It goes on and on and on: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Last week’s newsletter was a bit of a grind to write if I’m honest, there wasn’t a huge amount going. Although that’s probably not surprising for the first week after Christmas, it didn’t really count as a work week did it? This week’s is slightly different, I’m almost drowning in good stuff to share with you. I’ve mentioned before that someone once unsubscribed from receiving this newsletter because it contained ‘too much news’; I think this edition would have pushed them further over the edge.

Keep sending things my way and I’ll do my best to include it in a future edition.

Have a good weekend – I’ll be at Wembley watching Spurs smash Man United.


Hello Fellows

SSE Fellows – you should have received an email yesterday inviting you to the first event in the SSE Fellowship Series, a brand new programme of events for SSE Fellows. However, the list of emails I used may well have been a bit out of date (it started at 1997…). If you didn’t get an invitation reply to this email and let me know and I’ll forward an invite on.

If you did receive the email – don’t hang around too long if you want to come along because tickets are going pretty quickly.

Bank job

Santander Foundation are accepting applications to their Discovery Grants, offering up to £5000 to UK registered charities, Community Interest Companies and credit unions with at least one year’s accounts. It’s a slightly unorthodox application process, you need to fill in a form in at a branch of Santander and then put it in a special post box in the branch. I guess it makes a nice change from filling in a form online.

Find out more here

They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our grants

If I was Scottish (I’m not, despite the surname) I would find it slightly irritating that so many pots of money are available to organisations based in England only. So I’d be delighted to hear about Firstport’s Build It awards, only available to social entrepreneurs north of Hadrian’s Wall. It looks great; if your organisation is less than two year’s old you can apply can apply for up to £20,000 to fund your own salary so that you can concentrate on your enterprise full time. The first deadline this year is 21st March.

Find out more here

Let’s all have a cèilidh

It’s a veritable feast of Caledonian news this week. SSE Fellow Lynne McNicol is celebrating the first birthday of her organisation Re:Craft Glasgow this weekend and is hosting a party to celebrate. Re:Craft is an arts and crafts materials reuse and recycling shop – they’ll be offering 10% off all stock and having a few glasses of bubbly too. Make your way to Argyle Street tomorrow if you’d like to go along.

Details here

Diverse ambitions

Social Investment Business have just launched Diverse Ambitions, a programme of support and fund referral scheme for BAME charities and social enterprises in the Greater London area. Consultancy support, an interactive workshop and an organisation ‘health-check’ are some of the business boosts on offer for 20 successful applicants.

You can find out more here

Be the change

That’s the SSE wifi password, if you’re ever in the building. Anyway, this was in last week but if you’re anything like me last week was very much a readjustment period after Christmas and you weren’t really paying attention. We’ve opened applications to the Community Business Trade Up Programme, a support support programme for community businesses and other community-focused social ventures delivered in partnership with Power to Change. We’re looking for 80 organisations across England to take part.

Apply here

BaSE in the place London

It’s a good week if you like support programmes. Law firm Hogan Lovells have opened applications to HL BaSE Training, an opportunity for social enterprises to workshop a key legal issue that they are facing with a team of Hogan Lovells’ trainees and junior lawyers. The workshop takes place in London on 27th March, and you need to submit an application form.

Which you can do here

More support than you can shake a stick at

Guess what, here’s details of another support programme. Unltd have opened applications for the next cohort of their Thrive Access to Employment accelerator programme. It’s aimed at social ventures using business solutions to offer the most innovative ideas to improve access to employment for people distant from the labour market anywhere in the UK. Each successful social venture will receive six months of intensive 1:1 bespoke business support alongside additional pro-bono support from a number of partners.

Expressions of interest need to be in by 14th Feb

Food, glorious food

Last but not least in the support programme section of the newsletter, Impact Hub Kings Cross have  opened applications to Feeding in the City 2019, a free 12-month nationwide incubation programme open to groups passionate about creating sustainable food-related businesses that benefit communities.

They are also running ideation workshops across the UK for those who want to start something but who may need help with their ideas

Deadline to apply is 27th January, which you can do here.

Cooking up a storm

Sticking with the food theme, this month SSE Fellow Amy Win is running a series of events in Manchester for aspiring food entrepreneurs. Local food business owners will be sharing their ‘Recipe for Success’ (nicely done) and share their experiences of starting a food business in the city. It looks an interesting programme.

Find out more and book tickets here

Country Life

Grants of up to £50,000 are available from The Prince’s Countryside Fund for projects affecting areas of greatest need in rural England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The grants are open to charities, social enterprises and CICs and applications close on the 21st February at 4pm.

More details here

Looking for a new job? Work for an SSE Fellow:

Lucy Ferguson is looking for an office manager for her social enterprise Mediorite, a film agency selling film and photography services and delivering free training and work experience to young Londoners. The job pays £25k – 28k full time and the deadline is 8th Feb. Details here.

The best things in life are free

I can’t remember how I stumbled across this but an organisation called In Kind Direct are offering a whole load of surplus products to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations. There is a real cornucopia of stuff available, from over-stocked toiletries to last season’s fashions to branded cleaning products from an expired campaign to unbranded toys. I might put in for the 500 pack of Star Wars biros.

Check it out 

Over and out

Finally, do you want 100+ links to free charity grant funding finders, pro bono and goods & services?

Here you go

What’s on at SSE:


1/52: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Happy new year to you! Isn’t 2019 shaping up to be a cracker? We’re only four days in and already we’ve had people being angry about vegan sausage rolls that no-one is forcing them to eat, shipping companies with no ships being lined up to save us from armageddon and a 3.1% increase in rail fares to make it even more expensive to go to work. Where your boss could well have earned more this week than you will do in a year. Woohoo!

Fortunately the world of social enterprise is a far more refined and positive environment so this newsletter should provide a more optimistic view of the world. For those of you who have recently subscribed, feel free to send any news my way for inclusion and I’ll do my best to include it in a future edition. Any news from outside of London is most welcome (and indeed encouraged).

Enjoy this week’s news…



If a three day week is too much for you and you are already exhausted and thinking about booking a holiday (you are, aren’t you?) or if you simply want to look at some pictures of places that aren’t work (who wouldn’t?) then take a look at Bouteco. The site lists hotels that are ‘defined by their responsible practices and positive contributions to the planet’. They certainly look better than Travelodge. (Worth noting at his point: you can take eight days of annual leave this year at Easter for sixteen consecutive days off work).

Check them out here

Ready, steady, oh?

A good piece by David Floyd looking at the huge challenges faced by social enterprises  that want to scale. It’s a provocative post and the outlook isn’t wholly positive: ‘based on the current funding and investment landscape, scaling up a consumer-focused and/or product-based social enterprise is virtually impossible’. There’s already an interesting discussion forming in the comments below the post.

Read the blog here

It’s good to talk

Our friends at Good Finance are running two ‘Let’s Talk Good Finance’ events this month, one in Braintree on 17th January and one in Wolverhampton on 29th January. The events bring together charities, social enterprises and organisations with social investors to network, share information and discuss the latest issues relating to repayable finance. It’s free to attend.

Register for a place here

On repeat

I included this at the end of last year but I’m including it again because who was paying attention to anything during December?

The Fore Trust have opened applications to their grants programme to support funding and strategic support to early-stage charities and social enterprises. Development funding of up to £30,000 is available to charities, social enterprises and community interest companies with a turnover of less than £500,000 per year. The deadline for applications is 7th January.

More details here

The SSE website…is fake news?

Despite what it may say on our website, we’ve still got a few places left on the environment and conservation stream of our Scale+Accelerate programme. You’ll benefit from 10 days of learning at no cost to you, spread between February and September 2019, focused on helping you scale your organisation. Take a look at the course information here and email if you’d like any further details.

Pay to play

I’m always slightly suspicious of awards that you have to pay to enter (particularly when they come with a workshop that you can pay for before entering) but the 2019 Global Good Awards are now open for entries if that sort of thing takes your fancy.

You can enter here

Blast from the past

A long long time ago (like two years or something) SSE had an employee named Leonie. You may remember her from featuring in this newslettter when it was revealed she used to go to school on a Shetland Pony.

Anyhow, she’s now working for a tech start up called CoGo connecting ethical consumers with brands that hold their value. They are looking for social enterprises to sign up to the platform and help find you to customers. At the moment they are based in London only but hope to roll out nationally through 2019.

Sign up your enterprise here

Trade up, up and away

A reminder that we’re currently accepting applications to the Community Business Trade Up programme, a fully funded programme is for community businesses who want to grow by increasing their sales. If you plan to grow your organisation’s plans trading by at least £10,000 in the next year then be sure to apply by February 14th.

Apply here

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

I’d always thought that was the introduction to Jackanory but I’ve just Googled it and it turns out it’s from a radio show called Listen With Mother. I really do learn something new at work every day.

If you would like to learn how storytelling can be used within your organisation’s marketing and communication then ‘Good Stories’ in London on February 26th could be worth checking out. It’s a ‘one-day event to arm you with practical tools and tips, targeted specifically at social enterprises’ and features SSE’s head of comms Sophie Hobson as a speaker.

Buy a ticket here

Celebrate good times

SSE Fellow Lisa Stepanovic is hosting an evening celebrating the achievements of the young people that have been supported by her organisation Social Ark. Taking place in Canary Wharf on January 30th between 6pm and 8pm the event promises to be a lively night full of short performances and inspirational words.

It”s free to attend and you can book a spot here 

Now everyone’s favourite section: procurement news

New research by Tusell on behalf of Social Enterprise UK has found that of the 10% of government contracts listed as suitable for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations only 11% of these were actually one by VSCE organisations. Of these, only 1% were picked up by CICs. As SEUK’s Charlie Wigglesworth says, “More needs to be done by the government to signal to procurement teams that social enterprises should be taken seriously when they are bidding for contracts”.

Or perhaps someone just needs to set up a community interest shipping company. The fewer boats involved the better.

Read more here

New year, new you?

Finally, SSE Fellow Anne-Marie Douglas is recruiting for a Youth Engagement & Coproduction Manager for her organisation Peer Power Youth. Based in London, Peer Power Youth support the most vulnerable children and young people in society; those impacted by adverse childhood experiences, including abuse, trauma, rejection and loss, those most excluded and not heard in society, and often with experience of social care and youth justice agencies.

The job pays £29,177 – £36, 644 and the deadline to apply is January 21st.

Apply here

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What’s on at SSE:


Twas the night before the night before the night before the night before Christmas: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Hello…is there anyone out there? Well done if you’ve actually gone into work and you’re reading this at your desk. I know you’re going to spend the day doing some last minute online shopping and doing Buzzfeed quizzes but at least you’re there. If, on the other hand, you’re one of those people who has suddenly started ‘working’ from home a lot more in the run up to Christmas don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to. Good episode of Frasier this morning?

This will be the final Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You of 2018. I was ill last Friday so it’s actually a double edition – good news if you are sat in the office counting down the minutes and need something to take up a bit of time. (Once you’ve finished reading this, you might like to take a look over here. Should see you through until 5.).

For now, however, all that remains to be said is have a fantastic Christmas and New Year. Thank you all for reading / complaining / contributing to this newsletter over the past twelve months and I’ll see you again in 2019.

Enjoy the holidays!


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Outbid: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

This week I have mostly been bid writing. I have never done bid writing before and I’m fairly sure that I never want to do bid writing again. One thing I’ve learned – our fundraising team aren’t paid enough. They should be on at least three times the amount that we currently pay them because my word putting in funding applications is tedious. Students at SSE often complain about bid writing and until now my first thought has always been ‘how bad can it be?’ – now I understand.

It’s all meant that I’m miles behind with my emails so if you have sent something over to be included and it isn’t here it will be next week.

Enjoy the news…


That’s life

She’ll be embarrassed that I’ve included this as the first item in the news but our head of communications Sophie has been confessing to her love of Esther Rantzen in ‘The Female Focus’, an interview with CLO PR.

You can read it here

You’ve read all about her, now see her in action

Sophie will be hosting the final webinar in our three part webinar series with RSA next Friday (14th) at 12pm. ‘Communicating your vision to achieve your ambitions’ will guide participants on to identifying target audiences and deepening understanding of how to reach them through the tools of communications and social media.

It’s free to take part and you can sign up here

It’s a deal, it’s a steal…

We’ve got 15 heavily discounted tickets available to readers of HIGSENFY (or their team) to learn digital marketing with Alasdair Inglis of Grow (who runs fast-paced and well-received workshops at SSE London). We are excited to offer a half-day digital marketing masterclass for only £28 instead on £98 (I’ve been on the course myself and thoroughly recommend it.)

All attendees get a detailed 25-page workbook and all the workshop slides. You will leave the workshop with a step-by-step online marketing action plan. There are dates in London throughout 2019.

Use the code SSE28 when you make your booking to get a discounted ticket.

Click here to find out more and book

One, two, three, fore

The Fore Trust have opened applications to their grants programme to support funding and strategic support to early-stage charities and social enterprises. Development funding of up to £30,000 is available to charities, social enterprises and community interest companies with a turnover of less than £500,000 per year. The deadline for applications is 7th January.

More details here

Legal Eagles

Not for profit law firm and social finance consultancy Prime Advocates are running a programme called Social Finance Hot Desk, providing pro bono legal support and advice on non-time sensitive issues from top law firms to qualifying social enterprises. Examples of the support undertaken include:

  • Corporate: updating constitutional documentation, corporate deal documents e.g. articles or mission objects
  • Commercial contracts: supplier terms, legal research memos e.g. crowd funding methods
  • Structuring: Selecting the right legal entity for your social enterprise.
  • Staffing: template employment and volunteer agreements
  • Advocacy: Research on laws in multiple countries, comparing best (and worst) practices
  • Funding: Finance or investment agreements and consulting support (cost benefit analysis)

It’s a free service for social enterprises – if you’d like to know more of have an issue that you need help with contact Scott Cummings –

Membership is where the heart is

Social Enterprise UK, our neighbours in The Firestation, are recruiting for a Head of Membership. The role ‘would be the main face of membership across the organisation. It is a key role in ensuring that, internally, all SEUK staff continue to keep “membership at the heart of everything we do”. Externally, it is about ensuring membership satisfaction by improving retention rates, being responsible for initiatives to improve and enhance the member experience as well as meeting our ambitious new member targets.’

If that sounds like the right job for you, apply here. Closing date is 6th January.

Shop to it

Your Own Place, a Norfolk-based social enterprise founded by SSE Fellow Rebecca White that prevents youth homelessness, has launched a new totally transparent giving Christmas campaign. It’s a clever idea; young people in transition create a profile and an Argos wish-list on Your Own Network and then donors can buy items that get shipped directly to a young person who is making a house a home this Christmas.

You can donate here

Read all about it

A nice bit of media coverage for SSE Fellow Josh Babarinde in the Evening Standard this week. His organisation Cracked It! is a social enterprise smartphone repair service staffed by young ex-offenders and youth at risk.

You can read the Standard article here

You too?

SSE Fellow Suzi Godson’s social enterprise MeeTwo has just published the amazing MeeTwo Teenage Mental Help Handbook. It combines young people’s personal mental health stories with an unbelievably extensive directory listing the best support groups, helplines, websites, apps, books, media and self-help activities for the 20 leading issues that come up on the MeeTwo app. The book also includes interviews with leading experts such as Sir Simon Wessely, Sarah Jayne Blakemore, Sir Richard Layard and Sir Anthony Seldon.

For a limited period MeeTwo will send one free copy to a nominated UK school for every copy purchased.

You can buy one here

Last but not least

Finally, SSE Fellow Jay Stewart has a couple of vacancies at his organisation Gendered Intelligence, a CIC which aims to increase understandings of gender diversity and to improve the lives of trans people. Based in London, they are looking for both a full time administrator and a Trans Youth Work: Colours Youth Group Lead.

Details for both roles are available on their website

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What’s on at SSE:

Alright treacle? Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

“Hello gorgeous, how you doing?” Not my words, reader, but the words of my two year old son when I returned from work the other evening. I was more than a little surprised, as a) he’s only two b) neither his mother or I greet people like that and c) I don’t think that he drives a van with a copy of The Sun perched on the dashboard (refer to point a). I’m looking forward to seeing how his language evolves – maybe in eighteen months or so he’ll have gone full Danny Dyer. I’m half tempted to encourage it further just to mix things up around the Christmas table with the rest of my family.

Anyhow, there’s nothing more boring than people banging on about what their children have been doing so with that in mind, let’s crack on with the wooden pews (news)…


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