New research commissioned by The School for Social Entrepreneurs(SSE)* reveals that social entrepreneurs seeking training: ‘overwhelmingly want to hear from expert practitioners from their own sector‘.
Survey respondents reasoning is that: “They value the hard-won experience of someone who has already walked the road they are following, who understands the particular challenges faced by social enterprises, and who can offer grounded, practical advice and guidance.“
On the other hand: “Policy experts and coaches were the least valued contributors to a course.“
As someone with over ten years ‘hard-won experience’ of running a social enterprise, I can only hope this is enough to neutralize the effects of my policy expertise. Either way, I certainly wouldn’t deny social entrepreneurs a survey- ...more
“… The problem with these kinds of optimistic figures about the enthusiasm for social enterprise is not that they’re incorrect – as far as I know, they are correct – but that there’s a misalignment between what they mean and they arguments that they’re used to make …” – my latest mythbuster for The Guardian‘s Social Enterprise Network.
“Most social investment requires subsidy, and subsidy should not be a dirty word. The enterprises we invest in typically lack scale, carry levels of risk that are disproportionate to the financial return, provide goods or services in markets or to clients where the margins are too thin, rarely provide any visibility on exits and often have capped returns to shareholders.”
The above quote is typical of the arguments we’ve all heard over and over again from traditional subsidised social investors. What a relief that the old world of subsidy and excuses has been swept away with the arrival of groundbreaking social investment wholesale finance institution, Big Society Capital(BSC). As BSC’s chief executive, Nick O’Donohoe rightly pointed out in 2011: “We’ ...more
“Neither the Social Value Act nor procurement law in general allow public bodies to discriminate in favour of particular types of organisations. So if social ventures are not able to articulate and demonstrate how they deliver additional social value…” my latest blog post for The Young Foundation looks at the implications of the Social Value Act.
This post is the first in a series of four posts about the Reconstructing Social Enterprise seminar series:
“… reviewing the extant literature there was an uneasy feeling that many social entrepreneurship scholars have been keen to reiterate political and media narratives with no or only minimal critical interrogation. As a result, the scholarly debate of social entrepreneurship purports the view that social entrepreneurship is a good thing and that, by extension, the more social entrepreneurs the better.“
This quote from the summary version of Pascal Dey and Chris Steyaert’s paper, The Critical Turn in Social Enterprise Research, sets the scene for both the paper and Reconstructing Social Enterprise as a whole. The ESRC ...more
“Social investment is big in Australia or, at least, it soon will be. The state government of New South Wales (NSW) is currently in the process of piloting Australia’s first Social Benefit Bonds (SBB), the equivalent of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) in the UK...” my latest feature for The Guardian‘s Social Enterprise Network.
“Unfortunately, even if social investors were prepared to put their money into spin-outs, there is still a problem that the money they provide is too expensive and many spin outs have been surprised that the fact they deliver positive social outcomes, doesn’t mean investors will offer them a better financial deal…” – my latest piece for The Guardian‘s Social Enterprise Network on the challenges facing spin outs and other social enterprises delivering health and social care services.
In a recent opinion piece in The New York Times, Peter Buffett, musician, philanthropist and son of Warren Buffett, lays into what the headline writer calls ‘The Charitable-Industrial Complex’.
Buffett’s view is that as increasing numbers of very wealthy people decide to ‘give back’ some of their immense wealth, the US is seeing an ever-expanding ‘not-for-profit’ sector which is making those rich donors feel much better about themselves but also helping to sustain the economic structures that produce the social problems their donations are, in theory, designed to solve.
Buffett tells us that: ”Between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent. Their growth rate now exceeds that of both the business and government sectors. It’s a massive business, with approximately $ ...more