Page 1

November/December 2003 • Issue 1

Inside: Local and national policy

2

Suffolk ACRE, the Rural Community Council for Suffolk has been recognised as an Approved Supplier of Business Link services to social and community enterprises.

From the Editor

3

Editor David Lloyd discusses the aim and objectives of SEEE – Social Enterprise East of England.

Feature – conference report

InTouch SOCIAL ENTERPRISE EAST OF ENGLAND

Investing in Communities By John Wilkinson

4

Special four page report from the SEEE Conference, ‘Social Enterprise: The Promise and Perils’ on 12 November.

Initiatives

8

A report on the recent visit by British and Italian groups to Portugal to study ‘Innovations in the Social Economy’ – the Portuguese ‘Equal Programme’

The WasteWISE project

10

Eastern England was the best in England at recycling in 2002-3. We look at the four capacity-building strands of WasteWISE, APU’s initiative to assist enterprises and communities to profit from waste in our region.

The WISE programme

11

We take a look at Anglia Polytechnic University’s Working in Social Enterprise (WISE) programme.

Focus on...

12

In this issue we focus on Norfolk. Trainee Journalist Sarah Charters reports on various social enterprises in the county.

Networks unlimited...

14

News from across the six counties, and your opportunity to tell us what you are doing.

Internet: SEEE’s Web partner services are at: http://www.nearbuyou.org http://www.socialenterprise-east.org.uk

I

nvesting in Communities (IIC) is an exciting and innovative major new programme, funded through the East of England Development Agency’s Single Programme funds, which will encourage a holistic partnership approach to tackling regeneration and renewal in deprived communities in the East of England.

Supporting the vibrant East of England social economy One of the key priorities for IIC will be support for the development of a vibrant social economy in the East of England. Evidence from research funded by EEDA shows that the social economy accounts for an estimated 30,000 full time jobs, 13,500 part time jobs and has an estimated turnover of £4.7 billion in the East of England. It is therefore vital to the delivery of goods, services and employment opportunities to disadvantaged communities, in particular where there is notable public and private sector market failure. Broadly, Investing in Communities will

support long-term regeneration programmes, which have the greatest impact in the 10% most deprived wards in the region, communities of interest, rural disadvantage and pockets of deprivation. In addition to support for the social economy, the key priorities for action include social inclusion, learning and skills, community and voluntary sector capacity building, business development and social capital. IIC will maximise the use of existing and mainstream funding and influence how money and services are delivered to achieve the goals of the community strategies and Local Strategic Partnerships.

Strategic Partnerships The programme will be delivered through strategic partnerships at regional level and sub regionally in each of the county/ Local Economic Partnership areas, building on existing structures. Within these sub regional areas LEPs have been asked to lead a consultation on local priorities and the ➜ page 2


Local and national policy ➜ cover development of 10-year strategies, which will form the basis of a negotiation with EEDA on delivering IIC. At this sub regional level EEDA is keen to support the development of sub regional social enterprise networks. These would draw together key social enterprises, mainstream and specialist business support organisations, finance providers and others. These strategic partnerships would deliver, in a coordinated way and with identified key priorities, support to individuals and groups starting and growing social enterprise organisations. At a regional level, EEDA will be looking to support regional initiatives and pilot projects to achieve the goals of IIC where this adds value to local work or where local initiatives are not able to take forward regional priorities. SEEE will be the regional infrastructure network At this level, EEDA will support the development of Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE), building on the work currently being carried out through the EQUAL funded SSEER Development Partnership. SEEE will become the regional social enterprise infrastructure network, drawing together, but not subsuming key delivery networks such as the East of England Mutual and Co-op Council, Social Firms Eastern Region, East of England Business Links and Community Renewal Network East along with the emerging sub regional social enterprise networks. SEEE will be responsible for co-ordinating the development of a social enterprise strategy and action plan for the region. This will ensure a strategic regional approach to support for the development of the social economy as a whole, including community and voluntary organisations wishing to increase their tradable income. SEEE will promote the social enterprise sector by representing its views, by lobbying and influencing policy relating to the

sector, by sharing good practise and information and by being a point of access to social enterprises and social enterprise advisers. It will support delivery through the sub regional partnerships of local actions to tackle the challenges facing the sector, notably barriers to investment, poor access to appropriate business support and skills gaps and shortages.

Working through existing structures In tackling these and other challenges IIC will build on what already exists rather than establishing new systems. For the social economy this means, where possible, working through existing structures, such as Business Links, the Small Business Service, existing specialist support agencies and Banks at a regional and sub regional level.

The budget and how to bid in The budget for IIC is approximately £9.7 million in 2004/5 and £17 million in 2005/6. The size of the programme over 10 years is expected to be approximately £230 million, with a minimum of 50% revenue over the lifetime of the programme. In order to access funds from Investing in Communities, social enterprises and support agencies should in the first instance contact their relevant Local Economic Partnership (LEP). These contact details are set out in the IIC framework document, which can be found within the partnership section of EEDA’s website at http://www.eeda.org.uk. At a regional level contact Elaine McCorriston, EQUAL project manager at Herts Business Link, who are co-ordinating the development of SEEE, on elainem@exemplas.com. All of the documents associated with the negotiations, including delivery plans and key formal EEDA responses will be placed on the EEDA web site.

i

IIC /EEDA www.eeda.org.uk John Wilkinson, Social Inclusion Policy Adviser johnwilkinson@eeda.org.uk

Suffolk ACRE achieves Enterprise Development Standard by Peter See

S

uffolk ACRE, the primary community development charity in Suffolk, has been recognised as an Approved Supplier of Business Link services to social and community enterprises.

Meeting standard for business advisors This follows the successful assessment of Suffolk Community Enterprise, a business advice and support project lead by Suffolk ACRE, against the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative, SFEDI, standards for Business Advisors. These achievements were recognised at a recent meeting of Suffolk ACRE’s Board, where Peter Button, CEO of Business Link for Suffolk, presented a plaque to Suffolk ACRE and certificates to Peter See and Cynthia Schears, members of the Suffolk Community Enterprise project. Peter Button stressed, “ The social sector is growing in importance to the economy. Business Link for Suffolk and Suffolk ACRE share many common aims in

2 InTouch

supporting social and community understanding the customer’s needs and enterprises.” delivering a service to meet those Social enterprises are businesses with requirements.” primarily social objectives, whose Peter See said that, “We are delighted surpluses are re-invested in the business with the assessment. It underlines that or in the community, rather than be social and community enterprises are driven by the need to maximise profits for real businesses and have the same shareholders or owners. Examples professional support and advice that is include rural community transport available to the commercial sector.” schemes, community owned shops and Post Offices, Credit Unions and schemes Suffolk ACRE is the Rural Community to offer training and Council for Suffolk and has projects ranging employment opportunities from village hall advice through rural to people disadvantaged in inclusion, affordable housing and childcare the labour market.

i

The goal – customer satisfaction Cynthia Schears explained that the assessment process had concentrated on how customers were dealt with. “The real goal is customer satisfaction –

NO 1 November/December 2003

About Suffolk ACRE

development to creation of a care cooperative to provide help for elderly people in their own homes. Peter See is manager of Suffolk Community Enterprise and may be contacted via Suffolk ACRE, 2, Wharfedale Road, Ipswich IP1 4JP 01473 242514 or at peter.see@suffolkacre.org.uk


Editorial David Lloyd is joint managing director of Business for People in Huntingdon, and editor and contributor to various publications

InTouch Social Enterprise East of England January/February 2004 Volume 2 Issue 1 The SEEE network is co-ordinated by Hertfordshire Business Link InTouch is financed by SEEE (funded by the European Social Fund ) and published in its support by Business for People in partnership with Creative Touch, both of which are social enterprises 4 Archers Court Stukeley Road Huntingdon PE29 6XG SEEE Staff: Social Sector Manager: Jo Ransom Project Manager: Elaine McCorriston Web Managers: Lin Evens Michael Waring

Editorial Staff: Editor: David Lloyd Content Editor: Peter Durrant Assistant Editors: Sarah Charters Advertising Sales: Joe Law Creative/Production Editor: Austin Bambrook Production Staff: Martin Young Please send PR and other information items to: Peter Durrant, e-mail: humberstone@pop3.poptel.org.uk Telephone 01223 262759

From the Editor

M

ainstreaming (“rolling out” to you and me) the social economy in the eastern region is one of the main purposes of the SEEE (Social Enterprise East of England) network, and that in turn drives what we’re about at InTouch. This is no small task, and we launched InTouch with the objective of it taking a visible and enabling role in communicating with, to and for the social economy. As mentioned in last issue’s editorial, that’s a challenge when you’re still discovering the sizes and shapes of all the component parts – doing part of the mapmaking job as you discover the terrain. In this issue we feature some of the recent activities that SEEE has been involved in, as well as articles and information that we believe will inform decision-making at different levels in the social economy in our region. The SEEE network is in its infancy and your contributions to InTouch are one way of influencing how SEEE evolves in the future, so we are pleased with the interest and support given by the various contributors.

An enabling process We trust that spelling out the aim and objectives of Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE) — of which InTouch is a visible element — will help understanding of what it’s about and trigger some ideas about how you might take your own objectives forward by getting more profitably involved in the social enterprise network.

Aim To be the voice for social enterprise in the East of England.

Objectives • • • • • • •

To create and manage a sustainable social enterprise network To promote the social enterprise sector To lobby and influence policy relating to social enterprises To represent the views of social enterprises To share information and good practice To be a point of access to social enterprises and social enterprise advisers To improve the skills and knowledge of individuals working in social enterprises and social enterprise support agencies • To maximise the capacity to trade of social enterprises • To maximise the social impact of social enterprises • To develop and implement a regional social enterprise strategy. How and if we achieve these objectives will have much to do with how much organisations involved at various levels of the social economy engage with one another in sharing information, ideas. It also has to do with enabling the hard outcomes of trading, good management and effective decision-making. We hope this issue will assist a little in both the “soft” and “hard” areas. Two more things. This newsletter is free of charge and the more people – involved in any way with the social economy in the eastern region – who receive and read it, the more effectively we can fulfil our purpose of mainstreaming. So why not be a part of that by passing on the enclosed subscription To define all the individual cards? organisational types that the term Secondly, we welcome comments, “social enterprise” encompasses is a suggestions and contributions, whether full huge challenge – as we indicated in articles, press-releases, diary items or just last month’s editorial – creating a short snippets of information. debate that can act as a barrier to moving forward. SEEE uses the term social enterprise to encompass the whole spectrum of social organisations that trade as a means of creating opportunities and wealth for the benefit of their employees, community or membership.

To SE or not to SE

The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers or of Hertfordshire Business Link, Business for People Ltd or Creative Touch. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in an information retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the publishers. This publication has been prepared using information provided by contributors and, while we make every effort, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. SSEER is unable to accept any liability for the consequences of any inaccuracies, errors or omissions in this publication. No representations, warranties or endorsements of any kind are intended. © SSEER October 2004

InTouch

NO 1 November/December 2003

3


Feature – Special Conference Report

Social Enterprise – the Promise and Perils

J

err Boschee, founder and executive director of The Institute for Social Entrepreneurs, is a US-based expert on social enterprise. His visit to the east of England was part of a DTI-funded tour of nine of the UK EU regions. Over, Cambridge was the venue for a one-day conference on 12th November on sustainable social enterprise. It was organised by the east of England SEEE project and SEEE project director, Jo Ransom of Exemplas, introduced the event and the speakers. After illuminating and useful presentations by Nick Wilkie of NCVO and Nigel Boldero of DTA (see accompanying articles), key-speaker Jerr took the floor after the mid-morning break. An immense amount of useful information and analysis tools and tips were packed into the rest of the day.

Effective management Jerr argued that the use of effective management analysis to determine the value and sustainability of projects was every bit as essential in the voluntary and social economy sectors as in wider commerce. He pointed out that for those organisations taking the route of the social economy it can take up to three years to cover the greater percentage of costs with earned income, and a position of profit from earned income alone can take seven to ten years. He made some important distinctions. Dependency is the constant reliance on philanthropy and government subsidy. Sustainability can be achieved through a combination of philanthropy, government subsidy and earned revenue, whereas self-sufficiency can be achieved only by relying completely on earned

revenue. Earned income can take numerous forms, for instance: fee for service (direct or indirect), product sales, ticket sales, consulting contracts, tuition/registration fees, royalties, rents/leases, advertising sales for a periodical or directory.

Bottom line definitions The first and most basic principle a social enterprise should work from is “the double bottom line” — financial return on investment (FROI) and social return on investment (SROI). Taking a greater interest in financial return should not militate against social objectives but rather the two should be made to work together. In fact, Jerr defines “social entrepreneurship” as “the art of simultaneously pursuing both a financial and social return on investment”. He defines a “voluntary sector entrepreneur”

Jerr Boschee Talks About the Social Economy David Lloyd interviewed Jerr Boschee during the lunch-break at his presentation Social Enterprise: The Promise and Perils in the East of England on 12th November 2003 Q: Jerr, what brings you to the UK? A: In recent times I’ve been a regular visitor to the UK. In 1997 I was invited here by Business in the Community. In 1999 NCVO and VCU sponsored my lecture series for voluntary and community sector organisations in Leeds, Liverpool and London. I have also made a couple of informal luncheon presentations in 2000 and 2001 for Arts in Business. On this current trip I’ve been conducting regional seminars at the behest of the DTI, and in collaboration with the Regional Development Associations, and others. By the end of next week I will have covered eight of the nine UK regions. Q: What progress in the area of social entrepreneurship have you seen here in that relatively short period of 6 years? A: There was not much of a discussion going on about social enterprise in the

4 InTouch

UK when I first arrived in 1997. After my 1999 lecture series, NCVO set up its sustainable funding project. At the same time, Jonathan Bland was working diligently through Social Enterprise London to build support for the concept; and Liam Black of the Furniture Resource Centre began offering workshops out of Liverpool. As a result the social economy began to be talked about more. The government interest in, and support of, the social economy has been a powerful boost, particularly such DTI initiatives as the publication of Social Enterprise — a strategy for success (Ed: available on the DTI website). There is also a great deal of new money and new ways of making this money available, and of course, that helps. Q: With the government focus on social entrepreneurship, it is apparent that there is something of a window of opportunity here. Things tend to move cyclically, with

NO 1 November/December 2003

the focus likely to move to other areas within a few years. Are there indications that the social economy might reach a certain “critical mass” by the time the spotlight — and possibly the various financial offerings — move to some other priority area? A: I feel we have critical mass in the US and, encouragingly, the UK is catching us up and in some ways — embarrassing for the US — overtaking us. One thing I have noticed — which is quite a sea-change —


Feature – Special Conference Report opportunities in order to generate more earned income and do more mission”. An organisation will need to go through a number of changes as it moves to becoming a fully profitable social enterprise. And different skills and approaches are needed at various stages of development. Innovators: are the dreamers who design the prototypes and have the initial vision. Entrepreneurs: are the builders who create the company. Professional managers: are the trustees who secure the company’s future. Of course, some individuals can successfully embrace more than one role, but the company will need to build systems, standards, infrastructure along the journey. Jo Ransom, Social Sector Manager, Herts Business Link, introduced the one-day conference on 12th November.

as “a voluntary sector leader who pays increasing attention to market forces without losing sight of the organisation’s underlying mission”. Interestingly, he defines an “entrepreneurial VSO” as “a VSO that seeks to match its core competencies with marketplace

is that the question so often asked in the UK has changed from “should we do ...?” to “how do we do ...?” I believe there will be a natural shifting of priorities in both countries, but I also think the social economy is here to stay. Q: Given that there is the encouragement for voluntary organisations (using the term broadly) and social enterprises to become completely self-funding, how do you see the financial underpinnings of the sector changing over the next few years? A: Some organisations will have merged into the mainstream economy, some will become a part of, or a greater part of, the social economy marketplace. The social economy isn’t for every not-for-profit organisation. So there will be a settling. Funders have begun to adopt some different rules and this trend toward tailoring packages for the sector will, I hope, continue. The sector itself has to be responsive to create a context that makes it worthwhile for vendors to engage with the social economy and for enough financial “pilot-fish” — such as attorneys, accountants, analysts and others — to spearhead appropriate financing models. Q: What about those organisations and people for whom becoming “commercial” is anathema? A: That’s fine, they have a place in the scheme of things. I know that some voluntary people are suspicious of the social economy ideas that are currently in

Working toward sustainability and self-sufficiency In the afternoon Jerr took delegates through a whistle-stop and somewhat breathless tour of a seminar – Turning theory into practice: working toward sustainability and self-sufficiency – that he is usually able to take much more time to deliver. Again he emphasised the combination

vogue. Some still have a charity mentality. And others simply do not have the desire to adopt a business mentality — they have been trained as social workers, artists or environmental engineers, not as business managers. They all do good work though and, for some of them, social enterprise will eventually turn out to be appealing. Q: You have mentioned that the discussion about definitions of such terms as “the social economy” has become quite tedious. Is there any progress in agreeing terms? A: There are moves towards better, and agreed, definitions. Practitioners have generally agreed on some fundamental points of principle, for instance that a “social enterprise” must have earned income. Academics often disagree with the emphasis on earned income, however, because they would prefer to think about social entrepreneurship as embracing all sorts of revenue streams, even if earned income is not involved. This is one reason funders in the US are endeavouring to create a common lexicon around such terms as “social enterprise” and “social entrepreneurship”. Q: There’s that expression “the poor are always with you”. You mentioned this morning that needs in society are outpacing resources. So is moving organisations into financial independence

of social purpose and financial impact working in tandem. He gave some insightful tools, such as his “organised abandonment grid”, for sorting the wheat from the chaff in terms of which programmes to take forward and which to abandon. He also gave some useful distinctions, for instance between vision and mission:

Vision and Mission Vision – How do we want the world to change? Mission – What will we do to change it?

Core Competencies Jerr encouraged would-be social entrepreneurs to focus on what their organisation core competencies and basic assets. There’s a need to firmly ground initial enthusiasm with hard questions about the potential market, such as: • Need • Critical success factors • Environmental forces • Competitors ➜ page 6 a bit like painting the Forth Bridge — except that the bridge is getting longer? A: There will certainly always be people in need. As Billy Shore wrote in his wonderful book The Cathedral Within, the people who built the great cathedrals of Europe knew only two things about the rest of their lives. First, they would be working on the cathedral for the rest of their lives and, secondly, they would never see the fruit of their labours. I believe it is the same with most people who are working to meet the everchanging needs of society. But that’s no reason to stop trying! Q: What is your first impression of the first issue of InTouch? A: We need storytellers. We have, surprisingly, no organs in the US such as the newsletters that have recently sprung up in the UK. There’s only one online magazine in the US. The nature of the UK is more concentric, so perhaps that’s the reason. Q: Some social enterprises in the UK have been remarkably successful — we spotlighted some Cambridge successes in InTouch. Are they models for other social enterprises to follow? A: We can and should learn from successes but I’m not an advocate of putting our faith in “replication” per se, because it ultimately comes down to the person doing the work, not the model he or she is attempting to install.

InTouch

NO 1 November/December 2003

5


Feature – Special Conference Report ➜ page 5 • Market size and direction • The break-even and profitability potential of your product or service. Throughout the seminar Jerr encouraged would-be social entrepreneurs to do their homework and not make assumptions. Two of the key areas he encouraged delegates to ask hard questions about were:

• How is it structured? Is it emerging, mature or declining? • Is it highly concentrated or fragmented? • Can you help shape it? Can you control prices, dictate costs, gather or share resources, open or control distribution channels? • How much of it can you capture? When?

1. The market

2. Business rules of thumb

• How big is it? Can you name the customers?

• Identify your risks • Stay focused

• • • • •

Stay lean Concentrate on cash flow Be patient Grow organically Even a good business will have problems • Have fun • Remember to care • Be profitable.

To know more … Delegates were certainly given much to think about. For more insights from Jerr Boschee, see the interview in this issue.

Enterprise and the Voluntary and Community Sector From a Presentation by Nigel Boldero

N

igel gave an overview of the findings of three studies he has been involved with in the Region. These are Enterprising Partnerships (looking at the help regeneration and renewal partnerships need to develop long term sustainability), Voluntrade (exploring the extent to which voluntary and community organisations already trade, the potential for growth and the support needed) and the Adventure Capital Fund (a pilot scheme to provide community organisations with support in developing ideas for community enterprise). Following is a summary of his presentation.

‘supplementing grant’ • There is a wide range of trading activities and income generation • There is interest in finding out more about trading- but many organisations are not interested • Many organisations are focused on the short-term and do not take a strategic approach The two main barriers to voluntary and community organisations developing trading activity appear to be: • Capacity issues – staff, skills, money, premises • Cultural and structural issues – attitudes to risk, language, ethical or perceived legal constraints on charities trading.

• The value of a ‘supporter’ working alongside the organisation • A tailored approach to major investment —a hybrid of grants and loans, varied expectations on financial return, including an explicit trade off of financial, social, environmental impacts.

Conclusion

Voluntrade

Adventure Capital Fund

• Trading for social purpose has considerable potential in the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS), but it’s not for everyone, and in most cases it is part of wider sustainability planning • Increased investment in support services is vital, i.e. more intensive, practical support, especially in the early stages of projects. • Some support through business support agencies is appropriate, and some strengthening of support from voluntary and community sector bodies and specialists is also important. • Coordination of support services and investment across the social economy is an ongoing need at local and regional levels • There need to be changes in the ways funding bodies deal with beneficiary organisations so that more flexible funding and ongoing help is available, as piloted in the Adventure Capital Fund.

Interim findings from the research show: • Awareness and understanding of the term ‘social enterprise’ is limited • Around a third of those surveyed trade already – this is primarily seen as

The findings from the first round of the Adventure Capital Fund highlight four main considerations: • The value of small development grants • The value of flexibility on use of these grants

Nigel Boldero runs a freelance consultancy called ‘Community Renewal’. He is the Development Trust’s Regional Development manager and is a Skills and Knowledge Advisor in Neighbourhood Renewal for the Government Office. he can be contacted on 01603 754250 or nbold@lineone.net

Enterprising Partnerships Key issues that arose for regeneration and renewal partnerships were around the areas of capacity, strategy and project/ programme delivery. The picture that emerged regarding the balance of funding vis a vis trading income was: • 60% are likely to lose a major source of grant funding in the next 3 years • Many want to continue and envisage raising income from trading and developing skills in fundraising- but few have plans in place and there are capacity issues –time, skills, money • There was limited use of a range of existing support services but generally positive experiences • There is a need for a range of supportincluding close, continuing and tailored help to develop and deliver robust forward strategies.

6 InTouch

Support Services Those participating in the surveys reported: • Limited use of existing support services- mixed experiences, some business support services are perceived as ‘inappropriate’ or costly • Support needs are varied and changingthere is some misunderstanding of the roles of business and voluntary and community sector support agencies • There is a need to help organisations become ‘business ready’- help with business ideas, structures and marketing • There is scope for the voluntary and community sector to develop income generating support services for the sector; e.g. community accountancy

NO 1 November/December 2003


Feature – Special Conference Report What is the Sustainable Funding Project? By Nick Wilkie

T

he Sustainable Funding Project is a first-stop shop helping voluntary organisations explore a full range of funding options to develop a sustainable funding mix. This article explores the same theme as Nick’s well-received presentation on 12th November.

Moving beyond short-term funding We all know how funding insecurities drain our organisations and constrain the work they do. So how can voluntary organisations move beyond the shortterm to a more durable and dependable funding future? Promoting thorough organisational planning, grant diversification and income generation as three key and interlocking means of building sustainability, NCVO’s Sustainable Funding Project is particularly interested in the third of these inter-related strands: how can the voluntary and community sector earn independent income? We believe that self-financing (trading goods and services) can be one alternative to the limitations of the current funding environment, in which organisations compete for a slice of the limited pie of existing charitable resources and subsist on a staple of short-term, project-based grants. We’re not ‘anti-grants’ — but we are interested in ‘earning it’ as well.

What do you mean by ‘sustainability’? Financial stability. ‘Sustainability’ is a word used so much that it’s meaning has become muddled. When we talk about ‘sustainability’, we’re referring to the development of a more stable, reliable income base. We’re not implying a problem-free funding utopia just waiting to be found. And we’re certainly not suggesting we have magic solutions freeing us forever from funding conundrums. Many factors make an organisation sustainable and each organisation is unique: there are no ready-made, off-the-peg answers.

Expanding on the three key themes One way of breaking a big challenge

down into manageable chunks is to separate the task into 3 broad themes — organisational planning, grant diversification and income generation: or more simply – planning, fundraising, earning. Different organisations may be interested in all or different combinations of these themes.

Planning Sustainability starts at home. For some, the first move towards a more sustainable future might be improving their organisational planning processes – all the way from big-picture visioning through strategic planning to mediumterm objective setting, budgets and ongoing financial management. The Sustainable Funding Project encourages organisations to look closely at the whole planning cycle and provides introductory and signposting guides on planning related matters.

Fundraising Diversity of funding streams is key. For many, increased sustainability will mean, at least in the first instance, identifying fresh sources of grant income, moving away from dependence on just one or two revenue streams. We are not a comprehensive funding information service: (that would re-invent a wheel already turned very successfully by a range of existing organisations.) But if you want to take a strategic overview of grant opportunities available, we can get you started. The Sustainable Funding Project provides background information on a full range of grant funding opportunities and shows you how to pinpoint detailed information and support directly relevant to your organisation.

Earning How can voluntary organisations move away from total grant dependency, generating independent income by trading goods and services? We hear an increasing amount about social enterprise, social entrepreneurship,

“Here comes Edward Bear coming down the stairs on his head bump, bump, bump. This is the only way he knows to come down stairs. He’s sure there is another way if only he could stop bumping for long enough to think about it.”

social investment, social capital. But what can it mean for the voluntary sector? Here is our principle focus. The Sustainable Funding Project encourages (and enables) voluntary and community organisations to think hard about way the variety of ways in which they can start earning it.

What’s new? Since launch in 2000, we have provided introductory and signposting information on Planning, Fundraising and Earning. An expanded Project will now expand the range of services provided to voluntary and community organisations including a regional pilot run in partnership with South West Forum. In addition we will work with: • Local Development Agencies (such as Councils for Voluntary Service) — to embed our work and lessons learnt nationally in local infrastructure far beyond our own operational reach. • Policy Makers — to ensure that emerging social enterprise policy and related support initiatives fully support voluntary and community organisations developing social enterprise activity as well as organisations defined as Social Enterprises. • Funding Agencies — to raise awareness of the Project’s key messages and learnings; and to identify and disseminate best practice in grant making which helps to build healthy organisations beyond time-limited grants. Nick Wilkie Sustainable Funding Project Manager, National Council for Voluntary Organisations Visit the NCVO website at: www.ncvo-sfp.org.uk. Or call the NCVO Helpdesk on freephone 0800 2 798 798 to join our mailing list and receive our free monthly newsletter.

i

‘WINNIE-THE-POOH’ A.A.MILNE

InTouch

NO 1 November/December 2003

7


Initiatives

Portugal visit underlines the social in enterprise by Nigel Boldero

I

nnovations in the Social Economy – the Portuguese Equal Programme – was the focus of a recent study visit in December by British and Italian groups to Braga, Portugal’s third largest city. The Portuguese ‘IES’ Programme is one of four in the transnational partnership that includes the Eastern Region’s programme ‘Supporting the Social Economy in the Eastern Region’ (SSEER – reviewed in the last edition of InTouch). Over four cold and wet days in northern Portugal, six delegates from the UK had an intensive tour of social enterprise projects, presentations and discussion about support services, access to finance and training. Encouraging side-by-side social and commercial enterprise development and providing intensive support to fledgling social enterprises were features of the first visit. An impressive ‘Innovation Centre’, located in low-key offices in a Braga suburb, houses a range of support services as well as office accommodation for a number of social and commercial enterprises. Its operating principles are attractively simple: • Take a good idea; • Engage a good entrepreneur; and • Choose a favourable environment; …and you have the makings of a successful new business. The Innovation Centre provides some of the conditions to help turn this mix into a sound business proposition.

Supporting Social Enterprise The Braga Innovation Centre also provides an outreach service to support a number of social enterprises in the City and its surrounding region. Visits to two of these illustrated the strength of the social firm model in Portugal, where the primary social objective of the enterprise is to provide employment and training for people who find it difficult to access the normal job market – such as those with a disability and the long-term unemployed.

Co-op catering for social needs And other forms of social enterprise are also alive and well. A co-op based in a psychiatric hospital is another example of how enterprising activity has stemmed from the concern to meet basic social needs – in this case to find a suitable form of employment and training for those recovering from and with long-term mental health problems. The ‘Colorir Co-op’ is an integrated enterprise with ‘field-to-table’ production on one site. Like many traditional long stay hospitals in the UK, the Irmas Hospital has grown its own food. But it has moved on to provide an enterprise that is now handling commercial catering for functions and is increasingly developing its sales outside the hospital, including food products for the gift market. Again, the provision of intensive, ongoing support through the Portuguese

Flower and food cultivation at the Colorir Co-op

Equal project has helped the enterprise to understand and control its cash flow and to develop associated paperwork, its short-term plans and budgets as well as broaden its market appeal.

Access to finance The second theme of the Study visit was access to finance for social enterprises and consisted of a day’s presentations and discussion. A splendid, old-fashioned local theatre provided the venue for what turned into a rigorous test of the linguistic demands of a transnational programme! But it was clear that many of the issues in Portugal are similar to those in the UK: • A commercial banking sector which is relatively cautious and not especially sensitive to the special needs of social enterprises

Case Study: Home-to-school transport for children Prompted by a lack of state-provided school transport and parental fears about the safety and security of public transport, the scheme covers the whole city. Using specially adapted vehicles (with secure seating tailored to a range of children’s ages), the enterprise is providing a door-to-door service, including ‘after school’ clubs. Different charges are levied to reflect parental means. The organisers feel that the emphasis on providing a ‘personal service’ (where parents can build up a relationship and confidence in the vehicle attendants) is the key to their success. With experiments in new ways of providing home to school transport promised in the UK this could be a sector where existing community transport and other social enterprises could find a growing market.

8 InTouch

NO 1 November/December 2003

British and Italian delegates on the study visit to Braga, Portugal’s third largest city. Starting top row, second from left is Nigel Boldero, then Brian Williams (Anglia Polytechnic University), Elaine MCorriston (SSEER Project Manager), Lisa McDaid (The Guild), Nicky Stevenson (The Guild) and Andy Brady (APU).


Initiatives Case study: Community café

studies of successful training made available to work with the centre initiatives. ‘AiMinho’ is the and its various projects, to strengthen network promoting training in management systems and skills through the Portuguese third sector in coaching, training and advice. And the the region, and they hosted study group were treated to a tour of the the morning session on the Sandeman Port cellars as a fitting third and final day. This conclusion to the day – including free revealed some interesting samples, which helped to sustain us on a findings about the needs of tiring coach journey back to Braga! trustees/directors, managers Differences and similarities and operational staff in social between the two countries enterprises – many similarities There are some understandable with the UK here in the need differences in the context and shape of for general business social enterprise in Portugal; for example management skills on the part the social firm and ‘intermediate labour Sampling the products at Amares Natural of managers more used to market’ projects appear to be prominent, providing social services, and perhaps not surprising with ‘Amares Natural’ is a community café and catering many trustees with a cultural unemployment levels higher in Portugal service in a village close to Braga. The Innovation aversion to the business than in the UK. Centre has helped this enterprise to develop its world. The relative roles of the different marketing and promotional activities, introduced There were also some good sectors in promoting, supporting and cost and price management and developed ‘maps’ examples of how social developing social enterprises are also of financial flows to help the company identify enterprises can contribute to different with a much greater emphasis and better manage its costs. The enterprise is one the training and employment on developments from well established of several initiated by the Portuguese Red Cross. A of people with particular church and voluntary groups and less visit to a nearby healthcare and day centre for difficulties accessing normal direct Government involvement than is older people also run by the Red Cross jobs. ‘Integra’ is an impressive the case in the UK. demonstrated another key feature of the joint venture by local However, there do seem to be similar Portuguese social economy – the strength of wellauthorities in the region experiences in the fields of support to established voluntary and community surrounding Porto and Braga social enterprise, especially the obvious organisations and the Church in taking the lead in and focuses on a range of benefits of intensive, appropriate, social enterprise development. The Centre is one services to collect, process and tailored services (including provision of element of a range of social services in which the recycle various types of waste supportive, start-up premises for some). state has a limited, mainly financial support role. product. In doing this it has Likewise, the tensions surrounding • Limited availability of initiatives to developed a number of specialist cultural differences between the business broaden the supply of loan and other reprocessing plants and employs a wide and voluntary and community sectors are finance, especially to individuals as range of people at local level in collecting to be found in both countries as are ‘micro credit’ via credit unions (there a mix of green, packaging, electrical and similar needs for training and skills appears to be less available as far as other materials. These people would development. other community development finance otherwise find it difficult to gain A chance to return the warm employment. initiatives in Portugal are concerned) hospitality A visit to the local Development Centre • A social economy that is relatively How would I sum up this visit? The unfamiliar with loan finance and – for in a district of Porto provided an weather was cold and wet and we were many organisations – lacks the security impressive example of the rich variety of too early for the European Football (through asset ownership for example) enterprising activity mixed in with Championships (to some people’s relief!). as well as attitudes, capacity and skills commercial, voluntary and community But our Portuguese hosts gave us a initiatives. The MINA to calculate and take risks. wonderfully generous The day ended with a presentation of project in Vila de Gaia and warm welcome and the Portuguese Equal project’s web site provides a centre where provided a rich and a related ‘social observatory’ site new enterprises are programme of developed by the regional development incubated as well as experiences, examples agency. These have some impressive providing a range of and ideas. features, not least the wealth of social care for children It is SSEER’s turn to demographic and other information and elderly people. A host a transnational visit available and the development of trading community café and in the Spring and this will via the IES site. Amares Natural associated day centre be an important advertises its food products and orders provide a comfortable, opportunity to return the welcoming environment can be made online. hospitality, showcase See www.ies.multivector.pt and in which we had one of some regional success several early Christmas www.obsocial.adrvc.com. stories and share our lunches! own experiences (and Developing skills and knowledge The Centre has been still just before national Developing the skills and knowledge of loyalties on the football those involved in social enterprises was well supported by local pitch interrupt the the final theme of the visit and consisted employer Sandeman Benedita Chaves of the climate of co-operation!). of presentations from research and case Port. Its staff have been project ‘Integra’

InTouch

NO 1 November/December 2003

9


Lewis Herbert explains the WasteWISE approach

A

cross Eastern England, some 40 social enterprises and community recycling projects are wise to the fact that ‘someone else’s trash is their treasure’. Over half of them are listed on Anglia TV’s website, and all 40 have their own special take on the ‘triple bottom line’ of social, environmental and economic benefits. There is plenty for current and new projects to build on. First, we are a wasteful country, offering local social enterprises many diversification opportunities from household or commercial throwaways. Second, just released data shows that the East was the best region in Britain at recycling in 2002/3. That reflects local public and council commitment and provides a strong local base for social enterprises to thrive. The one year long WasteWISE project was created by Anglia Polytechnic University’s to help enterprises exploit that wastefulness in Essex, Cambridgeshire and the wider region. Part of the wider Working in Social Enterprise (WISE) learning programme (opposite), we build the capacity of local reuse enterprises and partnerships and our aim is to help projects create at least 50 new full/part time jobs by 2005, at least half for people with a disadvantage, a neglected need.

WasteWISE has four core strands. First, sustainability and self-reliance is made easier by linking similar neighbouring enterprises to draw together different management skills and personalities, and blend business, reuse and training expertise. Tiny individual territories and resource bases stunt development. For instance, two furniture reuse projects have operated until now in a south Essex town without talking to each other. Joint action will now save heaps more sofas and tables from the tip. We are also developing ‘area reuse partnerships’ including links to councils and other local waste sources. In Essex there are six such groupings, assisted by supportive council recycling officers, capturing benefits like • joined up business planning and better ‘business engines’ • access to shared premises and transport • joint funding/training bids • wholly new ventures, following the excellent examples of FRC, Create, Remploy, Renew and the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) regional ‘Sort-It’ centres. Second, targeted county and regional networking is being developed including wider links to social enterprise networks, developing at county and regional level, and links to other

10 InTouch

NO 1 November/December 2003

sectors e.g. business networks. Locally, WasteWISE’s contribution has been to assist effective community-led reuse and recycling networks in both Essex and Cambridgeshire, linked then with other county and national networks, like the FRN and Community Recycling Network. The Eastern region now has five such county networks, and is hoped to include the sixth by extending the Suffolk network to include Norfolk, a powerful combination. Third, wider partnerships and contracts with councils are being expanded. Councils in East Anglia, want to help community schemes expand, and most pay ‘recycling credits’ to enterprises who ‘recycle’ household waste e.g. £25 or £35 for every tonne, the money councils save in reduced landfill. We also anticipate England following the sensible Welsh example of including reuse in overall recycling. This should result later in all counties following Norfolk’s excellent example of adding ‘reuse credit’ payments, a major potential boost for local projects. Council bulky collection contracts are being delivered by quality social enterprises elsewhere in Britain, separating out the 40% which is reusable furniture and electrical appliances that would otherwise be dumped. Its a big further growth opportunity, assisted by Government recycling funding recently won by Essex and Cambridgeshire County Councils to expand this and support networking to 2006. Fourth and finally, WasteWISE’s has researched local opportunities. Dr Andrew Stevens has identified major opportunities in timber, tyres/rubber, biodiesel and is now working on WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment), ahead of a 19th March seminar in Chelmsford. Developing successful enterprises takes leadership, creativity, determination and more. But there is real treasure out there, and we don’t have to delve very deep into our rubbish mounds to find the resources needed for sustainable social businesses.

i

WasteWISE, Anglia Polytechnic University Lewis Herbert, 0774 853 6153 l.herbert@apu.ac.uk

If you want to find out more visit two websites: - Example of a county network: Cambridgeshire Community Reuse & Recycling Network (CCORRN) www.ccorrn.org.uk - ‘Action pack’ listing over 20 local furniture reuse projects www.angliatv.co.uk/angliaaction/actionpacks.shtml

Adapted by the author from an article that appeared in ‘Social Enterprise’ magazine in December 2003)

Wising up to waste opportunities for local social enterprises

Photo courtesy of Millrace IT recycling project

Initiatives


Initiatives

The WISE programme at Anglia Polytechnic University

Mind the Skills Gap by Andy Brady

W

e all know what a social enterprise looks like, don’t we? There is a clear vision, healthy trade income balancing a well-defined social purpose, a committed team of s t a f f / v o l u n t e e r s / c o - o p members/trainees/trustees/directors, and at the centre, the manager, a social entrepreneur with ideas coming so fast she can’t possibly use them all, leadership skills to die for, and all the other attributes needed to help the enterprise survive and grow in a business environment. Such social enterprises do exist, led by such managers, or on a co-operative basis, and there are many examples of each in the East of England. But when APU began working with the sector in Essex in 2000, we found that there were many “wannabe” social enterprises out there, which didn’t have a vision, a structure, or a steady income from trade. Their managers had often come into enterprise not because they were natural entrepreneurs; many in fact had begun working in the voluntary or statutory sectors as care professionals, only to embrace enterprise as a solution to budget restrictions, or a way of making vocational training more sustainable and relevant. Marketing, financial management, entrepreneurship, workforce development, and legal issues were among the gaps in knowledge highlighted by the managers we had worked with, but there also seemed a need for a focus on social enterprise – the concept, possible structure, case studies.

skills like marketing or finance • One-to-one delivery at the workplace and support from a designated tutor • Work on practical issues with a benefit to the business as well as the learner • Developing an approach to management based on reflection and action • Accreditation through APU’s Diploma in Small Business Millrace IT is an Essex social firm that refurbishes computers Management. Other aspects of the programme were APU will continue to contribute in areas the linked WasteWISE activity (see article such as: piloting the national standards by Lewis Herbert opposite), research into and training programme being developed learning needs, and work with partners by the Social Enterprise Partnership such as the two Business Links to deliver EQUAL project; supporting the SEEE workshops and support for the Social partnership and Social Firms Eastern Enterprise sector. Region as they develop; and working with other providers to ensure that training is Older, WISER, but not sadder There are exciting times ahead for relevant, up-to-date, and of real use in training providers in Social Enterprise. increasing the capacity of enterprises to WISE has been at the forefront of deliver on both the financial and social developing materials and delivering bottom lines. where it mattered, which has shown us Andy Brady, Programme Manager WISE the breadth of the sector in our two 01245 493131 x 4985 counties. a.p.brady@apu.ac.uk Reports and events are planned to Projects Unit, APU, Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford. CM1 4ED disseminate what we’ve learned, and

i

Working in Social Enterprise WISE started, with ESF funding, in 2002, and was designed to help meet the skills gap outlined above, by taking the learning out to 50 SE managers in Essex and Cambridgeshire. Key features of the learning programme were: • A new module, Working in Social Enterprise, to lead in to the programme • 5 modules covering specific business

The Millrace IT team and Lewis Herbert (right)

InTouch

NO 1 November/December 2003

11


Focus on: Norfolk Articles by Sarah Charters

Generating a sustainable food economy

S

et up in September 1997 by Farmers Link (a farmer lead developmental organisation) East Anglian Food Link (EAFL) is the brainchild of Clive Peckham. A developmental organisation themselves with particular emphasis on health, working with schools and ensuring food is sourced locally, the purpose of the enterprise is to create sustainable food systems through its three pillars of environment, economy and society. It has 50 members and has an turnover of £100,000. Co-ordinator and co-director Tully Wakeman, who took over from Clive in April 2003, operates the day to-day running of the business with project-worker Nick Saltmarsh. East Anglian Food Link trades mainly as a consultancy, developing projects to create a sustainable food economy. Projects tend to be initiated by Nick and Tully and financed mainly through grants. An example of an EAFL project is Eostre Organics Ltd. EAFL helped set up the business by bringing together growers, recruiting permanent staff and

establishing the kind of organisation they wanted it to be. Liaising with Defra, EAFL obtained a grant for Eostre Organics and ran the company as interim managers for three months. EAFL is currently involved in a feasibility study for the Schools Food Scheme funded by regional development agencies. As the issue of school meals is currently a hot topic, the government have set out an official policy on the subject. As a result EAFL expects to be involved in regional seminars together with the Government Office for the Eastern Region. The enterprise has recently published Good Food on the Public Plate, a manual for sustainable public sector procurement of food. Intended to explain the whole process to both purchasers and producers, it East Anglian Food Link 01953 889200 or 0845 3303965 is available directly from www.eafl.org.uk info@eafl.org.uk EAFL.

i

Deprived youngsters gaining self-worth The Backstreet Energy Project is based at Earlham Youth Ltd and inspires self confidence and pride in the youths who take part. They perform at festivals and events and are available for hire.

E

arlham Youth Ltd empowers young people from the deprived areas of Norwich with a sense of purpose and self worth. Noticing that too many youths were getting involved in drugs and alcohol, founders Lindsay Maher (Project Manager) and Julie Powell (Director) believed they could provide positive alternatives. What started as an interesting idea has, within four years, become a business with a staff of 23. Based in the The Guerny Centre in the centre of the North Earlham, Larham and Marlpit communities, the company provides a wide range of activities for the 8 to 24 age group. Many of the youth who

12 InTouch

attend the centre live in the area (with their families) or are in social care and foster homes. Activities include dancing, graffiti, film-making and creating music, and skating and bowling trips. Designed to grab their imagination and interest, two mobile units have also been created, focusing on music and catering. The Music Box is fully kitted out with a high-spec recording studio and technology including a karaoke machine, drum-kit, keyboard and mixing-desk where they can MC and mix their own music. The catering unit is also fully equipped with a complete fitted kitchen where they can learn how to cook.

NO 1 November/December 2003

Although principally funded through New Deal – with other projects funded on a project by project basis – Earlham Youth generates additional funds through trading. It hires out the mobile units for festivals and events, and has some highspec lighting equipment which it also hires out. In addition to the equipment and facilities, singers, musicians and a clown are all available for commercial and individual hire for parties and events. The Backstreet Energy Project hosts dance workshops at Earlham Youth Ltd. Run by Beverley Bennett (daughter and niece of the two founders), the now semiprofessional dance group has not only inspired self confidence but pride in the young people who take part. They perform at festivals and events and are also available for hire.

i

Earlham Youth Ltd Janine Gill 01603 753396


Focus on: Norfolk

Farm shops

Simple idea for a worthy gift

A

nglia Giving, based on the North Norfolk Coast, is a family run business supplying Charity Gift Tokens. A relatively new venture, trading for 18 months, this social enterprise is entirely self-financing, sustaining itself through trade and voluntary donations. After David Black’s mother was successfully treated for cancer, she asked that donations be made to cancer research instead of presents for her wedding anniversary. Believing that people all over the country could be making similar requests, David conceived of Charity Gift Tokens. Rather than giving cold blank cheques and having to do all the legwork, people can donate by purchasing attractively packaged gift tokens, which the recipient may donate to the chartity of their choice. Token values start at £10 and are accompanied by greeting cards suited to the occasion. The buyer pays an additional £1.50 per token to cover printing and processing costs. David explains, “Charity Gift Tokens are perfect gifts for people who have all they want and simply don’t want any more possessions. As a result they are

for brewers

Token values start from £10 and can be bought by phone or online to be given as gifts. Recipients can donate the full value to the registered chartity of their choice

proving particularly popular with older people.” As a not-for-profit organisation, Anglia Giving plans to become established as a Community Interest Company (CIC). While there is usually approval and acceptance of what it does from both customers and charities, Anglia Giving has faced a lack of credibility resulting in an unquantifiable number of lost sales. Being a new and small enterprise, it has little evidence of its community-interest purpose, so becoming a CIC will help the business become more established, and help it to raise more money for charities. Anglia Giving is a member of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and an Equal Opportunities employer.

i

01328 730530 enquiries@charitygifttokens.org www.charitygifttokens.org

East Anglia goes organic A

Co-operative made up of four directors, 12 full member-growers and several associate members (who may take up full membership in the future), Eostre Organics has been trading since April 2003. Set up with a Defra Grant from the Rural Enterprise Scheme, new members are taken on every year during October in preparation for the following year’s harvest. With income generated entirely through trade, Dot Bane, EO’s Project Development Manager anticipates a first year turnover of £450,000. Growers have a permanent market stall at Norwich Market six days a week (Monday to Saturday), along with a pitch at Spitalfields Market in London once a week. Additionally, members from all over East Anglia attend farmers’ markets throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. For a comprehensive listing of the markets attended, please visit the website. Whilst the main aim of the business is

Eostre Organics have thier own permanant stall at Norwich Market

to produce and sell organic food, educational farm walks are also available throughout the year on request. So far parties making the most of this additional service include food groups and schools.

i

Eostre Organics T. 01953 789639 F. 01953 789000 dot.bane@eostreorganics.co.uk www.eostreorganics.co.uk

Opening soon, the shop at Brant Hill Farm, Wells-Next-to-Sea will sell beer brewed from barley grown on the farm

E

ast Anglian Brewers is a co-operative business that evolved from an association of brewers set up five years ago, and has been trading since November 2002. Turnover in its first year reached £33,000, of which 30% came directly through trade. Brendon Moore, owner of Iceni Brewery, and his fellow brewers would regularly meet at beer festivals and make group purchases in order to keep costs down. However as the market began to diminish Brendon realised a more formal structure was needed so they could sell one another’s products and share profit. With the advice of Norfolk Business Link and The Guild, East Anglian Brewers was set up as a co-operative, with Brendon as Chairman. Members sell through farmers’ markets and community shops as well as promoting their beer at food events and Christmas Fairs. A recently developed concept will provide the buyer with traceability by selling beer from farm shops located on the farms where the barley grows. A number of associate members have taken on the idea and the first shop will open its doors at Brant Hill Farm, Wells-Next-to-Sea at Easter. Members are also considering the potential of exporting, with discussions taking place in the coming months. Associated with Taste of Anglia and East Anglia Food Link, East Anglian Brewers currently has 25 small brewery members located within the Eastern Region. Brendon manages the cooperative from his Brewery in Ickburgh with the aid of an administrator and seven board members.

i InTouch

T. 01842 878922 F. 01842 879626 info@eastanglianbrewers.com www.eastanglianbrewers.com

NO 1 November/December 2003

13


Networks unlimited

Forming a regional networking structure The InTouch production team invites every reader to participate in creating a regional networking structure that actually works. Please get in touch with any interesting snippets, upcoming events, new appointments, news about your own project, etc. We can disseminate these stories, but not without your help.

Free management consultancy anyone? The Cranfield Trust provides free management consultancy for organisations involved in addressing poverty, disability and disadvantage. They have a register of 500 volunteers from the commercial sector, al of whom hold professional qualifications. They are particularly interested in helping projects which need advice in the fields of business planning, marketing, finance, IT and human resources. For further information, phone 01794 830338, e-mail admin@cranfieldtrust.org.uk or visit the website on www.cranfieldtrust.org.uk [click on “summary of services”].

Free Greener Living Guide Your guide to greener living is now available, free, on www.greenchoices.org

Environmentally friendly meeting and eating facility The Norwich Green House’s new website, www.greenhousetrust.co.uk, is much admired by many people in the six counties and beyond. This is a superb catering and meeting house resource, committed to an environmental approach.

Cambridge City sustainable newsletter For an on-line edition of Cambridge City Council’s

14 InTouch

sustainable newsletter visit http://www.cambridge.gov.uk /sustainablecity/newsletters/s us.city_news_25.pdf or phone Sue Woodsford on 01223 457046. Their last edition contains news of a free light bulb offer, news about core funding grants and lots more information on local environmental action.

environment by increasing the amount of material currently reused and recycled, thus preventing it from going to landfill. For your copy, contact Kay Barnes, Network Organiser on 01954 260909 or email misskaybarnes@ntlworld.com

Reuse and recycle in Cambridgeshire

The autumn newsletter from the CDFA – the UK trade association for community development f i n a n c e institutions – includes new sections on C D F A , m e m b e r s news and the latest job vacancies in the sector, as well as other news, research and information and funding. If you would like to receive the newsletter, sign up on the CDFA w e b s i t e www.cdfa.org.uk

T h e Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycling N e t w o r k (CCORRN) has just published a leaflet intended to promote and develop a community-led Network of reuse and recycling schemes across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. CCORRN is a partnership between the community, public and p r i v a t e sector that was started in early 2003 with financial support from the DEFRA Recycling Challenge Fund and Enventure with initial coordination by Anglia Polytechnic University’s WasteWISE project. By creating local Community Reuse and Recycling Networks it hopes to transform the local

NO 1 November/December 2003

Community finance newsletter

Tackling Health Inequalities Compendium This publication has been produced by the Health Department Agency for people working in health, local government, community and voluntary sectors and everyone working to tackle health inequalities in England. It features local and

community health projects that have submitted examples of their work in response to nine regional consultative events organised by the Department of Health on tackling health inequalities. The compendium demonstrates that tackling health inequalities is not just an issue for the health sector but also involves education, housing and transport. The In Touch editorial team would be especially interested to hear from social enterprises within the region who are working together, as well as with local and health authorities. Try www.hdao n l i n e . o r g . u k / documents/hda_compendium. pdf (PDF file) or telephone 0870 121 4194 or e-mail hda@twoten.press.net

Luton community group reduces car thefts A Marsh Farm Estate community group has received recognition for its success in reducing car thefts by 75 per cent. The Wauluds Associations of Tenants and Residents won an award in the Participation in Practice competition, which is funded by the Home Office. They will receive a £1,000 prize to develop their community activities. There are plenty of other embryonic social enterprises on this New Deal sponsored estate. More details from: www.homeoffice.gov.uk.

ARVAC and phone recycling for community groups ARVAC is an excellent journal about research and the voluntary sector. Here we read that Britain’s first nationwide mobile phone recycling scheme, designed to raise funds for small community groups, has been launched by the high street store The Link. For each mobile that can be re-used community groups can receive £4 in cash or £5 in vouchers. You can recycle your old mobile phone at the Lordshill


Networks unlimited Sainsbury’s recycling site or by returning them directly to any retail outlet (O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodaphone). Alternatively, you can collect a freepost envelope in store (Virgin Mobile, V.shop, Virgin Megastores, Currys, Dixons, The Link and PC World) and send your handset and accessories to the Fonebank recycling centre.

Seeing inside successful social enterprises through IUKE Inside Uk Enterprise (IUKE) have just published their second edition of day-visit opportunities. for a mere £50 plus VAT you can visit and learn from any one of twenty social enterprises who have made significant progress in delivering social value within a business context. For example, Bootstrap Enter-prises has pioneered neighbourhood renewal for more than two decades. An example other co-operative groups can learn from is the Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Co-operative Society, which funds itself through the ‘co-operative dividend’, where a percentage of the profits goes towards the creation, promotion and support of other co-operative enterprises. More details from, www.iuke.co.uk, tel. 0870 458 4155.

Affiliate links with The Big Issue anyone? This website, launched last Autumn, offers useful information and advice on more than 100 areas – from throwing a party to arranging a funeral (no connection, we

hope!). It also covers those boring but important things like insurance, employment and legal matters. The list costs £1 to £3. You can link up your organisation as an affiliate and get 25% of any revenue generated. A further 50% goes directly to the The Big Issue’s work with homeless people. www.bigissuelists.co.uk

Happy to oblige, Creative Cluster News! “Creative Clusters is an international conference and network for people developing the creative industries”, writes Simon Evans, Director. “We are interested in regeneration and development projects, from all parts of the world, that can show results in both cultural and economic terms. Please help spread the word by copying this message to your colleagues and networks.” www.creativeclusters.co.uk

Investing in Communities SRB (Single Regeneration Budget) has been replaced in each region with a ‘single pot’ of money to be controlled by the Regional Development Agency. The East of England Development Agency has become the first to launch its replacement programme, which they have called ‘Investing in Communities’. See lead article in this issue of InTouch.

Today East of England, tomorrow the world We realise you may still be challenged by the idea of networking across just one

Upcoming Events Celebrating Social Enterprises in Norfolk From 9th February to 20th February 2004 The Guild will be hosting a series of free half-day seminars across Norfolk on the theme of Celebrating Social Enterprise. The Guild’s seminars will cover topics such as using the web for selling, social audits, developing supply chains and clusters, assessing risk and rewards and procurement. There will also be free training events to follow on and develop the seminar themes. Contact The Guild on 01603 615 200, email services@theguild.co.uk or visit www.the-guild.co.uk

Cambridgeshire Support for Social Enterprises Between January and March, Cambridgeshire Business Link is continuing its ‘Support for Social Enterprises’ series of workshops for social enterprises throughout Cambridgeshire. Subjects covered include Managing a Social Enterprise, Networking/ICT for Social Enterprise and Social Enterprise and Waste Initiatives. Contact Clare Thompson on 01480 846420 or visit www.cambs.businesslink.co.uk part of the UK, but for the more globally-minded, one visionary organisation has the whole world in their sights. Robin Rowland writes: “For some years now I have dreamt of linking social entrepreneurs globally. Global Links Initiative (GLI) is initially concentrating on links between UK/China/Japan, and, having proved ourselves there, we intend to go global where I have many wonderful social entrepreneur friends just waiting to join our network. Among the areas of Chinese interest already registered as wanting to be part of our network are mentally handicapped children, rural poverty/ communities, teenage and immigrant education and women entrepreneurs. We have an office in Tokyo and work has started on our website. We appear to have got our timing just right.” Anyone interested in being part of a network sharing knowledge and experience openly with counterparts elsewhere in the world may contact via e-mail either: robin.rowland@can-online.org.uk or fanli@glinet.org.

If China’s too far, Co-ops can go European Partnerships have many

InTouch

benefits as the best of UK cooperative partnerships demonstrate. Herts Business Link’s Euro Info Centre (EIC) point out that there are 300,000 co-operatives in Europe employing 2.3 million people. The EU Council has established the European Cooperative Society (ECS) enabling co-operatives to benefit from the single market all across Europe as one unit. But other types of businesses and organisation structures can be similarly helped. Benefits included shared marketing, legal costs, R&D and other overheads. For more information go to: http://europa.eu.int/comm/ enterprise/entrepreneurship/ coop/statutes/statutescoop.htm or contact EIC on 01727 813693 for more information.

Oxmoor Big Ideas Night As we went to press, Oxmoor Opportunities Partnership in Huntingdon held a Big Ideas Night on 29 January to help people running a community or voluntary sector project find out from the experts how to make more money to support their projects. Contact Diane Lane on 01480 371108 or email her at diane.lane@cambridgeshire.gov.uk NO 1 November/December 2003

15


Social Accounting

CCDA cuts the mustard with DTI and social enterprises

A

t the end of 2003 CCDA (Cambridge Co-operative Development Agency) was recognised for providing key financial support and advice by both the DTI and the social enterprises it assists. The DTI has recently published A progress report on social enterprise: a strategy for success, which is a national evaluation of the strategies and actions it proposed in 2002 to recognise and develop the value and impact of social enterprises. Within the document, each region of the country is profiled, highlighting key projects and activities taking place in relation to the overall national strategy.

Recognition for development loan fund In the East of England, CCDA was recognised as a key agency in delivering the national strategy through its small development loans fund aimed at supporting the start-up and development of local co-operative and social enterprises throughout Cambridgeshire. The fund, established over 20 years ago, has ‘revolved’ (been lent out and repaid) over four times. CCDA is currently receiving support from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) to further develop this fund, originally established with the help of various bodies including Cambridge City Council and Delta-T, a worker co-operative.

Adrian Ashton of CCDA is enthusiastic about their recognition: “This goes to show the value of the co-operative sector at local levels in meeting the needs of the wider social enterprise agenda that the government has set. It is gratifying to see that the contribution co-operatives are making is being formally acknowledged by such a prestigious and influence body.”

Social accounting workshop scores high CCDA is also hitting the right mark with social firms. At a recent regional social firms’ conference it was invited to lead a workshop on social accounting due to its role in two national pilot projects, which seek to develop objective evaluation criteria and processes to gauge the social impact of social firms and enterprises. Feedback from the conference showed 93% of delegates believed CCDA’s workshop was good or excellent, by far the highest level of satisfaction with any part of the conference programme. Adrian Ashton elaborated: “Social accounting is going to become increasingly important to all organisations in the future – for social enterprises to prove their ‘added value’ to their funding bodies, and for more mainstream enterprises to inspire confidence in their investors and customers. This has been recognised at a national level by the DTI and we are playing a key role in being the only agency to be piloting two separate sets of social accounting processes, to evaluate them for their relevance and suitability for social enterprises.” Other parts of the conference which also scored highly with delegates were main presentations on the perspective of the Government’s Regional Development Agency, EEDA, on social firms with 85%, profiling what a social firm is with 83%, and a workshop looking at the transition of a person on disability benefits into full employment with 74%. CCDA is currently working with Co-operatives UK and Social Firms UK to pilot sets of social accounting processes and criteria that have been developed. The outcomes of these pilots will feed into a national project being Adrian Ashton supported by the DTI to Cambridge CDA create a ‘standard’ for social 01223 360977 accounting in social cambridgecda@connectfree.co.uk enterprises.

i

Adrian Ashton, director CCDA, and Elaine McCorriston, EQUAL project manager, Herts Business Link, answer questions at a recent Social enterprise exhibition

16 InTouch

NO 1 November/December 2003


InTouch Issue 2  

Jan/Feb 2004. Social Enterprise East of England's Quarterly Magazine In Touch. This edition covers Investing in Communities.

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you