From a virtual field: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

After two weeks on holiday I’m back and I bring with me troubling news. I know, it’s the last thing you need at the moment but I feel that it’s too important not to share. According to this article in the Guardian, it’s possible that 2020 could mark the end of the song of the summer as we know it. Clubs aren’t open, Ibiza isn’t really happening and there of course are no music festivals taking place this year.

But never fear, Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You is here to fill the void, with the first ever SSE virtual festival. No need to camp, you can use your own shower and the toilets are clean (I mean I hope they are. You’re in your own house after all).

See you at the front…


Kicking us off on the main stage and hailing from the nation’s capital are London Community Response, a supergroup made up of some of the city’s favourite funders. They’ll be taking us through their latest release (of funding), which features top hits such as ‘organisations can apply for up to £50,000 for grants lasting for up to six months’ and fan favourite ‘applications will be considered in the order they are received but they expect to stop taking applications under this wave of funding by the end of July’. More details here.

You’ll have to be quick if you want to catch our next act, the catchily named ‘Covid-19 Community-Led Organisations Recovery Scheme’. They’ll be sharing details of grants up to £100,000 that are available to community organisations in England who are facing financial difficulties caused by Covid-19. The grants will only be open for applications three hours from 10am – 1pm on Tuesday 28th July. Make sure to put a bookmark here.

My colleague Francis is the unmissable headline act at the theatre stage. He’ll be pulling on his spandex and performing an avant garde dance interpretation* of his latest blog post ‘Social enterprises must be at the heart of economic recovery‘.

*warning – may contain nudity

Children are more than welcome at the festival and at 4pm today we’ll be linking up with the Big School Bell campaign, aimed at all school pupils missing out on their end-of-school traditions. Run by SSE Fellow Kim McCabe, all school children are invited to stand on their doorstep with uniform on, or with something else from school, to mark the end of the 2020 school journey with the last school bell of the year. Check out more details here. 

Kids will also want to investigate Home Debate Club, a weekly live online debate to help young people lead a debate in the home on a pandemic-related question. It helps children to boost wellbeing, connect safely with the crisis and build discussion skills. Think Joe Wicks but for democracy and debate and you’ll be on the right lines. It’s free to take part, best suited to 6-12 year olds and takes place every Wednesday between 10.30am – 11am right here.

It gives me enormous pleasure to announce that we’ll be welcoming husband and wife duo Julia and Hans Rausing to our festival. Julia and Hans hit the omega replica headlines earlier this month when they announced their £10 million Charity Survival Fund, which provides core funding to help small and medium sized charities to help overcome the impact of Covid-19. Be sure to give them a big SSE welcome (and apply to the fund, which offers grants of £5000 – £250,000, by 5pm on 27th July).

Brighton Yoga Foundation will be appearing in the Wellness Arena with their very own Online Festival. They’ll be hosting yoga, movement and talks over Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th. You can register now via their website and pay what you can afford for the workshops. All donations go to the foundation which provides free yoga to those who need it most such as women affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence. Sign up here.

Over in the cinema tent, we’ve got a brand new screening for you. Taking place on Tuesday 4th August at 1pm, ‘Social entrepreneurs parenting through the pandemic’ stars Fiona Small, mum of two, founder of Young Mums Support Network ; Carolyn Whitehead, mum of three, founder of Beautiful New Beginnings and Ian Blackwell, dad of two, founder of Dangerous Dads. They will share their highs and lows of lockdown, give practical advice and support on juggling parenting with running a social enterprise. Book your space here.

The virtual festival will feature lots of award winning talent. Who knows, you may even see SSE Fellows Josh Babarinde (Crackedit) or Angela McKay (Homebaked) who have both been announced as winners of the Cambridge Social Innovation Prize. They’ll receive £10,000, 10 days of business support from experts at Cambridge Judge Business School, and introductions into Cambridge entrepreneurial networks and the UK social sector – read more here.

Finally, if all of this has left you wanting more festival frolics then Power to Change are hosting the Community Business Festival on 13th and 14th August. It’s an online event jam-packed with behind-the-scenes tours, how-to workshops and a chance to hear from some of the inspirational people leading and working in community business. Everything you need to know is right here.

Motoring into the weekend: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Right, here we are then. Another Friday rolls around. It’s been a fairly quiet week for me – the main point of excitement was when I took my car to be serviced this morning. I only learned to drive last year and know absolutely nothing about cars so it was something of an alien experience for me. “Know where your locking nuts are?” asked the mechanic. This was the first time I’d ever heard the phrase locking nuts, so it sent me into something of a panic. “Got your service book?”  Possibly, was the answer to this one, because I’d certainly never taken it out of the car and I assume that’s where it would be. At least I didn’t crash on the way in, so that’s something.

I’ll provide an update to how many millions of pounds I get fleeced for (they could literally tell me anything), but I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a while as I’m on annual leave for a couple of weeks.

Enjoy the news and I’ll see you later in July.


‘As lockdown begins to ease and sections of the economy cautiously re-open, it’s time for funders to assess where their money can do most good’ writes my colleague Francis in a blog suggesting how funders can best support charities and social enterprises in the next phase of the crisis. You can read more here.


Have you checked out free webinar series, Recover & Rebuild? SSE is sharing expert knowledge and insight from across our network to help you to build back from this crisis. The next one is on social media marketing, on Tuesday 7th July at 1pm (UK time) – register now. We’ve also shared recordings of previous webinars on managing cashflow in a crisis, impact measurement, managing wellbeing & avoiding burnout, and running a crowdfunding campaign. You’ll hear from SSE fellows and friends who’ve been there and done that. Explore the series now.


Charities and social enterprises across Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire west of M6 can apply for emergency funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation, which will distribute up to £1m per week until the end of September. Applications are being assessed on an ongoing basis.


Congratulations are in order to SSE Fellow Bela Emerson, who was recently given a Brighton & Hove City Council Covid19 Community Champion award. Bela is also running ‘Community Music Practice: Working with People Living with Dementia’, an online music and dementia course through Goldsmiths University this September. It’s two online sessions and costs £50 to take part. You can find out more here.


Ebay are running a series of free online webinars for charities interested in selling via eBay or for those already selling that want to get advanced tips for how to improve their sales. There are multiple dates available throughout July. You can book a spot here.


We have a couple of job vacancies that we are currently recruiting for – a Director of Finance & Resources (£52,460 – £63,976) and a National Programme Officer (£32,542- £ 33,518, 6 month contract). Both roles can be based anywhere in the UK. Details here.


Crowdfunder have cut fees and made it 100% free for social enterprises looking to raise funds through crowdfunding during the current crisis. You can read all about it here and if you want support to get a crowdfunding campaign off the ground we’ve got an online workshop on July 22nd.


Lloyds Bank Foundation are looking for a partner organisation, consultant or consortium to support their work to provide more funding to BAME communities in England and Wales, starting to address some of the racial inequalities and disparities that exist in grantmaking. If you are interested, the deadline for submissions is before 5pm on Wednesday 8th July. Details here.


Finally, Eat Sleep Work Repeat have an interesting list of ‘the 12 questions every firm should be asking right now‘ with lots of links and articles for you to get stuck into.

Al fresco: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

In what is a first for this newsletter, it’s being written while I’m outside. I’ll be honest, it’s not quite as good as I imagined that it would be. I thought it would revolutionise my workday. I had visions of home made lemonade, a cool breeze and perhaps a friendly conversation with my neighbour.

The whole experience is actually extremely underwhelming. The glare from the sun makes it almost impossible to see what I’m writing on the screen, it’s far too hot and I’m being menaced by an overly aggressive bee. I’ve never made lemonade so I audemars piguet replica don’t know where that was magically going to appear from; I’d probably just end up getting stung by the bee when trying to drink it so it’s probably a good thing on balance.

Enjoy the news…


Aviva have reopened their Community Fund to include applications for projects that enable causes to adapt or continue their vital services by covering core running costs, so they can help their beneficiaries and communities during the current pandemic. Applications are open until 28th July. Details here.

The Do-Gooders have launched a campaign inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, with the aim to shed light on UK based, black-owned, and black-managed sustainable businesses. An online directory allows you to use your purchasing power to show your support to black-owned sustainable, local, and independent businesses. Get shopping here.

Our Digital Marketing and Press for Charities and Social Enterprises next week proved to be so popular that it’s now sold out (boooooooooo). But if you’ve missed out, never fear because we’ve scheduled in extra dates for July and September (yaaaaaaaaaay). You can book a place here.

We’re partnering with Lime Green Consulting for a briefing on fundraising during Covid-19 on 10th July. For this weekend only, readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You can book a discounted place for just £40. You need to book your place by Tuesday.

Spring Impact’s Scale Accelerator is now accepting applications from UK based charities and social enterprises that have been operating for more than two years that are now looking to scale their impact. On offer is £30,000 worth of consultancy support. Apply by 12th July.

June is Pride Month and my colleague Henna has been chatting to LGBTQ+ members of the SSE community about barriers they’ve faced in the social enterprise sector and beyond due to their gender identity and sexuality. You can read her findings here.

At some point (hopefully in the near future) we’ll be able to emerge from our cocoons and head back to the office. Ahead of this, PwC are running a free ‘Navigating the release from lockdown’ legal workshop‘ on Tuesday 30th June from 9:30-11:00. the workshop will cover the legal issues arising around returning employees to the workplace, including managing health and safety. You need to sign up today if you’d like to attend.

Edventure is award-winning social enterprise based in Frome, Somerset, founded by SSE Fellow Johannes Moeller. They are looking for a team entrepreneurship facilitator & trainer with experience in course management and social enterprise to deliver and grow a 10-week flagship course in community entrepreneurship. Teams of students on this course set up social enterprises projects to tackle local problems. The role pays £25k pro rata over 18 hours a week and is based in Frome. Apply by July 26th.

Edventure are also looking for students to take part in the aforementioned programme. Students will be guided through the basics of setting up a social enterprise,  build a community around the idea, carry out research and design a business model based on this research. Anyone aged between 18-35 can apply, the course starts on 7th September and will be in Frome. Further details here.

Finally, we’re going fundraising heavy next month. We’ve got a workshops on Developing a Fundraising Strategy on 8th July, An Introduction to Sources of Funding for Charities and Social Enterprises on 10th July and Fundraising from Trusts and Foundations on 15th July.

Sent in hushed tones: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Shhh… can you hear that? I am writing this in absolute silence. Wonderful, brilliant, beautiful silence. The kids are back in nursery, my wife is at work and so for the first time in 90 days I’m alone in the house. It’s actually a little eerie. It does mean, however, that we’re back in our usual Friday morning time slot and I’ve actually had more than 30 minutes to put this together. Hurrah! I’m not sure if that means it’s any better than it has been or if it’s just taken me longer to write than it has been doing…

Enjoy the news…


  • You need to be quick with this one, but we are running a 45 minute webinar at 1pm today looking at how should you manage cash in a crisis. It’s the first in our new Recover & Rebuild series, helping social entrepreneurs get back on their feet. Register now:
  • We’re not the only people doing webinars (you’ve probably noticed, they seem to have got quite popular all of a sudden). Our friends at Lime Green Consulting are running a briefing looking at ‘Fundraising During Covid-190 on 10th July’. You’ll hear from experts on the impact of Covid-19 on different fundraising areas – what’s changed, what to expect next and how to respond. You can book a place here (note – we get a small commission for each place booked).
  • Social enterprise Girl Dreamer are offering small, unrestricted, emergency grants to micro-small size organisations that are founded/led by young women or non-binary people of colour to help them through any needs they may currently have brought on by COVID-19. Grants of £100 – £1000 are available, and the deadline to apply is 15th June. You can find out more here.
  • We are looking for people to contribute to a piece about the experiences of LGBTQ+ social enterprises. If you are an SSE student/fellow from a BAME background, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact [email protected] to get involved.
  • I’m going to make a bold assumption and guess that you haven’t been thinking about Christmas too much recently. But if you are a UK-registered charity looking for some extra funds then The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge is now open for applications. It offers supporters of participating charities the opportunity to have their donation doubled – you need to apply here.
  • We are looking for three individuals to join SSE’s Board of Trustees. We’re seeking Trustees that will bring new skills, knowledge and experience to help us fulfil our ambitions and amplify our impact. We’re particularly interested in recruiting Trustees that reflect the diversity of the students we support and are representative of the geographic areas we work in. If this sounds like you, apply by midnight on Sunday 12th July 2020.
  • “I just can’t wait for the gym to be open” is not a sentence that I have found myself saying over the last few months (“I’m a gym member. I try to go four times a week, but I’ve missed the last twelve hundred times.”). So what I need is Dangerous Dads’ Dad Dancing Fit Club Online. Taking place every Tuesday and Saturday at 9am, it’s a fitness programme for all the family featuring ‘classic dad dancing moves from John Travolta and Rocky, to ZZ Top air guitars and The Robot.’ You can find out more here.
  • We’ve launched ‘Virtual Volunteers’, a new platform connecting social enterprises with volunteer professionals. It’s free to use, both if you have a post that you need help with or if you can volunteer your skills. Check it out here.
  • My colleague Hannah has taken a look at how community businesses are rebuilding in a new blog. For many it’s been a difficult period as income has shrunk but, as with much of the social enterprise sector, many have found ways to adapt. You can read the blog here.
  •  The Small International Development Charities Network are looking to build an understanding of how Covid-19 is affecting small charities working in international development and have put together a short survey to gather insight. The results will build meaningful conversations with influential groups, inform policy and the wider public and one respondent will win a luxury hamper. You can take the survey here
  • Kim McCabe of social enterprise Rites for Girls is hosting a talk on ‘Parenting our children safely through’ this Sunday from 10:00am – 11.30am, discussing practical ways to make the journey of growing-up safer, kinder and better supported, particularly through the adolescent years and especially in these changing times. You can book a place here.
  • Children in Need have opened applications to their COVID-19 Next Steps Grant, which offers grants of between £5,000 and £80,000 to ‘help organisations with more complex service adaption, including additional staffing requirements’. The deadline to apply is July 1st.
  • In Southwark, London, the council have launched a new Discretionary Grants Fund for businesses with 49 or fewer full-time employees) that have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic that were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund. Up to £25k is available and charities and social enterprises are eligible to apply. Details here.
  • SSE Fellow Davie Parks’ social enterprise The Skill Mill has begun making socially and environmentally good face masks. They are practical and fantastic value, they don’t interfere with care sector supply and make an excellent marketing tool – you can get them made with your organisation’s logo on them. They are also washable and reusable so better for the environment than single use PPE. Order them here.

Black Lives Matter: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

It’s not a week for flippant introductions so instead I’ll begin with a commitment from SSE.

Black Lives Matter. Be an ally, educate yourself, sign petitions, protest, donate if you can – this resource hub outlines ways to help and I’ve shared some articles, resources and reports below.

We stand in solidarity with the Black community. Today and always.

Huge thanks to my colleagues Henna, Amy and Sophie for putting this list together:

  • A great thread on Twitter highlighting UK anti-racism charities and organisations you can support right now is available here.
  • Layla F Saad has put together an anti-racist reading list in the Guardian in the hope that books can fortify a long-term struggle after this news cycle is over and social media posts about diversity die down.
  • It’s not the racists we have to worry about” argues CNN’s Van Jones in a hard hitting 5 minute clip and that the white community as a whole needs to look in the mirror and question how black opportunity and dignity is being choked.
  • Fearless Futures have a really interesting informative newsletter on inequalities, including inequalities specific to this pandemic, signposting to some great articles and resources. You can find it here. They also have an infographic outlining how systemic racism has caused COVID 19 to hit BAME communities harder.
  • Spark & Co has created a resource hub designed to help those from BAME backgrounds navigate this crisis. Check it out.
  • An interesting article on how important it is for grant-makers responding to COVID-19 that we don’t inadvertently perpetuate and exacerbate existing bias, racial inequity, and injustice through their giving.
  • Charity So White have put together a paper highlighting the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities and the action that needs taking to address this. You can read it here.

This week’s social enterprise news

  • New research from Shift, CAF Venturesome, Unltd and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation reveals the social sector’s need for equity and equity-like funding is three times greater than current demand. There is a blog available here that summarises the findings with access to the full report.
  • Grants Online have put together a list of  recently launched funding programmes to assist local organisations in responding to the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic. It includes funding of £10,000 to grassroots women’s organisations from Rosa and a new Youth Futures Foundation fund among others. You can see the full list here.
  • We’re recruiting a Personal Assistant to the CEO & Managing Director on a 6 month contract. It’s a part time role (28 hours) and we’re flexible on location. Closing date is 17th June.
  • Social Enterprise Mark are looking for new board members. If you have Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategic leadership, and corporate relations; OR
    Franchising and licensing management, and international expansion they would like to hear from you. Details here.