Let me amaze you. You’re reading this on Friday, but it was actually written on Wednesday. I’m currently on the beach / in a soft play centre / eating an ice cream while in sunny / rainy / cloudy Poole.
Such a high level of forward planning carries a degree of peril. If, like me, you use the 1996 smash hit film Independence Day as your reference point for strategic thinking then you’ll know just how quickly unforeseeable events can disrupt your day to day activity. For those who haven’t seen the film, the timeline goes something like this:
- July 2nd: alien spacecraft spotted orbiting Earth
- July 3rd: US president attacked and captured by an alien. Manages to escape and launch a nuclear strike against the alien mothership
- July 4th: alien invasion repelled
I’m hoping that nothing similar has happened in the intervening period between me writing and you reading this, or the impact of this newsletter is going to be somewhat diminished and feel rather out of date. Although the current president of the USA being captured by aliens does hold a certain appeal…
Enjoy the news
Dreams can come true
I’ve been thinking recently that I’d really like to go to a half day seminar for charities and social enterprises on the state of the sector and funding opportunities with practical insight and guidance from experts and leaders. And you know what? The good people at Charity Bank must be mind readers, because they’ve just scheduled Road to Growth, a series of events taking place around the country this autumn meeting just my needs.
Regions to be cheerful
South West England: pat yourselves on the back. South East England: give yourself a round of applause. Scotland: not bad, but I think you can do better. East Midlands and North East England – you really need to pull your fingers out.
Yep, like a broken record I’m banging on about the 2019 School for Social Entrepreneurs Training Survey again. And to add an extra incentive I’m making it a matter of regional pride – fill the survey in and help your region get to the top the very exciting “number of responses from each area league table” which I may publish in the future if I’m really desperate for content.
In the tea leaves
I’m not a futurologist but I can confidently predict that the most in-demand training topic from the forementioned survey will be social impact measurement. It always is. So it’s a good thing we’re running a Measuring Social Impact course in London on 13th + 14th August – at the moment we’ve got seven places available.
If you’ve got some spare change (or just lots of money that you don’t want) and fancy supporting an SSE Fellow then there are a couple of crowdfunding campaigns looking for support:
Paul Ryan is raising money for the Cafe Art MyLondon calendar, a social enterprise initiative for London homelessness art groups and individuals who have been affected by homelessness. It’s an excellent cause – you can buy a beautiful wall calendar or, new for this year, a desktop version. Get ahead with your Christmas gift giving here.
Meanwhile, Cathie Sprague is raising funds for a portable trapeze workshop rig, enabling her to deliver workshops at indoor and outdoor spaces. To date, Cathie has had some amazing impact with young girls in the Teeside region including building the confidence of someone who is now a potential future Paralympian. Back the campaign here.
Get yourself connected
Charities and social enterprises are invited to apply to the Tech To Connect Challenge, a £1 million prize fund that will ‘draw out and help develop ideas enabling civil society to combat social isolation using technology. Ten finalists will receive a £25,000 grant to develop ideas into working prototypes, two runners up will receive and additional £75,000 and the winning idea will win £100,000.
Recipe for success
It’s difficult to do a food based bit without using that headline. Organisations using food to create social and environmental change may be interested in the forthcoming launch of the UK Social Gastronomy Hub, part of a wider network of 11 hubs across the world. The UK hub is being created by The Clink charity. There is no cost to signing up, and the aim is that the Hub will promote the work that you do in the UK, while supporting fellow members and sharing best practice globally.
You can find out more about the movement here. If you’d like to sign up, or if you’d like further information, contact Geoff Ranson – [email protected] – and he can get give you all the info you need.
Caution: this section contains an appalling joke
– Which is the coldest country in South America?
– I don’t know, but I bet it’s Chile
I did warn you. Still, you can use the joke to break the ice and gain new friends should you be successful in winning the ‘impact entrepreneur of the year’ award in The GSG Impact Honors. The award is for ‘leaders with catalytic impact on lives or planet through profit with purpose companies (social enterprises), non-government organizations or non-profit social service providers with earned-income model’.
The awards will take place in Santiago, Chile on 18th + 19th November, and the winner will be flown out to Chile to pick up the prize.
For our younger readers
This newsletter has faced recent criticism online that its cultural references can be somewhat dated. This newsletter does not engage with such violent online trolling. Still, as a demonstration of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You’s ability to connect with Gen Z, we bring news of EY Foundation’s Accelerate Programme.
It’s a one year programme of support for social entrepreneurs under 30 operating across London, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh. If your business’ annual turnover is over £50,000 and you have a credible plan to grow at a local, regional or national level, creating future employment opportunities, you should apply by 15th August.
Does four equal five?
Finally, an interesting experiment from our friends at Happy: for the month of August they are switching to a four day week. Sounds like an excellent idea.