Bugged out: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I’ve been afflicted this week by a stomach bug. Trying to think of a cause for the problem I have arrived at the conclusion that my seventeen month son is some sort of biological warhead, sent here to destroy me. He goes to nursery, picks up the latest illness doing the rounds and then brings it home and transmits it to me. I seem to have the immune system of a toddler – either that or poor hygiene. My wife gets off scot-free each time as well, which certainly points towards a wider conspiracy.

Don’t worry, though. I’ve been keeping an eye on everything that’s been going on across the social enterprise world from my sickbed. And what a bumper week it’s been.

Enjoy the news…


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Not pleasing all the people all the time: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Occasionally I’m asked to speak on one of the courses that we run at SSE. It’s quite an honour, when you think of the people who have previously spoken: Michael Young, Jon Snow, Alastair Wilson – all the greats. Anyway, what’s the main piece of advice I give people? Do your research and ask for customer feedback.

This changes now. It’s nonsense. Apologies if you’ve listened to me pronounce this ‘advice’ – you should get a refund. Why? In last week’s newsletter I asked for feedback on the new design, and now I’m a confused mess. “It looks much better without the numbers”, “I miss the numbers”, “Love the cartoon you”, “The cartoon makes me want to punch you in the face”. So my new advice: don’t do feedback, don’t listen to anyone, and most importantly of all, don’t have a punchable face.

Enjoy this week’s news…


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Oooh look, it’s a snazzy looking Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I was lucky enough to get some email design tips recently from the good people of Really Good Emails so it gives me great pleasure to unveil a slightly refreshed look for HIGSENFY. What do you think? Hit reply and let me know – all feedback welcome! (If you’re reading this on the blog you won’t know what I’m talking about – subscribe to the email here). Don’t worry, the content will stay the same; the best social enterprise links each week and the worst jokes and irrelevant babble. But now you get a cartoon version of me to go with it (all about making it more personal or something…)

Enjoy the news


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Time zoned out: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Greetings reader. A much later than usual edition than usual but I’m still operating on American time.  (I certainly wish I was when I woke up for work at the equivalent of 2 am this morning). ‘Waa waa waa Dave, first world problems, stop whining and be thankful that you’ve just had ten days on holiday’.  Good point, well made. But please excuse any glaring errors this week, I’m jet-lagged and need matches to keep my eyes open.

You’ve been a busy lot while I’ve been away – enjoy this week’s news.


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Featuring solid gold career advice: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Yesterday was A-level results day, a day which gives middle-aged people a fantastic opportunity to patronise the youth. “I only got a C in Geography and an E in General Studies, but now I run an international art dealership, live in a mansion in Notting Hill and holiday in the Maldives” – that sort of thing. You never hear from someone who failed all their A-levels and now works in a dead end job that they hate do you? Funny that.

Anyway, my top piece of advice for anyone reading this who messed up their exams: just make the results up. 99.99% of employers will never check. 4 A’s at A-level and a double first from Balliol College Oxford? Go for it. Come and work at SSE (details below) – they didn’t even take references when I started. I think they’ve tightened up since that mistake though.

Enough prattle for now. I’m not sure if there will be an edition next week, I’m off to the 1930s America on holiday for a couple of weeks.

Enjoy the news…


Earlier this week I sent an email about our Negotiating Difficult Conversations course which contained a deliberate mistake to test whether you were paying attention or not (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). The course takes place on 18th September, not 14th September. Well done to Steve at Community Southwark who was the only person to notice! Glad that at least one person reads this…

Funding news: People’s Postcode Lottery have three funding pots with a value of £4 million for for projects tacking poverty or supporting human rights, wildlife or recreation.

Meanwhile, the Kusuma Trust are offering grants of up to £10,000 for charities that enable disadvantaged young people to have more opportunities in education or employment.

Right then, those job opportunities at SSE. We’re after a Learning Facilitator in Liverpool and two Development Managers and a Strategic Project Manager in London. All the details here. You should work at SSE because *consults notes to see what they want me to say* it’s a fantastic opportunity to work for the finest, most enlightened and best looking management team in the third sector. OK. We also have drinks at 4pm on a Friday if you want a proper reason.

Some SSE Fellows are recruiting too: Peer Power, a social enterprise set up by SSE Fellow Anne-Marie Douglas, are looking for a part-time Office Manager, a part-time Youth Engagement Officer and three Peer Leaders. All the roles are based in London. Peer Power support the most vulnerable children and young people in society.

In Birmingham, SSE Fellow Martin Hogg is looking for full and part time qualified CBT counsellors to join his organisation Citizen Coaching. Citizen Coaching is an established social enterprise with 12 years’ experience of delivering high quality counselling and personal development services to adults and young people.

Also recruiting are the Breadwinners Foundation with a very interesting vacancy: they want a social entrepreneur with a passion for start ups, artisan bread and supporting refugees in London, to run the charity and take it to the next level. Read more here, or for an informal chat about the role, email marika@breadwinners.org.uk.

Here’s something a little different. Alessandra Incerti and Francesco Zaccaria have set up ABCity.org and plan to travel from London to Yangon in Myamaar visiting social enterprises across Asia along the way. They would love to hear from potential partners (financial, technical, media partners) and for mentors (people experts in design and/or social impact who would be keen to support social enterprises in Asia). Check out their website and details of the journey and contact Alessandra (af@abcity.org) if you’d like to know more or if you can help out.

A rare opportunity for good value office space in central London: SSE Fellow James Adeleke has desks available in Convent Garden for £99 including wifi and coffee. I’ve seen pictures of the space and it looks lovely!

SSE Dartington are running a three day intensive for start up social entrepreneurs in Bristol and Plymouth this September. It’s open to anyone with a social enterprise idea and will cover topics such as business planning, identifying your customers and measuring your social impact. The programme is part funded by the ERDF.

Question: How many ways are there to improve the Social Value Act?

Answer: Seven.

Access’ Ed Anderton is currently doing a secondment with London First and doing some work around autonomous vehicles (ones without a driver) and is looking to conduct some focus groups on the issue. Ideal participants could be part of a community group with particular transport needs e.g. wheelchair users, or parents of children with reduced mobility but, more broadly, the brief is to test out people’s attitudes to/understanding of autonomous vehicles, and explore the implications of the technology on their immediate environment. If you’d like to take part in the research contact ed.anderton@access-si.org.uk.

SSE Fellow and founder of Out of the Box Caroline Stevens is currently taking part in the Big Christmas Challenge and needs your support! OOTBox is an up-cycling project working with vulnerable women to increase skills and employability and need to raise funds to refit their workshop in Blackbird Leys, Oxford. Further details here. (If you’re feeling particularly generous, they are looking for people who will pledge a minimum of £100 to act as match funding…)

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