A series of free events at your local Business & IP Centre, from the British Library and local authorities.
Not overtly dedicated to the Social Marketplace, but a day of free engagement, idea exploration and support-signposting from a variety of key players in the enterprise and tech market encouragement sectors.
DATE AND TIME: Thu 20 September 2018 09:00 – 16:30 BST
The nominations list for the 2018 UK Social Enterprise Awards have just been published.
What a cavalcade of fantastic projects, across many impact themes, and a wide geographical spread. The list itself is evidence alone of a thriving, multi-dimensional social enterprise topography in the UK.
With the weather getting a little cooler and wetter, now is the time to turn to cultivation, at last. In this short article, you can find some ideas, concepts and web links to help you craft your project ideas for a social enterprise in the hope that it flowers into reality.
Our notes are broad picture elements for discussion and sparking ideas.
No-one knows your community, group or collection of committed individuals for the project like you do!
You might be creating an agenda for the discussion of first principles, using the notes as a talk to support your work or pulling out some key concepts so that you can explain them to your group or community. We hope that our notes help?
We would certainly use the content, and distribute copies, if you asked us to speak about your project at an event or a meeting. That way, conceptual information becomes grounded knowledge at the local level, we would argue.
If you embraced all the techniques and tools linked to in the narrative perhaps the noise would drown out the signal.
It’s sometimes difficult not to sound ‘preachy’, when discussing first principles. That is not our intent. Rather, to use our notes, and the issues to come, to establish some sound footings for everyone to embrace, on every step of the enterprise journey.
If you have yet to take your first community group ‘conceptual’ step into the ‘seed-bed’, we hope you find something here.
As always, if we can help, just ask us.
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Social Enterprise UK, with the support of generous sponsorship by NatWest Bank, have just published their ‘Start Your Social Enterprise’ booklet.
This is a great primer on social enterprise, clearly laid out and packed with information for those of you about to start your SocEnt journey.
You can view, print or download a copy of this publication here (pdf).
The chapters include sections on Mission, Market and Money, as well as Marketing and Branding and the all important Business Plan.
There is also a very clear grid format page which illustrates the choices of good governance you can pursue, in order to control and support your Social Enterprise ambitions as a community.
We particularly liked the SEUK section on Looking After Yourself.
It is easy, in the whirl of excitement and drive to make things happen to forget about individual well-being in pursuit of the goal. We have repeated the sensible advice below…
”Pay yourself properly – as soon as is practically possible, pay
yourself properly; some social entrepreneurs pay other people
first in the organisation, but everyone needs to live…
Find a mentor – a mentor is someone independent outside your organisation
to talk to who can provide advice and support to you; organisations like
UnLtd and the School for Social Entrepreneurs will often link you to mentors
as part of their support, but you may be able to identify your own…
Be part of networks – there are lots of local, regional and national groups and
networks for social enterprises, from national bodies like Social Enterprise UK
to the Social Enterprise Places across the country to local and regional networks
like SELNET in Lancashire or SEEE in the East of England; they will often run
events, send newsletters with information, and provide connections to others. (…and SocEntEastMids too…Ed).
Don’t neglect family and friends – take time out, spend time with
the people you like and love, and you will be better refreshed, more
focused and more productive when you return to the enterprise…
Keep learning – this is a fast-moving world, and there are new developments,
opportunities and information to find out about; events and newsletters can
help with this, as can podcasts or books on business and social enterprise…”
Source: Social Enterprise UK, Start your social enterprise, p.13 Accessed 02.08.2017
A useful addition to your armoury when building your community business to effect change.
We recommend it as a great starting point for changing the world, or even a bit of it in the immediate vicinity at first!
Sometimes, in a committee room or at your office desk, starting a new community enterprise – or entertaining the very thought – can be a bit like the image above.
Here at SocEntEastMIds we are trying to build a new starting point. A resource for information about social enterprise, news and stories from successes, and those that didn’t go well. To promote understanding and to get easy access to a community project road map.
First principles are important and you can find a good read about building social businesses on our Good Reads page here. We will be expanding our library of good reads in the future. (It’s been our road-map for a long time now too…Ed.)
Having a chat about your idea is also important too. Not all project ideas grow, but those that do invariably begin by talking to experienced practitioners, even informally. You get an idea about a business landscape before you enter it. SocEntEastMIds is happy to have a conversation – contact us here.
The British Council have published a great resource, Social Enterprise in the UK, a sort of ‘SocEnt primer’ and an illustrated overview of the social business sector. One of the best we know.
It covers everything you might need to know about social enterprise and community business – from governance to diversity, from incubation to consortia.
Social Enterprise East MIdlands is a UK registered Limited Company Company No: 10862936 Our mission is to foster grass-roots interest in the Social Economy - supporting community enterprise development in our six counties region.
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