The Ignite Roadshow
funding for your energy idea?

igniteapplicationPoster2015
Grow your energy idea…

If you are a UK based social enterprise, and bursting with good ideas, then this year’s Ignite Challenge could be just for you.

Do you have ideas that can be deployed, to enable the imaginative and efficient use of energy resources, which will contingently change people’s lives…then the Ignite Challenge 2015 is a ‘must look at’ for you?

‘We are looking for the brightest business ideas that use energy to make a difference in people’s lives’.

You can secure, if successful, between 50,000 Pounds to 2 million Pounds in order to make your idea a reality. The finalists will be asked to pitch their idea to a panel of energy industry and social enterprise experts during June 2015.

We wrote about last year’s Big Idea at Ignite. See how last year’s winners achieved sucess here. It may help you formulate this year’s winning entry.

You can find out more about the the 2015 Ignite Challenge here.

Download the application form and begin your energy journey here.

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Ethical business with a social dimension…
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Innovation in Business – how to do it?

There is a new course, just released on Future Learn, which teaches you the basics of business innovation in any environment. Future Learn offers free courses on-line, many of which can add certificated outcomes to your professional development learning.

The Social Business sector is all about innovation, in financing, in management and in operational delivery – all with strong social value and outcome in mind.

Innovation: The Key to Business Success can help you achieve these goals for yourself. Wherever you fit in your organisation.

‘Understand commercial innovation, how ideas emerge and become reality, with this free online course developed with Marks & Spencer’ – The University of Leeds.

The course starts in June 2015, plenty of time to subscribe for the course content and bring your innovation skills to the fore. See how to enrol here…


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Venturefest
East Midlands
April 14th, 2015

Venturefest East Midlands will take place on Tuesday 14 April 2015 at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham. There will be many opportunities to showcase achievements, network and build new business skills before the event, through activities and resources…including':

  • Advice and support for all things business and innovation
  • Access and information about Open Innovation contracts throughout the East Midlands
  • Workshops on pitching to investors for investment ready businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Direct networking opportunities with the dedicated Venturefest app

Importantly for SEEM, we will be delivering the Social Business Hub offer, giving you insights into the Social Business sector.

As well as giving you a chance to meet and network with businesses already active in this emerging sector, The Hub can be instrumental in helping you to formulate your new social business idea, or to pivot an existing business strand into delivery on social terms.

The Hub will contain a variety of Social Business practitioners to share ideas with and seek support from, if required, including…

Arch Communications
Choice Unlimited
Food Freedom
Nottingham Social Impact Fund
Playworks
SmithMartin Partnership LLP

Join Roger and the SEEM team at Venturefest East Midlands. Call in on The Social Business Hub, take part in the workshop events and start exploring your new Social Business venture.

internetIconMiniYou can download the Venturefest app here. See you on the 14th…

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Recruiting for the Elvaston Castle board….

 

Image: Formal gardens at Elvaston Castle…

The new board to facilitate the growth and development of Elvaston Castle is now being recruited.  Derbyshire County Council, in partnership with the National Trust and the local community, are the lead body for the development process…

‘…we’ve recently appointed a Chair of an advisory ‘Development Board’ for Elvaston Castle, and are now looking to recruit other Board members who can bring a range of expertise to bear including business planning and finance, fundraising, built and cultural heritage, and partnership working.

The Development Board will work in partnership with Derbyshire County Council and others to champion the formation of the new managing body for the Estate that will ultimately take on responsibility for the Estate and make the Vision a reality. Future Elvaston 10 Year Vision Plan.

internetIconMini  Source: http://www.futureelvaston.co.uk/development-board/

The historic gardens and buildings of the estate, situated between Derby and Nottingham, are in need of investment, sound strategic management of a new future, all combined with a sensitivity and acknowledgement to the work of preservation and community engagement that has gone before.

You can view, print and download a copy of the Role Profile and Terms of Engagement for the Board posts here.

For an informal discussion about the role, please do not hesitate to contact Nick Sellwood, Elvaston Castle Project Development Manager, National Trust on 07876 591932

Closing date for applications: 5pm on Friday 10th April 2015

Interview Date: It is planned to conduct interviews on Thursday 7th May 2015

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Good for Business?

businessforgoodButtonThe lounge of Antenna, in Nottingham, was buzzing last night (24th February) with talk about business for good and how change in traditional structures and processes can create models of delivery that are good for business.

The event was part of the ongoing  programme of engagement with post-grad students at Nottingham University for the Social Business Programme, which seeks to offer opportunities and ideas for the current post-graduate cohort of the University to start a business for good, a Building Enterprise activity.

You can find more about the work of the project on our events page, or see the Nottingham City Postgraduate Social Business Programme on-line here.

The evening was chaired and facilitated by Jeanne Booth, who was able to introduce a panel of speakers for the audience, who were both inspirational and able to deliver pertinent short messages about their experiential learning in the development and awareness of Social Business. Some of the ideas abroad on the night are tendered below…


 

Paul CaulfieldDirector of the MBA in Corporate Social Responsibility at Nottingham University Business School

Corporate social responsibility is dead, long live Social Business! This could have been the rallying cry for the audience from Paul’s presentation. The old ways are perhaps no longer fit for purpose, we were told. With CSR as a concept, arguably, seen as a reactive and backward looking process.

Much was made of nature and things natural as metaphors for new business development under the banner of Social Business. We have destroyed 50% of the rain-forest so far. Paul surprised the audience with the metaphoric concept of bio-mimicry as perhaps providing the new, forward looking business model.

However, the speaker argued, not all in the past is of no use. The Guilds were, from early modern history, craft makers and carers for community. Fostering skills and market development, from their geographical locus, yet preserving the best of tradition.

It is this, the fostering of ideas, like the emergent Social Business movement, that is the only truly scaleable resource we have. ‘A dialogue between two people with ideas results in a more dynamic third idea‘. Wonderful stuff!

Toni EsbergerCEO of Nottingham Circle

This section of the evening had the style of a structured interview and response between Toni and Jeanne.  Toni, in her development of the Nottingham Circle, a membership group for the over-50’s, had clearly done much to encourage the recording and shaping of data and soft outcome records for her organisation.

In any new or developing business, this collection of data is redundant in itself. It is how the people in the organisation deploy the knowledge locked up in the data, or in people’s stories over time.

Relationships, shared goals, resourcefulness and generosity. These were some of the keywords Jeanne was able to elicit from the speaker. They are the perfect framing paradigm for a good Social Business too. These and a great spreadsheet, which you can deploy for funders, partners and beneficiaries too.

Roger MoorsCEO of SEEM

How do you finance good business was Roger’s key question to the audience at Antenna? Illustrating the tensions between the Third Sector and traditional business, Roger opined that it was seen as the sector’s traditional role, over business, to deliver social outputs.

This has changed. Using another natural metaphor the audience were asked to declare if they ate vegetables? Then they were asked if they were vegetarians? There was a large disparity in the aggregate numbers of the replies.

Thus, Roger argued, ‘…Social Business is not about legal structure, it is about how you do it’. All businesses need capital, to finance cash-flow, purchase of assets or to develop their business idea. Social investment is, therefore, about investing for impact.

There are, therefore, three key elements to getting an offer of social investment. An economically sustainable idea. A collection of ‘investable’ people. Impact.

To see if you qualify, contact Roger at SEEM. He’s the capital chap!

Martin KnoxBrand Developer, Business Designer and Creative Interpreter for retail business

Martin works with people in organisations to ‘...identify, articulate and present the truth of their product or service’. Echoing the message that traditional business methodologies were undergoing change, Martin stresses the search for ‘truth’ in presentation, marketing and delivery as now being the key social business driver.

There is a new commercial imperative. It is the power of the story, not about a thing in itself. As founders of new social businesses the message about your motives, your values and the journey you have undertaken to get here are now powerful drivers of client or customer engagement.

This was a telling section of the evening. Stressing the emotional and empathetic engagement inherent in social business. ‘People no longer buy the ‘what’, they are interested in the ‘why’.

Nicky GreyFounder of Food Freedom

Nicky’s story is one of developing her Social Business through reaction to familial allergies and intolerances. Driven to engage with school catering staff, Nicky was able to grapple initially with the ‘different school lunch’ issue, helping to foster a more tolerant attitude to difference, certainly, but also restoring a sense of balance and good health to her own family members.

From this ‘community action’ approach, Food Freedom has gone on to foster and deliver a range of training courses and awareness raising expertise for a variety of clients – schools, companies and community settings.

A very telling and key part of the Food Freedom presentation was the characteristics needed to found, grow and stabilise a new Social Business. Nicky had three important messages for the Antenna audience…

  • Really want to make a difference – care about it above profit…
  • Draw exhilaration and energy from the feedback and measured impact you can obtain along the way…
  • Make sure you gather that evidence formally and then deploy it wisely.

 

The evening concluded, after a short break, with a full Q & A session with the expert panel. The Chair was able to guide the audience through questions and responses, from theory and practice, to help them conceptualise, form or grow their Social Business idea.

This was a well organised, useful and informative session. It is part of a wider programme of creating enterprise events. If you have an idea as post-grad, then this is the place to go for answers, advice and, perhaps, even funding…see more here.

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Clowne and District Community Transport (CDCT)

CDCT Logo4CDCT are a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. The organisation delivers accessible transport solutions  for individuals and groups who have difficulty in using public transport in the Bolsover District Council area, along with Bassetlaw, Chesterfield, Rotherham, Mansfield, Eckington and Killamarsh.

The Board of CDCT have decide to explore further developmental opportunities. Their focus is given below…

  • Develop a strategic alliance with another like minded charity, social enterprise or similar type community focused body
  • Explore a possible merger or other collaborative partnership working

CDCT Call for Engagement paper - pdf version...“In making this decision, the Board have commissioned Nottingham based SEEM to help facilitate this exploration and invite interested parties to submit an Expression of Interest. Please see below for further details on this process”.

With an uncertain future funding landscape, CDCT are looking to explore ways of working with other like-minded organisations, who, after the initial Expression of Interest, will be selected to develop more detailed proposals, within a framework of mutual discussion and exploration.

Icon for Adobe PDFYou can download the full CDCT proposal information here…

Timescales and next steps for the Expression of Interest process:

emailIconMiniTo request an EOI, please send an email to SEEM at info@seem.uk.net with the subject ‘Clowne and District Community Transport EOI’.

The Board of CDCT has asked that all EOI’s are returned back to SEEM at the same email address by 7th April 2015 at 5pm.

Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Please refer all queries regarding the process to SEEM not CDCT.

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Calling all Nottingham City Post-grads, are you ‘Social Business’ minded?

 

 

Sharing knowledge, developing a good idea and planning ahead?

If you are on a post-graduate course in Nottingham, in any discipline, and  interested in starting your own business, then the Social Business Programme represents a great opportunity to develop your idea, share opportunities and to learn about the social business start-up sector.

The Building Enterprise Project is managed by Community Partnerships at the University of Nottingham. Led by Roger Moors, CEO of SEEM and Jeanne Booth FRSA, founder of The Good Work Guide.

From February to April 2015 the programme of events and conferences represent a great opportunity to develop your ideas in concert with a team Social Business specialists.

You can also meet us at a special postgraduate meeting of First Tuesday, Nottingham’s network for social businesses, on February 3rd, 2015. Social Business and social impact measures are part of the debate.

Places are free, but numbers are limited.

Key Programme Events:

3rd February, 2015First Tuesday, a Post-grad special event. Inspiration for the entrepreneur and a free drink for the first fifty people through the door! You can book here…

24th February, 2015  – What is good for business? Four different speakers offering you insights into key aspects of Social Business development. A Question and Answer Session will follow this, the first of four sessions in the programme.

There is more to come in March and April.

To see the full project programme visit nottinghampg.strikingly.com  internetIconMini

Project Sponsors:

Community Partnerships  :   The University of Nottingham  :   SEEM  :  RSA East Midlands  :   European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) :

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Seasonal Greetings to everyone…

Christmas card 2014 image

We hope that everyone has a warm and happy seasonal break.

Looking forward to another exciting year at SEEM, with the continued support and engagement of our sector. With all best wishes for a prosperous and effective 2015.

Roger and the SEEM team…


 Article highlights from 2014, if you missed them?

Reviewing education and the funding debate: Read more here.

Social Finance – a breakfast revelatory: Great venue, great presentations, great connections. Read more here.

Socially productive places and the pop-up shop! Read more here.

Big energy ideas from the social sector – track the winners! Read more here.

Happy New Year!

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