaches’.

It’s a very useful read

Every Woman in the World, Air Supply

It’s International Women’s Day on 8th March, and we want to showcase on social media the wonderful work our students and SSE fellows (of all genders) do to tackle gender inequality. Email [email protected] with:

  • a photo of yourself making the #EachforEqual sign with your arms (see examples here)
  • one sentence (less than a tweet’s length!) that explains how you’re forging a more gender-equal world
  • your social media handles
  • We’ll share through SSE’s channels

Job done.

Rock This Town, The Stray Cats

We’re not the only people who will be celebrating International Women’s Day. SSE student Nicole Robinson-Edwards, founder of Her Path to Purpose, will be touring schools in Birmingham to deliver assemblies and workshops with the aim of inspiring over 1000 young women. Nicole is now looking for speakers to take part – she has two SSE students already speaking but would love some more. Contact [email protected] if you’d be interested in hearing more.

I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World, Ronnie Milsap

That’s what you’ll be saying after TrustLaw’s annual Café Pro Bono workshop. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak directly with lawyers about their organisations’ legal needs and how pro bono support can help them achieve even greater impact. Taking place in London on April 1st, lawyers will be available to discuss a broad range of topics, from addressing common operational and governance questions and challenges relating to commercial contracts, employment law, intellectual property, tax and finance and charity compliance. All the good stuff.

Book a spot here

Hard Act to Follow, Split Enz

Birmingham based social enterprise development organisation iSE are looking for a new chief executive to replace outgoing boss Sarah Crawley. It sounds like big shoes to fill, based on the hard regard that Sarah in which is held.

If you are interested in applying for the role, you can find our more here. The deadline to apply is 22nd March.

Just Can’t Get Enough, Depeche Mode

I tell you what I can’t get enough of. Our head of comms Sophie’s new blog post examining how to balance purpose and profit as a social entrepreneur.

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