Poking the bear with a stick: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Alright, I’ll admit it. This newsletter has been occasionally used to poke fun at our chief executive Alastair Wilson. Mocking the management is one of the main reasons that I bother to write it to be honest. Anyway, I’ve been away for a week (Centreparcs, highly recommend it. Enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would) and in an interesting turn of events have come back to a new line manager at SSE: our chief executive Alastair Wilson. Ooooooooooooh.

After doing a detailed SWOT analysis over the first half of this week, however, I have decided that this is an opportunity more than a threat. Readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You now have a direct link into the mind of our CEO and all the wisdom that it contains. The quality of content in this newsletter will certainly differ in the future.

Enjoy this week’s news, there’s some great stuff going on. If you want to help share it then please click on either the Twitter or Facebook button below. That way I can impress my new line manager with things like engagement and sign up rate and other numbers that sound really clever.


Digital nation

Big and exciting news! We’re lucky enough to have been awarded funding by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to deliver five Third Sector Digital Leaders courses around England between now and the end of March. There are fifteen places available on each course, which will be taking place in Bristol, Birmingham, London, Leeds and Liverpool.

The course is designed to help charity, social enterprise and non-profit leaders be confident about leading digital change in their organisations, helping them be more sustainable and relevant and creating the digital leaders of tomorrow.

You need to apply by 5pm on February 15th.

Find out more by clicking on the relevant location here

Bath time

The University of Bath (with support from a number of organisations including SSE) are running the Social Enterprise and Innovation Business Support Programme for new entrepreneurs or very early stage businesses. Workshops take place in Bath and Bristol and start in the next few weeks.

More details here

Are you good at operations (non-medical) and finance (definitely financial)?

If you are, we’re looking for a Director of Operations and Finance at SSE HQ. According to the notes I have, the purpose of the role is ‘to look after all of SSE’s assets; its people, its technologies, its finances, its facilities, and its services contracts.’ If you think you can handle all of that, you need to apply by 22nd February. I don’t know if the interview will include a task related to the board game Operation but I like to think it will.

Apply here

But we’re not the only people recruiting…

A few other interesting looking jobs around and about this week.

SSE Fellow Jo Ashbridge is looking for a Fundraising Officer (Trusts and Foundations) on a part time basis in Camden for her organisation Azuko, an architecture charity which aims to alleviate poverty through sustainable development. The role pays £24.5k and you can apply here.

Access (the Foundation for Social Investment) are looking for someone with experience leading a learning or research function to join their team as Director of Learning. The job pays £65k and the closing date is 24th February. Apply here.

Award-winning social enterprise Maths With Parents are looking for a Business Development Manager to help the organisation maintain a rapid period of growth. The salary is £26,000 with unlimited commission and the job is based in Bristol. Apply by 10th February.

SSE Fellow Sarah Gillings is looking for a part-time Charity Coordinator / Creative Assistant for her social enterprise U Can Spray, based in Lewes, Sussex. U Can Spray deliver award winning therapeutic and fun experiences in street-art: you can find out more and apply here. 

Our friends in the North

Yellow Jigsaw and Commonplace, two social enterprises run by SSE Fellows Grace Dyke and Lucy Cooke respectively, are developing the Offline in the North Festival and want to hear from social entrepreneurs who would be interested in taking part; the aim of the festival will be to connect community businesses, changemakers and social entrepreneurs.

Give them your opinions here

Swimming with sharks

SSE Fellow David Floyd has published ‘What a Relief!’, a new report examining Social Investment Tax Relief and how it has not lived up to initial expectations. The report reveals that since 2014 only 35 deals have been completed.

“Hmmm, 35 deals in four years. I can’t tell if that’s a lot of not” I can hear you saying out loud right now. So, let’s give it a bit of context; the average number of worldwide shark attacks over the same period would be 336, so you’re about ten times more likely to be attacked by a shark than you are to be involved in social investment tax relief. Hope that helps…

Read the report here

Get social

What are you doing on Monday 11th February? If your diary is looking empty you could do a lot worse than head into London for The Social Media Exchange, run by SSE Fellow Jude Habib. The day has been designed to enhance your organisation’s digital storytelling with skill sharing, new ideas and a huge dose of inspiration. It promises to be a packed day of talks, interactive workshops and practical surgeries with some networking thrown in too.

Find out more here

In a good place

National Union of Students are running a new pilot programme, Placements for Good, working with local charities, public sector organisations and businesses to empower students from all backgrounds to innovate and progress sustainability through meaningful work placements. They are looking for organisations to host placements for 8-12 weeks over the summer.

You can find out more here (click the Placements for Good overview)

Food for thought

The Real Farming Trust are running a ‘Loans for Enlightened Agriculture Programme’, offering unsecured loans of up to £100k at 5% with 18% of this as grant. Alongside this, they’ll offer tailored and structured mentoring package to ensure that you are ready take on a loan. If you run a food or farming enterprise it looks well worth checking out.

Which you can do here

Three questions

Do you want to be a charity trustee, but you worry about joining a dysfunctional board? Are you a charity planning to recruit new trustees, but you want to ensure that your board stays effective? Perhaps your charity’s board doesn’t operate as usefully as it might?

If the answer to one of these questions is yes, you might like to attend ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of trustee board behaviours – how to identify a welcoming and effective board’ organised by trustee recruitment charity, Getting on Board. The event takes place in London between 6.30pm and 7.45pm on 7th February.

Register for a free place here 

Are you experienced?

Finally, the recently re-branded National Lottery Community Fund (it used to be Big Lottery Fund) are offering grants of between £20,000 – £50,000 to support lived experience leadership. They expect to offer 15 – 20 grants to leaders who ‘uses their first-hand experience of a social issue to create positive change for, and with, communities and people they share those experiences with’.

Find out more here 

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