Reasons to be cheerful, part 3: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Alrighty! Today is International Happiness Day so I’m making an attempt to be extra chipper today. What is International Happiness Day?  Now in its third year, it’s a United Nations-backed campaign calling for happiness and well-being to be given greater priority when measuring global progress.  This year’s theme is around connecting with people, so I’d like to wish you a super Friday (which is always the happiest day anyway…)


Here’s this week’s news:

  • SSE Fellow Mariama Kamara’s organisation ‘Smiling Through Light’ certainly has the right name for today.  It’s also a fantastic social enterprise which distribute solar lamps to be used in place of kerosene in Sierra Leone. In this video interview Mariama talks about her journey to setting up the organisation.


  • More happy news, as we wish congratulations to SSE Fellow Michelle Baharier and her organisation CoolTan Arts, winners this week of a GSK Impact Award, which includes a prize of £30,000.


  • There’s a lot of London-based news this week so here’s some from Liverpool just to mix things up a bit.  Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Servies (LCVS) and Social Enterprise network (SEN) are hosting a free General Election Hustings Debate on the 13th April, you can get your ticket here.  It’s an opportunity to go and make the sector’s voice heard in the run-up to the election.  A similar event, aimed at start-ups, is taking place in Carlisle on the 8th May.


  • Also happening in Liverpool (and London) is our new PowerUP programme, in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and the Cabinet Office.  The national scheme is for young people (18-30) years old who have been affected by gang culture and social entrepreneurs of all ages who are leading social businesses that support young people affected by gang culture. (The news was met with bemusement on the Isle of Wight).


  • Continuing the ‘programmes that also sound like they could have something to do with the Mario Bros’ theme, Deloitte are looking for applicants to their ‘Super Pioneers‘ programme. It’s for social businesses looking to scale and the deadline for applications is 12th April 2015.


  • Nominet Trust have opened their Social Tech Seed grants programme, aimed at social entrepreneurs using digital technology.  Grants of between £15,000 and £50,000 are available and you need to apply by 12th April.


  • Our Yorkshire and Humber school have announced new dates for their ‘Action Learning for Facilitators Training‘ course, which will take place in Leeds across three days in April and May. It’s an ideal course if you’re responsible for supporting the learning and development of others and want to add to your portfolio of skill and tools.

Look away now if you aren’t interested in what’s going on in London, things are about to get hyperlocal

  • Our next one-day workshop is ‘Writing Successful Bids‘ on April 2nd. If you want to learn how you can write winning funding applications, this is a course that you have to come on! It’s aimed at beginners up, so handy if you have a junior member of staff that you would like to send on training.


  • The Alternative Commission on Social Investment will be launching their report at SSE London next Friday afternoon (27th March).  There are still some tickets available but snap them up quickly.


  • Impact Hub Westminster are offering a free Raise Impact Crowdfunding Accelerator Programme this Spring. It’s ‘a unique crowdfunding accelerator that will deliver a support service for entrepreneurs and SMEs seeking to raise investment via crowdfunding’.

Have a good week! 


 What’s on at SSE:

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