Please, respect your elders: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

This newsletter has occasionally been used to poke fun at our Chief Executive, Alastair Wilson. But there will be none of that today, because yesterday was his birthday. His 50th birthday. And that’s a momentous occasion. For those of you for whom 50 is just an impossibly large number and you need some greater context, here’s just how long ago this was:

  • When Ali was born, man hadn’t yet walked on the moon
  • England were the reigning World Cup champions
  • BBC One was still broadcast only in black and white

It truly was a different era, and so we should applaud Alastair for the way he has adapted to the modern world with only minor complications. His rapid evolution would stagger anthropologists: after only half a century Wilson has developed the capacity to send a tweet with only minimal supervision. Remarkable.

Of course it’s worth noting that Ali was not the only man born in 1968, products of the dying embers of the first summer of love. Others include Daniel Craig, Will Smith and Owen Wilson, and Ali shares a lot in common with them: they were all born in 1968, for example. I’m sure there are other similarities, I just can’t think of any at this moment in time.

So, happy birthday Ali. Or HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALI, to save you having to reach for your reading spectacles.

I’m going to and hide in a cupboard now. If he can’t see me, he can’t fire me.


Hostile environment

If you anticipate needing to have a difficult conversation with your Chief Executive, or if you are a Chief Executive needing to manage an impudent member of staff, maybe you could book onto our Handling Difficult Conversations workshop next Wednesday. We have a mere smattering of places available.

Book your place here

Just the tonic

Or you could just take respite in a bottle of gin. Social enterprise Ginerosity is offering a Black Friday special 3 bottles for the price of 2, with £1 from each bottle sold being donated to the Grassmarket Community Project, creating opportunities for vulnerable adults. I bought a bottle last Christmas and recommend it if you are a gin lover – the 3 for 2 offer runs until Monday.

Order a bottle here 

All in the game

As Omar Little says in The Wire, ‘A man got to have a code’. Do you have a code? If you are currently codeless don’t worry, I can help out, because the Charity Digital Code has just been published. It might not help you on the streets of Baltimore or in Hamsterdam* but it will help you increase impact, develop skills and improve sustainability.

You can find it here

(*if you don’t know what I’m on about, stop reading this and go and watch The Wire now. Seriously. Take the day off and go and watch it. I can even lend you the DVDs.)

Rise and shine

Rank Foundation, SSE Dartington and the Plymouth City Council Social Enterprise Investment Fund have teamed up to deliver RISE Trade Up: The Trading Development Programme. If you are a social purpose organisation operating in Plymouth it’s well worth taking a look – the closing date for applications is November 29th.

Find out more here


A good week for readers in the South West, a bad week for fans of the letter E as Thursday 29th November also sees the launch of SIMPL, a year-long programme that will bring together investors, commissioners and service providers to explore ways that social investment could transform the delivery, sustainability and social impact of services across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. There is a full day of activity planned where you can inform and shape their strategy and activities over the next year.

Register for a free place here


Sound the alarms. Light the torches. The government have done something that isn’t related to Brexit! They took some time out from writing / not writing letters to one another to announce ‘changes to its procurement practices to boost social value considerations and reduce barriers for social enterprises’. Let’s hope we see some of this in action.

Read more here

All the King’s horses

The King’s Fund are currently accepting applications to their Cascading Leadership programme, a ‘free opportunity for leaders working in health and care organisations of any size in the voluntary and community sector in the UK to develop their leadership skills and receive practical support’.

You can check it out here

Crystal ball

An absolute monster of a report from Civil Society Futures. ‘The Story of our Future’ is the final report of a two year enquiry into the current state and future possibilities for the civil society. I have to confess to have not read through it all but it looks worth getting stuck into.

Read it all here

Action stations

SSE Cornwall are running a three day Action Learning Facilitator training course in Truro on Wednesday 19th, Thursday 20th December 2018  and Friday 18th January 2019 and have one place available. The course costs £565, if you are interested in finding out more email [email protected] or call Sarah on 01872 306130.

Nose to the (coffee) grind stone

If you know of a graduate with strong accounting and modelling skills who is looking for work send them the way of Redemption Roasters, a social enterprise coffee company working with young offenders in Aylesbury prison. They expect to turn over around £1.6m this year and a dedicated finance professional is becoming increasingly necessary – email [email protected] for more information.

Money money money

Also recruiting are Sufra NW London, a Community Hub in Brent which addresses both the causes and consequences of extreme poverty, homelessness and social isolation in the community. They are recruiting a part-time Fundraising Manager to oversee the design and delivery of their Fundraising Strategy.

You can apply here

Smooth(ie) operator

SSE Fellow Giuseppe Baidoo is running a crowdfunding campaign for his social enterprise Ooze Drinks, an award-winning, 100% natural and sustainable smoothie brand, on a mission to reduce food waste in a delicious way. There is still some time to back the campaign and if Giuseppe is successful in hitting his £15,000 target outdoor advertising company JCDecaux will match it and run an advertising to raise awareness about food waste across London.

Back the campaign here


“Oi! Rickkkkkyyyyy. Would you Adam and Eve it? The Allia Serious Impact Incubator is open for applications offering up to 40 start ups with east London connections free workspace for 9 months alongside business support and mentoring from industry experts, saving entrepreneurs a minimum of £3,600 on desk space alone. Use your crust of bread and apply by 5th December.

Apply here

Risky business

Now, I know what you’re thinking. It is impossible to manage key risks while having fun. Go on, you can admit it. You were discussing it yesterday, weren’t you? But, reader of HIGSENFY, our friends at RSA are going to blow your preconceptions out of the water when we host the first in a new webinar series with them at midday on November 29th.

‘Managing key risks while keeping the fun’ will help you build a more successful enterprise without taking the fun out of your work. It’s free to take part.

You can sign up here

Lighting the match

Finally, some great coverage for our Match Trading programme in Scotland. Twenty social enterprises are taking part in the first use of match trading in Scotland with a pound-for-pound match for any traded income they generate over the course of a year along with a programme of support from the SSE.

Read all about it 

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