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On 24 May 2011 - 5:09pm

“One makes a gift of one’s life and endeavors by sanctifying it with love, and devotion and selfless service. When seeking to uplift others, we are uplifted in the process. Every kind thought or smile therefore benefits oneself as well as all the world.” –David Hawkins

Dr. David Hawkins is a psychiatrist and spiritual teacher, and the author of a number of books about spirituality and consciousness.


On 24 May 2011 - 2:48pm

Image of Jobs from via the Web
I wanted to share with you an email I received recently from Gavin Ramsey who now works for inspiring SEL member, Four Corners, London's centre for film and photography. Gavin's message underlines what I have been saying about the Future Jobs Fund, how, for many it got them into jobs they wanted, and why its equivalent replacement in social enterprise is desperately needed.

Hello Allison,

I hope you ...more

Posted By The BSSEC blog
On 24 May 2011 - 11:37am

Yesterday saw publication of the government white paper on Giving. This will be relevant for anyone working in the volunteering and charitable giving sectors, but its policy implications go much wider than this, with clear new directions emerging for community action, reducing the bureaucracy associated with volunteering, and some key points regarding infrastructure and support.

Some of the important pointers that I took away from the white paper were the emerging trends and direction of travel. For example: ...more

  • There is a strong focus on the
Posted By Ed Mayo's blog
On 24 May 2011 - 11:30am

Those of us involved in community finance in the UK and Europe can take good heart from the success across the Atlantic.

Pat Conaty and Cliff Rosenthal point to a ten year review of the community finance sector in the USA.

Between 1999 and 2009 the review shows that assets in Community Development Loan Funds have grown from $1.7 billion to $11.9 billion, assets in Community Development Credit Unions have grown from $610 million to $11.1 billion, assets in Community Development Venture Capital Funds have grown from $150 million to $2 billion and assets in Community Development Banks have grown from $2.9 billion to $17.3 billion.

As a result community investment in America is coming of age with growing numbers of US households, businesses and institutions moving their accounts and funds from mainstream banks to community finance.

Small is bankable.


Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 24 May 2011 - 10:09am

Arrived back on Saturday laden with bottles of wine , including a generous gift from the Crown Prince Alexander of a fine wine from his Royal vineyards. I was received at the Palace on Friday and had my own tour with the Head of the Privy council. Then onto a reception with Her Britannic Majesty's Ambassador, Michael Davenport. Biljana gave me a dawn tour of the Belgrade fortress and churches ( including a bottle of holy water for the flight).

At the Royal Palace with my work shadow Biljana


On 23 May 2011 - 11:29pm

Apparently David Cameron has relaunched The Big Society again. While, according to the Big Society Commission, 78% of adults are confused about what Big Society means, there are no reported figures for the percentage of us who can’t tell the difference between the PM relaunching the idea as opposed to just making another speech about it.

If Big Society is, in fact, being relaunched again, it’s a bit difficult to see why. In a situation where lots of people have either lost their jobs, or are about to lose their jobs, and wages – should you be lucky enough to still be receiving some – are worth less month-on-month, the Prime Minister and leading party of government are not significantly ...more

Posted By The BSSEC blog
On 23 May 2011 - 7:22pm


Social Enterprise Mentor’s networking for May proved very popular with around 80 students and social enterprises coming together to find out more about how Birmingham’s university population could help influence social enterprise across the city.

The event took place at one of Birmingham’s creative hubs, The Custard Factory, and utilised 3 units to provide an exhibition space, funding and advice centre, social media surgery, as well as, coffee and networking.

To read the review of the day see Social Enterprise Mentor

To book on the next event (limited availability) register here

Join us on ...more

On 23 May 2011 - 5:05pm

“Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.” –Alexander Haig

Alexander Haig was a four-star general in the United States Army, as well as Chief of Staff under President Nixon and President Ford, and Secretary of State under President Reagan.


On 23 May 2011 - 11:49am

One of the challenges that the social enterprise sector currently faces is clarity about its own identity versus the exponential explosion of company labels, such as:  Social Business, Social Purpose Business, Social Purpose Organisations, Ethical Business, Social Enterprise, to name just a few.

What do these all mean and do the terms have any meaning to anyone outside the sector, or even within it?

Do they count for anything or are they just applied by the business on a self promotional basis? For instance, A4E describe themselves as a ‘social purpose business’ despite much publicity about the high proportion of profits that end up lining the pockets of individual shareholders.

Many people argue that what we call ourselves doesn’t matter, it is only the social/environmental ...more

On 23 May 2011 - 10:17am

I listened to Andrew Marr's interview with Barack Obama yesterday. For me he embodies what leadership is all about. Clear, strong values. Calmness in adversity. Sensitivity to human feeling. An ability to raise others and paint a big picture - but also a clear eye for detail. Toughness when required but also persuasion as the main weapon.

When I was a CEO, I didn't always rate myself as a leader that much. I could, I think, inspire people, I could build a picture - but I never felt sure enough of myself as a manager of people. I need to be liked that little bit too much. People, I think, found me just the wrong side of flexible - a bit of a pushover. I also flapped quite a lot, sometimes not very privately either. Painfully aware of my weaknesses, I always felt like an actor who had only learned half his lines.

I know this isn't unique. I know all CEOs feel, to some extent, frauds waiting to be unmasked. I know few that ride that delicate ...more