A Social Business Christmas

Image: Christmas learning from Barcelona

Preparing for Christmas we realised that although we have a number of active and complex projects moving ahead into 2017, including more international book and author events, web and communications build-outs for community clients and development of our literacy and book projects, we had no homework!

So we have signed up, via the latest batch of FutureLearn subjects, to a course on Social Business and its development, delivered in partnership with the Universat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

Social Business: a Sustainable Way to Face the Most Pressing Needs of Our Time, as the on-line collaborative course is called, will enable us to test our belief that we are a social business, effectively working as a not for profit company, or rather generating profits with social outcome as the expected significant return.

‘We will begin by defining a Social Business according to Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laurate 2006. We will look at how a Social Business is different from other similar concepts such as Social Economy or Social Enterprise’.

We hope to see how the theories of Muhammad Yunus match our delivered practice, and to discover how other international social business developers interpret their work through the academic theory and practical dialogue that the ‘Pompeu Fabra course will deliver.

Our course starts on 5th December 2016, so there is still time to visit the FutureLearn pages and to sign up. Read more here

The course is free and lasts for four weeks, but is designed to enable you to both learn and share your experiences in just a few hours a week.

We’ll let you know how we get on. Happy Christmas to all our readers!

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  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
    We are always happy to explore new partnerships and projects in our core expertise areas - childcare, early years, education, charities, social business, governance, fund raising, literacy, books and web communications to support the work across all sectors.

    Email office@smithmartinpartnership.com for an exploratory review...

  • TED Talks Yanis Varoufakis

    An intriguing look at society and the power of capitalism and the role of democracy delivered at Tedglobal in Geneva, December 2015.

    There is a movement in democratic states and change of power, which Yanis Varoukis argues is having an increasing demise in benefits for all recipients of democracies.

    The following excerpts are taken from the TED video and for a fuller understanding of the recent TEDglobal event see more here.

    We see democracy as part of the furniture, capitalism begets democracy, but it doesn’t! Democracy is receding in Europe.

    Chinese leaders and others have said that democracy would be banned if it ever threatened to change anything. They are wrong if they think we can dispense with democracy.

    Without it our future would be bleak, our societies nastier, and our great new technologies wasted.

    There is a green peaks paradox… a mountain of debt and now a mountain of idle cash. This belongs to rich savers and corporations frightened to invest in the areas which would dispense with the mountains of debt.

    All those things that humanity desperately needs and societies would benefit from to enable enterprise and communities to thrive.

    There is a low aggregate demand as so many people are out of work or on low paid jobs, which reinforces the worry for the investor to lend or reinvest the money.
    Capitalism grows wastefulness, it encourages idle cash, it should be used to benefit and energise lives and develop human talents and engage with green technology.

    Twin peaks which fail to cancel each other out…

    “Democracy is when the free and the poor control government.” – Aristotle.
    Our own liberal democracies have their roots in the Magna Carta.

    There is a separation in the political and economic sphere and today the economic sphere is eating into the political sphere. One can be in government but not have the power, this has gone to the economic sphere which is consuming itself with the mountain of idle cash.’

    This is definitely worth further discussion and if we continue to paper over the cracks we will never see the fault line until its rather too late!

    Sue Martin

    SmithMartin Partnership Working with communities


  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
    We are always happy to explore new partnerships and projects in our core expertise areas - childcare, early years, education, charities, social business, governance, fund raising, literacy, books and web communications to support the work across all sectors.

    Email office@smithmartinpartnership.com for an exploratory review...

  • Kate Grenville at the Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts

    Kate Grenville, One Life, a new book from Cannongate...
    See more here…

    Kate Grenville was in conversation at the Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts in London on Saturday 30th May, 2015.

    The great pleasure in being a bookseller and publisher is the opportunity to hear, and develop a wider understanding of, great authors and their work.

    Kate’s new book One Life, has just been published with Canongate Books. It is the story about her mother Nance, born in 1912 in New South Wales.

    A remarkable story, not because Nance became famous or wealthy, but because the story is about a woman growing up in a harsh family in Australia in the 1920’s and onwards.

    After training as a pharmacist, she went to work in a local chemist and learnt much more about life than dispensing drugs.

    Kate Grenville has a remarkable way of telling a story and after a few minutes of conversations and readings from One Life, it felt that we knew this woman Nance, her character of directness and ambition, striving to do all she could to make the most of life. As a young girl this was not easy at that time, but her determination was unstoppable!

    It was a schoolteacher who changed her life and Mr Crisp, left her with a love of literature. Nance instilled in Kate a love of words, Nance had poetry in her mind and was able to deliver apposite quotes just when needed.

    This was an amazing chance to listen to Kate Grenville and also hear about the very special book, The Secret River. The Secret River, by Kate Grenville

    So now to read the book, One Life, from the opening pages it will be a book that will be hard to put down.

    Check out the website for further conversations and adventures at the Aus and NZ Fest with lots of exciting authors.

    Sue Martin


  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
    We are always happy to explore new partnerships and projects in our core expertise areas - childcare, early years, education, charities, social business, governance, fund raising, literacy, books and web communications to support the work across all sectors.

    Email office@smithmartinpartnership.com for an exploratory review...

  • Venturefest 2015, April 14th

    Our Partnership will be exhibiting in the Social Business Hub of Venturefest East Midlands, in Nottingham, on Tuesday 14th April 2015.

    Supporting the Social Business Hub visitors in their exploration of the newly emergent Social Business sector.

    venturefestLogoWe will be working with Roger Moors of SEEM in Nottingham, our client, helping to create new pathways to social outcome for mainstream business. These outcomes are no longer the sole remit of the Third Sector in the UK, with many SME’s particularly, being interested in how they can build social outcome into their business profile, delivery and surplus generation.

    We can help you achieve these aims.

    We work collaboratively with a wide range of organisations across the UK, helping establish new projects and sustainable community business ideas in schools, children’s centres, charities, social business and community enterprises of all kinds.

    We have a wealth of experience in business case development, business model exploration, budgeting and business plans – as well as expertise in ethical business operations, marketing and delivery.

    We are particularly strong in the childcare, education and literacy sectors. Finding new ways to add value to traditional supply chains and helping to introduce new models of ‘learning and earning’ into traditional institutions and settings.

    Bringing together the best of enterprise creation, third sector social gain and mediated management across our whole sector experience. We specialise, as a Partnership, in the following areas…

    • Social Business and Charity Development
    • Education, Early Years and Literacy
    • Funding and Governance Support
    • Web, New Media and original Content Creation

    You can still register for your free ticket for Venturefest East Midlands 2015 in Nottingham here.

    If you are passing the Social Business Hub, call and see how we might help your business ‘go social’. We’ll be pleased to see you.

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    See our catalogue of services at Dolphinbookbox here…

     


  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
    We are always happy to explore new partnerships and projects in our core expertise areas - childcare, early years, education, charities, social business, governance, fund raising, literacy, books and web communications to support the work across all sectors.

    Email office@smithmartinpartnership.com for an exploratory review...

  • Summer redesign…

    SmithMartin LLP, project design and delivery...
    SmithMartin LLP – taking a refreshing view of your project…

    As the summer holidays become a memory in 2013 we have brightened our Autumn reading by installing and loading a fresh new design and layout for ChangeThinking, the news and reflection website for SmithMartin LLP.

    We hope we have made browsing the range of our content on the main page easier, with a much more prominent Read more… button to take you to the full articles that interest you.

    The individual articles still offer our usual suite of images and downloadable content wherever applicable.

    Don’t forget you can check out our other core services at the Partnership, which we have listed below. As the Autumn gets busier and the projects in hand become more pressing as budget finals loom in the Spring, don’t forget that our range of expertise will have some professional support for your social business, school, charity, young people and children’s service or community web need.

    SmithMartin LLP:

    Project management and development expertise, helping devise governance and management strategy for social business and community projects of all sorts. We have strong expertise in evaluation, social business planning and governance in both charity, education and business settings.

    Thirdsectorweb:

    Our community web business, strong in ethical design, hosting and content creation for charities, schools, education settings and social businesses.

    Dolphinbooksellers:

    You can buy retail children’s books on-line here. We also devise, procure and install all equipment and books for school and community libraries. We can also offer, through the baskets of DolphinbBookShelf , a great way to encourage reading, volunteer engagement and fund raising in any setting. Ask us how.

    Books go Walkabout:

    Our international authors and young people project. Using new technology to have real time conversations with writers and illustrators across the globe. See more here…

    BgW is now a publishing house in its own right – we are always looking for authors with new writing, or  traditional print back-catalogue, coming out of licence, who wish to explore e-publishing and how to get their work into the electronic eco-systems of the major online retailers. Our current theme for 2013/2014 is Writing about AfricaAsk us about eBook publishing here…

    Just a flavour of what our Partnership can offer and how our skills mix can help you deliver a development project, capital or revenue. We are alway happy to be the LLP which helps you see your project with new eyes, without any initial commitment.

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  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
    We are always happy to explore new partnerships and projects in our core expertise areas - childcare, early years, education, charities, social business, governance, fund raising, literacy, books and web communications to support the work across all sectors.

    Email office@smithmartinpartnership.com for an exploratory review...

  • Social Incubator North now active…

    seedlingPic44There is a new feeling of enterprise and social business generation abroad in the North of England.

    Social Incubator North is now taking applications for the new fund, offering support, encouragement and practical assistance to entrepreneurs and nascent social businesses in the North.

     

    The Fund offers…

    • On-going, specialist advice and support
    • Assistance with your staged development
    • Up to £25k of investment available with contacts to other investors
    • 80 hours of one to one development support
    • The opportunity to network and learn from peer groups

    ‘Social Incubator Fund is Government initiative that offers investment, bespoke business support and access to expertise to grow entrepreneurial ideas into glorious fruition.Its aim is to nurture social businesses from a grassroots level.

    Social Incubator North received just over £1m from the UK-wide £10m Social Incubator Fund from the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of the Office for Civil Society. This was match funded by the delivery partners to create a total fund of just over £2m’.

    You don’t need a fully formed idea to apply to the fund, just a competitive and innovative new idea. See more on the Social Incubator North web site here.

    (Article by Tim Smith – Tim is a board member of SEEM, a regional partner in the Social Incubator North delivery framework).

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  • News and fresh thinking from SmithMartin Partnership LLP
    We are always happy to explore new partnerships and projects in our core expertise areas - childcare, early years, education, charities, social business, governance, fund raising, literacy, books and web communications to support the work across all sectors.

    Email office@smithmartinpartnership.com for an exploratory review...