– First up, SSE Chair Charlotte Young has been awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion for 2009. Charlotte has been involved in SSE since its inception, helping design the original make-up of the programme that has lasted till this day. Congratulations from all here.
– And, to further get the SSE news out the way, SSE is the lead partner in a social entrepreneurship consortium that has been awarded £500k from the Department of Communities and Local Government's Empowerment Fund over the next three years. Other partners involved in the delivery are CAN, Changemakers, Training for Life and UnLtd, with Ashoka UK as advisory partner. All power to the network mindset…and congratulations also to Social Firms, Bassac, Operation Black Vote, Urban Forum and the Young Foundation
– The social enterprise summit announced at Voice 09, between Peter Mandelson (of DBERR) and Liam Byrne (of Cabinet Office) and assorted social enterprise luminaries, is happening on May 12th, with four regional roadshows beforehand for people/organisations to feed into; here's to concrete outcomes!
– Other aspects of the OTS Recession Action Plan are coming to fruition also; the Modernisation Fund website is now up and running for interested orgs (in partnership / merger / collaboration): check it out here
– Third Sector reports on the ongoing divide between Liam Black and Jonathan Bland / Social Enterprise Coalition. Interesting article and interesting quotes from other commentators also, which summarise many of the debates in this field in microcosm; SSE naturally sits on the, to quote Matthew Thomson, "social enterprise is a state of mind, not a legal form" side of things, but welcome the (public) debate
– Business Week agrees with Liam, anyway; it's selected some leading US social entrepreneurs, and every one of them has a for-profit structure….some great organisations here, regardless of your viewpoint
– I met Margaret Moran MP yesterday, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on social enterprise, and we discussed the need for diversity in the movement; see this article in the Times, Race to diversify social enterprise, for more
– Some good conversations about scale and replication been happening on a couple of US blogs. Nat Whittemore has an excellent round-up: Scale vs. Diffusion redux
– Nice interview with social enterprise ambassador Tim Campbell in the FT
– It had to happen….Twitter goes mainstream: should your non-profit jump on board? (though there is something a little stalkerish still about "x is now following you" appearing in your inbox….)
– The financial crisis is killing philanthropy in Ireland, apparently….with some notable exceptions
– Great post on the inequalities of internship by Jamie Veitch at New Start
– And finally, along the line of stories that say "ethical businesses sell out to scale up" (cf Body Shop, Green & Blacks, Ben & Jerrys), Innocent smoothies have sold a stake to Coca-Cola; read the founders' letter here; it was interesting to read on Rob Greenland's blog that one of them had recently said that, as Rob reports, "they're more innocent-like than they've ever been –
because they now have to work hard at making the values mean something.
When they were small, it just happened. Now they have to work at it." Which is an excellent point, I think; presumably that working hard just got a whole lot harder as well (check the 348 comments to date on this post). Although their transparency / response is still impressive (see Innocent Investment video Q + A).