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On 21 November 2011 - 12:02am

I spent sizeable parts of Thursday and Friday at this year’s Shine Unconference at Hub Westminster – ‘London’s first superstudio for the impact economy’.

Social enterprise support charity, Unltd, are the prime movers behind Shine which was launched in 2008 as an alternative (or perhaps antidote) to the formulaic conferences laid on by both the public sector and conventional conference organisers. This year’s event was curated by communications company, Culture Group and social enterprise, Red Button Design.

Shine is unusual in being a social enterprise conference aimed at social entrepreneurs. ...more

On 20 November 2011 - 5:06pm

SHINE 2011 at the Hub Westminster certainly proved itself to be ‘the UK’s leading unconventional conference (or unconference) for socially-minded entrepreneurs’ which is due to the formidable Amanda Jones from the pioneering for-profit social enterprise Red Button Design and the great work by the team at Unltd with a special mention to the PR guru Francesca Carpanini... ...more

On 20 November 2011 - 10:14am

I had an amazing day on the allotment yesterday with my nephew Tom Woodford. He did some serious heavy lifting of wood chip mulch and manure and I pruned for Britain. Starting at the front I cleared back the asparagus, autumn fruiting raspberries, gooseberries, Jerusalem artichokes, blackberries and grapevine.

Tom mulched the paths with the free wood chip the council leave at the site gates and also helped me bring 28 bags of manure down to No 31 to feed and protect the soil.


Posted By Ben Metz blog
On 20 November 2011 - 8:49am

I continue to manage the Sarah Dodds Fund, which seeks to match social ventures seeking to scale with MBA students looking to develop careers in the social entrepreneurship realm.

We just announced the five shortlisted ventures for our 2012 activities.  This year is a bit of an experiment as we are working exclusively with Said Business School MBA students through their compulsory Entrepreneurship Project that sees them working in teams of five to develop a business plan or investment readiness plan.  We are providing a challenge pot comprising a small number of awards of £20,000 of unsecured loan capital at 0% to help the best social ventures implement the plans devised by the student teams.  Watch this space or for how we go along this year.


On 19 November 2011 - 7:18pm

I was with a client of ours the other day and we were talking about a joint venture they were looking into doing. Like a lot of third sector organisations, they were big on vision and ideas but a little thin on practicalities. And I found myself saying what I often say to leaders of spin-outs.

Which is this: it's very bloody hard to grow a business without investment. Financial investment. Personal investment. A commitment and a choice to take the risk. An intrinsic understanding that you can only get massive results if you're willing ot make big calls. Let's call it the Investment Principle.

I have, when I think about it, tried to live my own life by it, whether I consciously called it that or not. I seek, where possible, to be an Investor. Why? Because the he stand-out people who I admire most are, for me, those who invest. They take risks with their time. They give freely - but selectively. They put their reputation and money on the line ...more

On 19 November 2011 - 11:15am

Latzo lorverly prizes at Livity, Brixton Social Enterprise Day, has been for the last few years a real celebration for our world. Its a day when a great many social enterprises make the effort to showcase all or some of what they do. At SEL we did our bit with a Guardian supported launch of Spin out and Deliver, our latest publication on new forms of public service providers that go it alone to focus on social value ,and an open day at the SEL offices.

At the youth and media company and SEL member, Livity, ceo Sam Conniff got Super Mario in and some guy in a red hat from the cabinet office to announce Livity ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 18 November 2011 - 8:56pm

A rather stellar line up at our Annual conference today. Leadership in troubling times...

Last night our annual dinner at the Royal College of Physicians (ACEVO member is the CEO Martin Else ) was relaxed and fun , despite the disgust we all felt at the news on youth unemployment. Guy Laurence , the CEO of Vodaphone gave an impassioned speech on text giving which Vodaphone have championed and invested in.

The Conference proved a mega success. An interestoing and reflective contribution from Hester. A charming and persuasive speech from James Caan, the dragons den man, a brilliant talk on governance and tips for chairs and CEOs from Bill Ryan. And a panel of Chairs and CEOs reflecting on their experiences.

I began by warning we now need to plan ...more

Posted By Ed Mayo's blog
On 18 November 2011 - 6:13pm

On the platform, with great fanfare, charm and charisma, is President Calderon of Mexico.

He says, alongside a range of concrete actions to harness the role of co-operatives in the economy and in tackling poverty, “we will celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives. Of course we will. We love to celebrate.”

Mexico, 2012. Ten million cooperative members. Party nation.


On 18 November 2011 - 5:27pm

On Wednesday, 100 guests joined us from across the sector at an event to launch Partner-Up that was hosted by Eversheds.

Partner-Up is an independent marketplace where organisations can explore partnership options safely and receive support in making these new arrangements happen.

I was pleased with the event. We had a good turnout, with excellent speakers and the discussion was lively.

Each of our speakers talked candidly about the challenges that prevent more mergers/collaboration happening. Among other things, they pointed to the fact that charity leaders can often have an excessive attachment to either their corporate or personal brands at the expense of the long term interests of beneficiaries and that Board’s often show a lack of strategic foresight. Both points resonate strongly.

Since we ‘soft’ launched Partner-Up at the start of the year we have collected information from about 200 charities on their interests around mergers and there are 30 ...more

On 18 November 2011 - 5:05pm

“There is no such thing as failure—just God pointing you in a new direction.”  – Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is an actress, producer and philanthropist.  She is best known for her TV talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which recently ended a 25-year run.  Oprah rose from an impoverished background to become one of the richest and most influential women in the world.