Category Archives: Enterprise Start-ups

IGNITE – the Big Energy Idea 2017

Back again in 2017, Ignite are again looking forward to advance investment readiness and idea development for the brightest in the social enterprise energy sector.

Advancing social impact in the energy sector – with the support of Centrica.

If you are over 16 years of age, resident in the UK and looking to develop your energy business potential…then you should apply to the Ignite Social Enterprise challenge. With investment available from betwwen £50k and £2m, then put your energy, enthusiasm and nascent business in the best place to ‘give it wings’.

You need to contact ignite (at ) centrica.com to discuss your idea and to obtain an application form. The deadline for the simple first round is 31st January, 2017.

You can see fuller details and the complete eligibility criteria here – http://ignitesocialenterprise.com/challenge/

 Icon for Adobe PDF   Download a pdf of Frequently Asked Questions here.

You’ll get support and a brilliant networking opportunity in the energy sector if you are successful. Don’t let the light go out on your idea…IGNITE IT


From the archive:

We last featured Ignite on the pages of Mining the SEEM in 2015. Check out that year’s process and previous winners for even more background.

Think Enterprise!

A new magazine, Think Enterprise, from the IOEE.

‘The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs has been over 15 years in the making and exists to make sure that all those involved in enterprise are able to access the support they need, when they need it’.

Whether your interest lies in tracking SFEDI Centres of Excellence or in developing apprenticeships and wider learning in business, then Think Enterprise has something of interest for you.

Be sure to check out pages 16 & 17, with their 2016 Enterprise Awards almost upon us, if only to read of the developmental success of others can in itself an inspiring and confidence building thing as you grow your own business, whatever sector you are in.

You can find the IOEE on-line here.

Starting your new social business in 2016?

Planning your new social enterprise in 2016?

The Key Fund have a range of on-line resources available for the budding social entrepreneur, or social enterprise that is leaning towards developing its business in 2016.

You can find some simple and effective Key Fund toolkits below. Whether needing to survey and assess your income needs as an individual, or a family unit, or to calculate various loan interests.

You can also find a template for creating your Social Enterprise Business Plan. This will guide you methodically and clearly through the steps you need to plan your governance, your policies and your operational delivery – all focused on social enterprise creation and sustainability.

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View, print or download your cashflow template here (MS Excel file).

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View, print or download your Business Plan template here (pdf file).

internetIconMini View, print or download your Loan Illustrator here (MS Excel file).

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View, print or download your personal survival budget template here (MS Docx file).

The Key Fund main web pages also have a more comprehensive and detailed set of resources available on the Fund Start-up Advice web centre (Courtesy of Start-up Donut). This offers you more insight and detailed resources for creating a new social business and has links to a variety of services and information that new groups or companies will find useful.

So, wherever you are on your social business journey in 2016, from first idea to seeking social investment, you can contact The Key Fund Team here.

A happy and enterprising 2016!

Spark your inventiveness!

The next deadline for the Design Council Spark programme is approaching on December 14th.

Design Council Spark is a product innovation fund and programme designed to fast-track products to market. Spark is looking for brilliant ideas at prototype stage.

              Source: The Design Council, December 2015

The short film below shows designer Wayne Hemingway, talking about the process of design and invention, and how the Design Council Spark Award fosters the creation of new products and enterprise to create and market your ideas.

Wayne Hemingway says ‘..ideas are free, now is the chance to make those ideas a reality…’

You can find out more about the Spark initiative from The Design Council here. The on-line access to the application process can be found here.

Your concept must be to create a physical product and you need to be UK based to qualify for entry. Up to 150,000 Pounds prize money is to be shared by the winning entries, as well as a period of development and design support to realise your dream.

Good luck with your entry!

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.

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

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…

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

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…

 

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) :

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