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.

keyfundLogoButton4
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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Ethical business with a social dimension…
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Nottingham – City of Social Business

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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?

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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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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.

Ethical business with a social dimension...
Ethical business with a social dimension…

 

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