Sheffield Social Enterprise Network: Development tender?

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Sheffield Social Enterprise Network (SSEN) is to commission business development expertise to sustain and develop the network beyond the end of the Lottery grant which expires on 31 March 2016.

‘SSEN requires a consultant to help the network become a sustainable entity beyond the end of the current Awards for All grant which ends on 31.03.2016. This piece of work is fundamental to develop SSEN’s strategy for the medium and long-term’. Source: SSEN Nov. 2015.

The main areas of work include:

  • Work with SSEN management committee and its members to understand its circumstances, problems and opportunities.
  • Develop a tender/funding resource (key information that SSEN can use to input directly into funding/tender bids).
  • Scope the external environment for business opportunities
  • Register SSEN with key contract opportunity websites, mailing lists and newsletters.
  • Identify and evaluate potential income-generating services and projects that SSEN could develop (short term and long term).
  • Write funding and tender bids with the support of management committee members.
The deadline for receipt of tenders is 12pm on Tuesday 10 November 2015.
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Missing in Action:
Women and Digital Enterprise in the UK

Missing in Action: Women and Digital Enterprise in the UK

An exciting two day event, bringing together digital academics, female entrepreneurs and women who are working or interested in creative industries and digital enterprise.

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 November 2015 at the University of Nottingham – Book on-line here.

‘What is Missing in Action about?
A collaboration between the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Digital Women UK, this ‘thought space’ will allow female digital entrepreneurs, academics, creative practitioners and those interested in this field, to discuss professional challenges and concerns, share insights and learn from each other’s experiences and studies of digital entrepreneurship.

Why the title?
Missing in Action reflects the fact that although female digital entrepreneurs are aspiring to start up status, or are working widely in the UK, very little is known about who they are, which communities they come from, the obstacles they face and which entrepreneurial activities they are engaged or interested in.

Women of Colour are driving entrepreneurial growth overseas.
For example, statistics show that women of colour in the US are driving growth in entrepreneurial activity, much of which is underpinned by the digital environment. Yet there is no equivalent or robust information about women’s experiences in the UK.

We believe that increasing the visibility and knowledge-base around UK women working in digital will enable us to develop and champion more targeted professional support and help aspirant women decide if this is a path they want to pursue. This event is one step towards helping to fill the information vacuum’.

This article narrative: Digital Women UK

This is an important weekend event for women in digital. Read more on the event web pages here.

You can discover the training, connecting and campaigning aspects of DigitalWomenUK here.

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NatWest SE100 awards showcase the best
of the UK’s social enterprise sector

See more here…

£32k prize fund shared by top performing social businesses…

The NatWest SE100 Index has announced the winners of its 2015 awards. Five winners were chosen from 1120 social ventures listed on the NatWest SE100 Index in the UK. This year’s awards build a clear picture of a thriving social enterprise sector that is supporting economic growth in the UK and delivering positive social impact.

The 2015 winners demonstrate best business practice within the social sector, working to address some of the UK’s most acute social issues. This year’s winners are helping to get people from disadvantaged backgrounds back into work, sustaining the environment and revolutionising healthcare services for disabled children.

These inspiring organisations now share over £32,000 in prize money awarded today at Critical Mass, the event for social enterprise, in recognition of their work.

Growth champion £10k prize: The EBP – East Midlands

The EBP is a non-profit dedicated to developing the skills of young people through development and employment programmes. The EBP works to ensure its services provide young people with the opportunity to develop the skills that employers are looking for, striving to engage young people in work and society.

Impact champions share £10k prize:

FRC Group – North West

FRC Group runs three social businesses including furniture recycling and waste management projects. These produce financial profits and create a social dividend by giving people in poverty and unemployment the opportunity to change their lives.

Kelvin Valley Honey – Scotland

Kelvin Valley Honey works to sustain Scotland’s honey bee populations whilst contributing to the regeneration of disadvantaged communities through financing and supporting the development of beekeeping, creating employment for people housebound through disability and long term illnesses.

Trailblazing newcomer £5k prize: Andiamo – London

Andiamo works to meet the gap in demand and capacity that currently exists and is growing in the field of orthotics, printing 3D fully customised orthotics children with disabilities and long-term conditions.

Resilience award £5K prize: Five Lamps – North East

Five Lamps delivers an integrated range of inclusion services to transform the lives of individuals and their families from disadvantaged communities, by helping them to find work, start their own business, improve their finances and improve their aspirations.

Storyteller award £2.5k prize: Aduna – London

Aduna is an African-inspired health & beauty brand and social business working to create demand for under-utilised natural products from small-scale producers in Africa to create sustainable income – starting with the nutrient-dense superfoods Baobab and Moringa.

Marcelino Castrillo, Managing Director Business Banking, NatWest, who presented the Growth Champion Award, said: “I want to congratulate all this year’s winners, not just on their success in the awards, but on the profound social impact that they are having on our society. NatWest is proud to have supported the SE100 since the beginning and we are committed to unlocking and nurturing entrepreneurial talent through access to finance, markets and expertise.”

Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society who presented the Trailblazing Newcomer award said of the NatWest SE100: “Social enterprises occupy a crucial place in our society. These organisations help tackle social challenges while contributing to economic growth. The SE100 Index is an important benchmark for the sector and I would encourage all social enterprises to sign up so we can build a truly compassionate society.”

(If ever there was a great example of how diverse, dynamic and effective the social (enterprise) sector is in the UK, then look no further than these awards…Ed.)

internetIconMini  You can see the SE100 web site in full here…

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Buy Social this weekend?

This Saturday, 10th October 2015, is Social Saturday – spend your cash with a social enterprise and get some real ‘community multiplier effect‘ for your money!

‘In the UK alone, there are 70,000 social enterprises, contributing £18.5 billion to the UK economy and employing almost a million people. This exciting movement is growing fast all around the world and we’re seeing a boom in start-ups being launched that combine doing business with doing good’.  Source: Social Enterprise UK

At the Key Fund, research that shows that this confusion persists about what social enterprise is.  Although two thirds of us support the idea of social enterprise, only a fifth (21 per cent) knew what social enterprises were.

socialsaturday2015Button‘Simply, it’s about buying or using services from businesses that make a positive difference in our community or on the environment. Social enterprises reinvest their profits into furthering their social mission. They have to have good business models to be financially sustainable, so they don’t rely on grants or charity’. Source: The Key Fund

Key Fund is itself a social enterprise.  Matt Smith of the Key Fund, quoted in a recent article in The Guardian, speaking about the misconceptions about Social Enterprise in the UK stated ‘…what’s interesting is this misconception that social enterprise relies on grants or donations. We escaped a culture reliant on grants many years ago, and the main impetus of social enterprise is to ignite local economies, create jobs, and be profitable or at least sustainable in delivering their ethical aim.”

internetIconMini You can see this informative article from The Guardian in full here.

Invest in your community – buy from a Social Enterprise, not just this weekend, but every week if you can.

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The ‘Key’ to Success
for a SEEMly future


A warm welcome awaits at The Key Fund

”Social Enterprise East Midlands (SEEM) has handed over the baton for support to Social and Community Enterprises in the East Midlands to The Key Fund from the 1st August 2015.

The Key Fund, which already has a strong local presence, is the UK’s most prolific investor in the social enterprise sector. It is incorporating the work of the organisation into its day-to-day operations, safeguarding the services for the future.

Nottingham-based SEEM, which was formed in 2002, provided services across the East Midlands to support the creation and development of social businesses and social enterprises to become sustainable and deliver significant and enduring social impact. It also enabled access to Social Investment and offers Investment Readiness Support to charities, community businesses, social enterprises and social businesses.

Dave Brazier, Chair of SEEM, said: “Obviously, we are a bit sad to see the closure of SEEM as an independent organisation. However, we are absolutely delighted that the great work done by SEEM is to be continued by the Key Fund. In particular, the provision of Social Investment for business with a social purpose will be continuing, and indeed expanding in the future.

SEEM shared similar values with Key Fund as a not-for-profit social enterprise that believes it’s possible for businesses to function in a transparent, ethical and socially responsible way. Both organisations support enterprise that not only delivers the products and services that people want to buy, but provides the means to have a positive impact in the community in which they operate.

See more here…

Key Fund was launched in Sheffield 1999 to stimulate local economies in Yorkshire and the Humber after the decline of the coal, steel and other major industries. Its smallest funding package is £3,500 and the largest so far has been £300,000. The Sheffield-based Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) has invested over £39m in almost a thousand businesses which stimulate local economies and place equal importance on social impact as well as profit.

Matt Smith, Key Fund’s Deputy CEO, said: “We are excited about building on the fantastic legacy built in the East Midlands by Roger Moors and the team at SEEM. We see real opportunities to grow the sector in the area and will be developing new programmes in the future.”

internetIconMini  Article narrative: Courtesy of The Key Fund

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Nottingham – City of Social Business

See more details here…

The Dragons are coming to Nottingham. If you live in Nottingham and would like an opportunity to pitch your social business idea – then this is your chance.

We are holding the Social Finance Dragons Den style event at Waterstones in the city on May 14th, 2015. From 6pm to 9pm you can pitch to secure a  five hundred pound cash prize, and a nomination for the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, The RSA.

internetIconMini  Discover the ‘Den’ on-line here.

‘The Social Business Dragons’ Den is part of the Building Enterprise project managed by Community Partnerships at the University of Nottingham and led by Roger Moors, CEO of SEEM and Jeanne Booth, Chair of the East Midlands Fellowship of the RSA’.

Want to pitch to the Dragons?

Have you got an idea for a social business to pitch to the Dragons? Here’s the rules:

  • You must be living in the city of Nottingham to pitch.
  • You must submit this form by May 11. We will use this information to select potential pitchers and we will let you know if you have a pitch space on 12th May.
  • You must also register your intention to pitch using this link.
  • Your pitch can be up to 3 minutes and no slides are allowed – it’s just you talking. You will be stopped when the bell goes at 3 minutes. The Dragons can ask you any questions for a further 7 minutes.
  • There are only 12 pitch places and priority will be given to those who attend a Pitch Perfect workshop – next one 11th May, see below for details…

internetIconMini  See full details and all booking links on the event web pages here


Pitch Perfect Event – 11th May 2015, 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Nottingham Writer’s Studio
25 Hockley
NG1 1FP Nottingham

This workshop will take you through the steps for preparing your pitch and equip you to present your ideas to different audiences. It will be invaluable for anyone who wants to practice their pitch and improve their chances of winning a prize at the Social Business ‘Dragon’s Den’ on 14th May.

internetIconMini  Book your free place now.


If you get to Pitch Perfect, then get the chance to broach the lair of the Dragons, we wish you all the luck you need! The SEEM Team.

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The Ignite Roadshow
funding for your energy idea?

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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