Awards for Social Enterprise

socialenterpriseawardsLogoIf you are a social enterprise active for two years or more, and can meet the published criteria, you can now apply to the Social Enterprise Awards 2016.

The application process is now open and you will find the criteria and award categories on this page of socialenterprise.org.uk

The full application process is similarly available on-line from the same site. See more here.

Award categories available this year include…

  • One to Watch Award
  • Social Impact Award
  • Buy Social – the market builder award
  • Social Investment Deal of the Year
  • Health & Social Care Social Enterprise
  • Consumer Facing Social Enterprise
  • Education, Training and Jobs Social enterprise of the Year
  • Environmentla Social Enterprise of the Year
  • Inspiring Youth Enterprise Award
  • Social Enterprise Women’s Champion
  • International Impact

There is plenty to go for. Plenty of awards to reflect the diversity, ambition and range of economic activity with a social heart across our regions.

If you do apply, the very best of luck.

Please note: Closing date for applications is Friday, 8th July 2016

(Source: http://socialenterprise.org.uk/about/social-enterprise-awards/2016-awards-catergories (Accessed: 10.06.2016)

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Helping enterprise grow…

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...

  • BME support flowers in Cambridgeshire

    We are delighted as a partnership to be the web publishers for the new information directory for ABMEC,  a Cambridgeshire based CIC, supporting the BME community in the county.

    ABMEC is a lottery funded project, providing resources, training and advice to its community of interest for the last five years.

    We are happy to be able to institute a web reference information resource and to maintain the quality and accessibility of the information for ABMEC after the project has reached fruition this year.

    You can find the new directory online here at supportingcambridgeshire.com

    The service is provided by our community web arm, Thirdsectorweb, who are specialist web and communication suppliers for the charity, education and local authority sectors.

    You can find the Thirdsectorweb team here. As works in progress, online directories of socially useful  information are never complete.

    If you have information that can go into the directory just add the details to the contact us page on the directory website. The directory team will make sure your information is always current and up to date.

    SmithMartin – helping support communities across the UK. 


  • 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...

  • The Collected Works

    We are really pleased to have been jointly instrumental in creating a new collaborative professional partnership in Collected Works.

    This new group exercises the creative energy of SmithMartin and WilsonGoodchild.

    The latter is a Lincolnshire based consultancy, passionate and reflective about social outcomes, with a different yet complimentary sets of skills from our core partnership at SmithMartin.

    Our lived experience as a social business is always to concentrate on the social and community outcome ahead of the surplus that may be generated.

    All consultancies need to invoice to survive, with the new Collected Works initiative offers both organisations, we would argue, can find a way to work collaboratively, sharing knowledge and expertise, along with technical resources.

    Tim Smith, partner at SmithMartin said..

    We welcome new projects in the same way we did before, but see Collected Works, and the joint contribution with WilsonGoodchild, as a way to maximise the social return from our efforts, whilst using economies of scale and different, but complimentary expertise, to undertake bids, join consortia, undertake enterprise development and research projects.

    Sharing our ideas and direction of travel, maximising community outcome and sharing revenue wherever we can…

    If you are a single consultant, looking to develop a new project, or to add value to existing work, give the Collected Works a thoughtful look.

    We’ll be happy to talk without obligation.


  • 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...

  • World Bank Papers into Puppets – recycling project

    brBunker Roy explains an amazing college and concept in Rajasthan, India. An extraordinary school teaches rural women and men — many of them illiterate — to become solar engineers, artisans, dentists and doctors in their own villages.

    It’s called the Barefoot College.

    Through TED, Bunker Roy, founder of Barefoot College explains that it works without money or qualifications. In fact if you have any qualifications you are not able to attend.

    In remote villages in India and also Afghanistan, projects which have benefited the communities have reshaped people’s lives. The women have been given training and help to make projects work. They made solar cables and equipment to bring light to their villages. Imagine the difference that light at night has made to their lives. The cost is negligible and uses resources like sunlight, always there.

    ‘What is the best way to communicate?’ asks Bunker Roy. ‘Is it telephone, television…. No telewoman!’

    It is an engaging video and inspiring speaker with a calm and quiet confidence. Despite having the best education in India Bunker Roy wanted to work with the villages, his mother wouldn’t speak to him for 5 years.

    No money no problem! And even a project to make puppets out of recycled World Bank papers!!

    SmithMartin Partnership – bringing communities together

    Social entrepreneur – five cornerstones

    stonesPic

     

    Starting a business, social or otherwise, is a leap of faith. Faith in yourself or your team, faith in your product or service and faith in your audience, customers or community of interest.

    Below are some basic tenets to help your vision endure, each element when applied well will add to your chances of success, generate turnover and increase your capacity to generate surpluses…

     

    1. Get your governance model right:

    Whether you want to be a limited company, by guarantee or shareholding, a charity or a management committee within an existing organisation, dedicated to providing a service – then working hard to research, take advice and recognise the rationale for the way your organisation is structured will pay huge dividends later on.

    2. Really know why you are doing it:

    Understanding why your business and governance is structured the way it is tempers what people will think about your service. Clarity here will not only help you build effective internal management processes, but will also add to perceptions of your value with your customers or client base.

    3. Share the knowledge:

    Be open and honest with yourself and amongst your fellow board or committee members. Work hard to make sure that the clarity you have is shared and understood by all. Keep good minutes, business records and accounts – share them and talk about them together. Don’t have a ‘closet controller’ at the table.

    If you are in the not for profit sector, have a new service and a shiny new web site – use it to publish that ethical procurement policy, use it to explain where your profits go, use it to make sure your mission is evident in your strapline. Don’t assume we will know.

    4. Suppress the ego:

    Charismatic, energetic and driven project leaders are part of start-ups. The hunter-gatherer can be a great asset when looking for new markets and new product opportunities. Remember though, that in businesses of all kinds the more pastoral, contemplative team member also has their role to play and skill set to offer.

    Be bold by all means, but don’t be a bully.

    5. Accept the risk:

    Risk is part of any entrepreneurial activity. It’s not why you do it, but processes, people and products are never infallible. If you have energetically and intelligently pulled together your team, implemented your processes and delivered your service, then you will also know when the nerve endings are starting to jangle as failure or missed targets approach.

    Embrace that feeling and use that same energy to drive forward the next phase of your business development.

    Accepting risk doesn’t mean you have to be an Horatio on the bridge, lonely sword in hand facing the ravenous horde as they approach. By sharing and being open you can reach out for advice and help…there’s plenty out there.

    (SmithMartin LLP provide ethical business, governance and distribution advice and support across a wide range of social enterprise, charity and private sector businesses.

    Our web service writes effective, income generating copy and provides fault free, secure, best value software and hardware solutions – we are your enterprise ‘in the cloud’).


  • 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...

  • Charities, Community Groups
    and where to from here…

    dancrs

     

    Charities face closures as local authorities slash funding, making the delivery of community projects somewhere between hard and impossible.

    Acevo (the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) had already shown that the sector will lose £750 million this year if central and local government passed on cuts proportionately.’ Guardian Tuesday 2nd August 2011.

    Research from False Economy shows that more than 2000 charities face cuts. Zoe Williams in the Guardian, Thurs 4th August 2011 says that ‘…philanthrocapitalism often looks a lot more like capitalism than it does philanthropy.’

    Our partnership work is very much at the ground level; working with people in communities, the centres, the staff, the volunteers and children and families. There’s a lot of resilience and a feeling that although funding and support from the last few good years is coming to an end it doesn’t have to signify a finality to all the good work and the spirit of the community.

    The problems have not gone away, they are now papered over or simply removed from the political agenda.

    But community development is more than just provision of economic funding; social wealth, creative wealth and spirit of support remain.

    There are ways through hard times, social enterprise being one, allowing you to be in charge of your own destiny and economic sustainability is a very powerful opportunity for good.

    (Image courtesy of Ridgeway Park Children Centre )

    SmithMartin Partnership LLP

    Bringing communities together


  • 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...

  • Public service co-operators

    cooperativeBusinessPicMoving from the wrap around direct support of the pubic sector and taking services into another social business form can be an amazing journey. It can also be a rocky road fraught with misunderstanding and hesitancy.

    Co-operatives UK, working with Mutual Ventures, have produced a short primer on how to take public sector services into the cooperative domain.

    Their guided journey manual, an overview on developing the big idea, taking your plans to realisation and how to get started, is available online here (.pdf document 564Kb).

    This document is of interest to those considering the emergence of public sector mutuals, however it does also offer sound thinking and guidance on frameworks of action for any social or charitable business getting ready to flower.

    What is it we should be thinking about? Co-operative Business District: a guided journey to discover your own public service co-operative destination can tell you.

    Peter Marsh and David Fairhurst, writing in The Guardian recently have sought to take the current temperature of how the government’s new initiative on employee owned co-operatives is proceeding.

    Their early findings are ‘…that it is a lot of hard work, but well worth it’.

    TPPlaw also have a Mutuals for Local Authority Service Delivery document available from their website. (Free subscription to download).

    TPP offer their professional wisdom on governance cases, development and change in the work force and how estates management inside a local authority can be brokered under a mutuals banner.

    Are mutuals the governance form for the Big Society?


  • 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...