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summer 20 11 issue 34


T he magazine of Social Enterprise East of England

Do you want FREE help and advice for your social enterprise? Making Local Food Work can help your community food enterprise If your business concerns food and is community run, you could be entitled to free business support from the Making Local Food Work programme. We can offer you: > Up to five days’ business advice from expert advisers on any issue, from business planning and human resources management to finance and asset management > Practical hands-on support from an individual business mentor, who will help you over a three month period to foster the growth of your business

> Fully-funded visits to successful community food enterprises to inspire you with new ideas and give you the opportunity to learn new ways of helping local food reach your community > Governance and legal advice from Co-operatives UK Find out more about the Specialist Enterprise Support project delivered by the Plunkett Foundation as part of the Making Local Food Work programme by contacting Richard Snow on 01993 814388 or email:

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Contents P6

In the news


In the news – co-operatives


Navigating the mutualisation maze

P10 The social enterprise sector in numbers P11 Michele Rigby on partnership P12 Presenting without PowerPoint P14 Telling tales – getting the message across P15 Selling social enterprise – Cover Story P19 Community enterprise now P20 Helen Fitzhugh on social impact measurement P21 Richard Patey on social impact measurement P22 Andrew Laird on entrepreneurship and co-operation P23 Finance for enterprise P24 Insurance tips for not-for-private-profit organisations P26 Support for social enterprise P27 Robert Ashton on taking and missing sales opportunities P28 Business Link services P29 Public sector spin-out guides reviewed P30 And finally … logos, public services, and telephone boxes

join the

REVOLUTION At Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE) we believe that social enterprise is a better way of doing business. To support the development and growth of social enterprises – business solutions to social problems – we: • Provide information, support and training for new and existing social enterprises • Work with agencies supporting the development of social enterprises • Represent the interests of our members to help shape the economic and political environment that supports their growth


SEEE Being a SEEE member means ...

Being stronger SEEE members enjoy the greater security of being part of a network – with opportunities for inter-trading, joint contract bids, and access to peer support Being a better business SEEE members make the most of affordable training, tailored to the specific needs of enterprises trading for a social purpose Being seen SEEE members are promoted through the website, a directory of members, and feature articles and profiles Being heard SEEE connects public sector service providers and policy makers with the local knowledge, outreach skills, and specific expertise of the membership

Join us! Membership starts at £5O. For a membership brochure, call Chris Lee on 01234 834710 or e-mail

Not yet trading? – join us as a SEEE Affiliate – ask for details

Issue 34 Summer 2011


In Touch is published by Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE). Printed on 100% recycled, FSC paper

A note about Qr codes Throughout the magazine you will see square barcodes – known as QR codes - alongside website links. Smart phone users can simply point their phones at the QR code to link directly to the online source. To find out more go to

Selling social enterprise


ocial enterprise is ‘flavour of the month’ in government circles. From Whitehall to town hall, it’s being promoted as a vehicle for cost-effective public service delivery, a model for community regeneration, and a cure-all for a whole host of enduring social, economic and environmental ills. At one level, such recognition is something to be welcomed – the positive outcome of more than a decade’s campaigning. But it’s also a dangerous place to be – with enormous expectation of what social enterprise can achieve. Making promises that can’t be fulfilled risks undermining the credibility of the social enterprise business model for years to come. In response to this relatively new and welcome interest, this edition of InTouch with Social Enterprise explores ways to ‘sell’ social enterprise - to make the most of the opportunity, while managing expectations.

This QR code for example takes you to our website

For even the smallest social enterprises, technology enables scaling up to increase visibility and accessibility. We look at three online selling platforms for social enterprises – two national (BuySE and JustBuy) one regional (Shop for Change) - and a fourth national initiative (Ethecol) that makes buying and selling easier. We re-visit a 165-year old tried-and-tested business model – the co-operative – in the wake of the second national Cooperatives Fortnight and the government’s new-found interest in mutualism.

Keep in touch

Much great work in social enterprise goes unrecognised because of a commitment to ‘getting on with the job’ at the expense of communication and outreach. We include ten enterprise essentials for improving presentation skills, tips for reaching new markets, and we present the case for demonstrating social value.

Address- Bedford i-Lab, Priory Business Park, Stannard Way, Bedford, MK44 3RZ Twitter - @SEeastofengland Website- SEEE Wiki-

Finally, we focus on sources of finance for enterprise – including community investment - to help start and sustain the businesses that, ultimately, could help us realise the potential that social enterprise undoubtedly has for bringing business solutions to social problems.

Chris Lee Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE)


Watch out for Village SOS! Last summer the Big Lottery Fund invited villages across the UK to submit ideas for enterprises that would revive their communities, create new jobs and improve the quality of life for local people.


Six winning village business schemes were awarded Lottery funding and over the past year their work has been filmed for a six-part BBC TV series being broadcast summer 2011 onwards. A Village SOS Learning Campaign accompanies the TV series to inspire enterprising villages across the UK to take what the Big Lottery describes as ‘the bold step towards starting their own community business’.

Building the local economy When Luton Borough Council set out to look for a partner for its Building School for the Future (BSF) programme two years ago, it wanted to maximise the benefit for the local economy. Although the BSF school building programme has been scaled back, the partnership Luton has formed with the Wates Group of construction companies — the Luton Learning and Community Partnership — has been extended to cover primary schools, housing, leisure and health projects and is worth around £586m over the next 10 years. The emphasis is on keeping it local. 80% of the materials have to be procured within 15 miles of Luton, 45% of the skilled employees must come from within an hour’s travel of Luton, and 80% of unskilled labour within a 15-mile radius of Luton.Overall, of every £1 that Luton spends on construction, 78p is spent in the locality. Another way that Wates is increasing the benefit to the local community is by trying to ensure that all its projects use at least one social enterprise in their supply chain. The company has an honourable record in working with social enterprises and recognising their potential for, in their words, ‘getting the economy back on track’. For more on Wates and social enterprise go to

Trade unions and social enterprise Trade unions have long campaigned against the privatisation and fragmentation of public services. In many respects, they see the same threats and challenges in outsourcing of public services to civil society organisations and social enterprises. However, the Trades Union Council (TUC) believes there are additional issues that are specific to civil society organisations and social enterprise that require a specific policy response. A TUC report Civil Society and Public Services: Collaboration not Competition – presents some of these concerns.

Civil Socie Services: ty and Public not Comp Collaboration etition Commun ity and vo luntary org co-opera an tives, soc ial enterpri isations, charitie s, mutuals se and pu , blic servic e delivery

Free to download at

You can mix business and leisure! Congratulations to Social Enterprise East of England member’s Abbeycroft Leisure, winners of the ‘Large Business of the Year’ and ‘Marketing Strategy of the Year’ awards at the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2011. Abbeycroft, a leisure trust managing centres in Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, are also holders of the Social Enterprise Mark and they will be hosting the Rwandan Olympic team as they prepare for the 2012 Games. Speaking about the business awards, Warren Smyth, Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure declared he was “surprised and delighted” to receive them. “They are a very good measure of how Abbeycroft is developing and it is great to see that as a social enterprise we can compete with traditional businesses.”

Are social enterprise spin-outs working? The government must set clear targets for its programme for the mutualisation of public services, according to a new report from the National Audit Office. The report Establishing social enterprises under the Right to Request Programme, assesses whether the government obtained good value for money when social enterprises worth almost £1bn a year detached themselves from Primary Care Trusts. It says there is no clear evidence that the programme has been successful because the Department of Health did not set out “separate, measurable objectives” against which success could be measured. Both the Department of Health and the Social Enterprise Coalition have responded to the criticism arguing that the top-down setting of targets was incompatible with the move to bottom-up, locally-focused service design through the Right to Request programme. Read the report at

Andy’s Kars are the stars If you haven’t heard of Andy’s Kars near Cambridge, take a trip to and see the great work Andy Kent is doing there to train disadvantaged young people in car mechanics and the world of work. Andy’s Kars are members of Social Enterprise East of England, but it’s not just SEEE that thinks they’re special! As 2011 Finalists in the national Barclay’s ‘Take One Small Step’ awards, they are in the running to win £50,000. As InTouch went to press, Andy and colleagues were nervously waiting to see if the public vote had gone their way. “We’re so grateful for all the support we’ve been given – it makes all the effort worthwhile” he said.


8 Co-operatives come of age

Co-operative enterprise development


For those considering the co-operative route to enterprise development, two resources are now available to help that journey. A short guide from Co-operative UK is designed to help entrepreneurial types consider a range of business development issues, including planning, steps to get started, and problems to overcome. While written for those considering the co-operative model for public service provision, Co-operative Business District has much of relevance to a wider readership.

years after the work of the Rochdale Pioneers established the modern global co-operative movement, co-ops are on the move! From Whitehall to village hall, the co-operative model is being promoted as a vehicle for providing national and local services - from health and social care to the regeneration of the rural economy. At the last election all three party manifestos mentioned co-operatives and co-operative action, with three forms appearing in all three - village shops, community pubs, and co-operative football clubs. Since then, talk about mutualism has appeared regularly in policy discussions and press coverage of the government’s health and social care reforms. In June, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership reported on its year-long inquiry into the role of employee ownership in public service delivery - mentioned opposite.

Taking to the streets With impeccable timing, Co-operatives UK took co-operatives to a mass market with Co-operatives Fortnight which this year ran from 25 June to 9 July. Now in its second year, the two weeks of conferences, seminars, lectures, drinks parties, bee walks, cookery demonstrations, open days, film screenings had something for everyone. The 2011 theme -’Yours to Share’ - conveyed the shared ownership and the equality in decision making that distinguishes the co-operative way of doing business, work and housing.

For the next stage on the journey, existing or would-be co-ops can now tap into a package of advice, training and finance to become more sustainable businesses. The Co-operative Enterprise Hub offers tailored hands-on support, provided free of charge by co-operative development professionals, and loans without security or personal guarantees.

Did you know? 2012 is the International Year of Co-operatives – to be launched at the General Assembly of the United Nationals on 31 October 2011. There are 800 million members of co-operative worldwide, of which 13 million are members of over 4,900 independent co-operatives in the UK. Co-operatives employ over 100 million people (237,000 people in the UK) – that’s 20% more than multinational companies.

Navigating the mutualisation maze The Government is explicit in its commitment to “support the creation and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises and enable these groups to have a much greater involvement in the running of public services.” But what are mutuals, and how do they relate to co-operatives and employee-owned businesses? What’s the difference? A mutual is any organisation owned by and run for the benefit of its members. There are no external shareholders. They can operate as employee-owned, co-operative or wider social enterprise model A co-operative is a mutual organisation run according to a particular set of seven principles – including a commitment to voluntary and open membership and democracy, and members being economically involved in the organisation - agreed internationally. They are fully or majority owned by their members – who may be employees, consumers, others in the community or a mixture of both. In an employee-owned business at least 51% of the organisation must be owned by employees, so the employees have a controlling stake in the business. Shares may be held indirectly, in trust, for the benefit of employees. The remaining shares can be owned by others. Are mutuality and philanthropy the same thing? Not according to a recent report commissioned by Social Enterprise East of England. In The Big Society - and us, Nicky Stevenson and Helen Fitzhugh from The Guild in Norwich believe that the idea that they go hand in hand (as suggested in Big Society discussions) reflects confused thinking. The authors write “Philanthropic activity is by nature topdown: people who have more, giving to those who have less. Mutuality is bottom-up: people sharing democratic control over mutually beneficial activities”. Is there a risk of privatisation? Some are concerned that social enterprises and mutuals running public services might be acquired by commercial organisations at some stage in the future. Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition, has called on the government to ensure that such enterprises introduce asset locks to prevent this happening: “We do not want a situation where social enterprises and mutual are swept up by private profiteers – that would be a disaster for our communities. That is not to say they can’t be entrepreneurial, can’t innovate, can’t find new ways to deliver services, and be part rewarded for that. But the primary purpose should be the quality of the service, rather than maximising their own return or position.”

Further information:

Co-operative Business District: A guided journey to discover your own public service co-operative destination Co-operatives Fortnight Mutuals Information Service Sharing Ownership: The Role of Employee Ownership in Public Service Delivery The Basics – Mutual, co-ops and other forms of social ownership The Big Society – and us – 2011 Update The Co-operative Enterprise Hub


The social enterprise sector in numbers COMMUNITY SHOPS IN THE UK


For social enterprises, robust knowledge of facts and figures can be a deciding factor in winning bids and contracts. We bring you some of the interesting statistics of recent research - and encourage you to delve a bit deeper to find the evidence that supports your business case.





























































2011 Community owned Village Shops, The Plunkett Foundation 2011

third sector/civil society organisations 50% of third sector/civil society organisations consider that they are a business with primarily social objectives 39% say that combined contract and retail sales make up more than 50% of their income 17% say that income from contracts and retail trading are the most important income stream National Survey of Charities and Social Enterprises 2011 (The Office for Civil Society)

legal forms of enterprises

60% Limited by guarantee 7% Company limited by share 12% Industrial provident society 1% Unincorporated association 17% Community interest company 1% Sole trader 37% Registered charity State of Social Enterprise Survey 2009 (Social Enterprise Coalition)

UK PUBLIC SAY 76% 78% UK PUBLIC SAY it would be more rewarding to work for a company that did good work

beleive that businesses should give back to society and do more than just make profits

Unltd 2011

Partnerships based on real understanding is, of course, a great reason to be involved in a network


I write this just after Lord Sugar chose Tom Pellereau to be his new business partner in the BBC show The Apprentice. I was rooting for Tom all the way, but it made me wonder about the nature of partnership – Lord Sugar had time to find out about Tom, but not the other way round. Tom assumes that a partnership with Lord Sugar will just work out. He may be right, but is this true partnership?

Partnership is based on understanding of what each will gain from the arrangement, and how. One side calling the shots, or the other crossing their fingers and hoping that it will work out ok is not ideal. And the closer that the organisations seem to be on the surface, the more unexpected are the things that don’t pan out so well. Nothing can replace really getting to know the other organisation, clarifying what each party brings to the table, and what they plan to take away. Discussing inevitable differences and finding a way through is easier when starting from a position of mutual trust and some inkling of the motivations involved. Rushing in creates the danger of basing the other’s motivation on your own perception of what they want or think. Partnerships based on real understanding is, of course, a great reason to be involved in a network. In the Social Enterprise Executive Development (SEED) programme run by Anglia Ruskin University, fourteen social enterprise leaders met monthly, to tackle business learning. Time was allocated for the network to develop – and the end of the programme, 97% of relationships were given a “trust completely” or “generally trust” ranking. The likelihood of the participants to do further business with each other was 25%, which for a small group of very disparate businesses, seems extraordinary. The opportunity to get to know each other well had a significant impact on trust and thus on partnership opportunities. Talking of networking – SEEE has (you tell us!) organised great annual conferences since 2006. This year, rather than go it alone with current budget constraints, we are practising what we preach and have gone into partnership with long-standing allies Business Link East and Anglia Ruskin University. Together we are planning a spectacular 2011 conference for our members and others interested in social enterprise with unmissable learning and networking. At time of going to press, I can tell you that it will be on 19th October at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. Put the date in your diary now, and come along to see great partnership working in action, and develop a few new relationships of your own! Michele Rigby, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise East of England


Enterprise Essentials: Presenting without PowerPoint – the 10 Ps 1


Why are you presenting – are there other, better ways to share the information – electronically, for example? What do you want your audience to do afterwards – and how will you make this clear through your presentation? Identify the most important messages from your presentation and make sure they come across loud and clear.




With reference to the agreed purpose, put structure into your presentation. Style and content will also be determined by your audience – make sure you know as much about it as you can. Include sections you can drop if discussion develops that would take you over your allotted time.



Rehearse – you can rarely wing it successfully. Rehearsal will help you get your timing right by being familiar with the materials. This can also reduce nerves – so the adrenalin flows enough to keep you concentrating but not to make you hyperactive. If you present confidently, your audience will relax and listen.



Put yourself in the audience – what would interest them? (not necessarily what would interest you) Tell stories about real people (change names if necessary), encourage visualisation by using phrases like “Imagine you were ....” “What would you think if ...”



Make sure you have the room set up so everyone can see and hear you clearly. Do you need tables for written work? Remove distractions from the audience’s eye-line, including clocks (see ‘punctuality’ below). Check the temperature is comfortable (and the air conditioning/ windows works). Think about your appearance – dress appropriately but always be smart. Pay attention to your posture while presenting.


Pre-empting problems

Once you’re happy with your preparation, think what could go wrong ... You spill coffee on your notes, your time allowance is cut by 50%, your requested flipchart stand doesn’t appear... and then design your plan B. If you assertively deal with a problem member of the audience professionally and politely, you should have the support of the wider group.



Anita Roddick said ‘passion persuades’ – you will hold your audience’s attention if your presentation is animated by your genuine enthusiasm for the subjectmatter. People will also listen if you believe what you’re saying and convey that sincerity. Memorable presentations and great presenters are not always technically brilliant.



Punctuality Start and finish on time. Don’t wait for latecomers (unless they are VIPs!) – reward the behaviour you would like to see. If possible, position a clock (bring your own) you can see clearly but the audience can’t ie behind their heads or on a table to your side – so they don’t start to switch off as your finish time, or a coffee break, approaches.



Just as a good piece of writing is punctuated with different sentence lengths to add drama to the story and speed up and slow down to maintain interest, so should your verbal presentation.


PowerPoint perhaps? PowerPoint slides can be a useful complementary communication tool. However, it is their misuse and over-use that has given them a bad reputation. People are so used to poor PowerPoint presentations that if you use slides well, you’ll stand out from the rest. Dramatic or amusing photos, short relevant quotes (which you allow the audience to read for themselves), diagrams which you build up to explain complicated processes, and essential facts and figures can all help you get your message across.

£10 by post (cheques payable to ‘Social Enterprise East of England’) to SEEE, Bedford i-Lab, Priory Business Park, Stannard Way, Bedford MK44 3RZ

Telling Tales


The Social Enterprise Strategy for the East of England 2010 identified “Getting the message across” as one of the key strategic aims for the sector, but finding the way to do this well is always a key challenge to social enterprises. There are reasons – good reasons – for this: individuals don’t set up social enterprises to promote themselves, but to promote the cause. Often the product and the impact can become muddled in the message, or one or the other is missing entirely. Selling the product or service in sufficient quantities and to sufficient customers is the highway to sustainability, and the message may not be the same for each group of customers. Telling the story can be hard: overwhelmed by knowledge about the organisation, its history, its journey, its impact and the ups and downs, it can be hard for those inside the organisation to distil the essence and get the selling message across. Early in 2011, Social Enterprise East of England invited Cambridge Storytellers to use their narrative talents to showcase a number of social enterprises, telling their story as outsiders. Malcolm Busby and Andrew Smith wove what they had heard into stories in the old fashioned oral tradition. SEEE’s stand at the national social enterprise conference – VOICE 11 – was a hit. As Malcolm and Andrew told their stories, people gathered round. Even Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, stopped to listen. Take a look at our YouTube channel to hear the stories or you can read the stories at

Andys’ Kars Film

East Anglian Brewers Film

Prospects Trust Film

Millrace IT Film

Read the stories here

15 Consumer focused Social Enterprises such as community shops can benefit from the ability to take card payment

Making sales profitably Across the UK debit cards are used to make 12,000 purchases every minute, and that number is predicted to double by 2020. Add the fact that UK annual credit card turnover equals more than £1,500 per person and you can see why accepting card payments is fast becoming a must for the social enterprise sector. Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE) member Ethecol Merchant Services CIC was established to make it easier for the sector to benefit from this trend. Backed by Allied Irish Bank, Ethecol has a very simple business proposition. It provides chip & pin machines that enable small organisations to pay the same low card processing charges that the big companies enjoy. What’s more, a small margin on every transaction is donated to a charity or membership organisation. Now SEEE is introducing Ethecol to members of its network. Switch to Ethecol or sign up if new to cards and you’ll pay a competitive 1.7% on credit cards, 19p per debit card and £18.99 + VAT per month for your chip & pin terminal. You’ll save money and make it easier for your customers and service users to pay. SEEE will receive a small commission on your card turnover, helping fund the work that helps you! 0800 09 88 111 And don’t forget to mention SEEE when you get in touch!

Visibility and viability are the 16 cornerstones of business success, and the same applies to the social enterprise sector as a whole


ithout brand awareness, social enterprises may be sending their customers away wellsatisfied but unaware that the provider is a ‘business with a difference’. But with concerned consumerism on the increase, the sector would do well to trade on the strength of its special status as a business solution to social problems.

services that may not actually be wanted. But if that closeness to the community translates as ‘small-scale and isolated’, social enterprises are destined to do great work that no one knows about.

The Social Enterprise Mark – rolled out nationally in February 2010 goes some way towards helping the public buy with confidence. From its initial development in the south west of England, there are now over 400 Markholders nationally.

With the launch of their national BuySE online directory of social enterprises, Social Enterprise West Midlands – Social Enterprise East of England’s counterpart - will give buyers easy access to a central source of goods and services. The site attracted over 300 registrations in the first month after going live, and regional promotions are expected to dramatically increase coverage over the summer.

Getting the message across in a big way is also inextricably tied up with the long term sustainability of individual enterprises, as they compete on quality as well as price, and increasingly need to reach new markets, including the public and private sectors.

‘Closeness to the community’ has been identified as a defining characteristic of social enterprises. This fits well both with the Big Society idea and the best business practice of meeting a need that’s defined by the customer, rather than creating a need to sell goods and

Two new online initiatives aim to address those twin aims of visibility and viability.

For sellers, the directory is an affordable way to promote their

businesses. Editorial is controlled by the social enterprise itself, with scope for featuring special offers. A feedback facility from customers – Tripadvisor style – will help ensure that quality is maintained. For the sector as a whole, it shows how social enterprise spans the

economy - from health and social care, to transport, retail, housing and recycling, to sport, leisure and the arts. It showcases the offerings of small enterprises alongside their larger cousins.

in the summer of 2004, The Guild in Norwich went national with their cleverly-named Nearbuyou website. Grown in rural Norfolk, it expanded to cover the East of England before taking off as a national resource.

Meanwhile Social Firms UK has invested £10,000 in the re-launch of their trade directory JustBuy.

Interestingly, one of two target audiences for Nearbuyouback then was social enterprises – the aim being to facilitate trading between social enterprises to keep money circulating within the social economy. The second target audience was public sector procurement officers.

A re-design of their website (by a Social Firm of course) now makes it even easier for customers source what they need from the Social Firm sector via a user-friendly online platform. Social Firms are a particular type of social enterprise – a marketled business set up specifically to create good quality jobs for people disadvantaged in the jobs market. What follows from that Social Firm status is that the business stands and falls by the quality of its work.

In many ways, Nearbuyou was ahead of its time. Seven years on, there is still a need to reach public sector purchasers and promote trading between social enterprises. That second objective is the focus for ShopforChange – an initiative to promote inter-trading between a wide range of not-forprivate-profit organisations in the Birmingham area.


Trading with social enterprises just got a whole lot easier and now there is no excuse. When it comes to buying, consumers have choices. If they take the trouble, they can buy without compromising on quality or service from businesses that operate for people and the planet, as well as profit.

Be seen to succeed! Staff are paid a living wage and the expectation is that they will stay in the enterprise indefinitely, rather than seeing it a stepping stone to employment elsewhere. The idea of an online social enterprise trading platform is not new. Back

With the combined power of their online trading platforms, BuySE, JustBuy and Shop for Change have a real opportunity to reach the public sector, social enterprises and, importantly, the general public.



Reaching new markets: what changes and what stays the same?


f you are planning to reach new markets with your product or service there are some key issues to consider. This is particularly the case if you have previously relied on one source of income, such as a public service contract. Here are some things you need to think about.

Your strengths and values If you have been operating for some time and you have a good reputation in your area this is something you must protect at all costs. Whatever new markets you go into should not put at risk your reputation or compromise your values. These are things that take a long time to build but which can be damaged really quickly.

Ni c ky S teve nson Th e G u i l d

Skills and resources Offering new services in new markets will make demands upon your existing staff and systems. You need to take into account the proportion of people’s time that will be taken up by supporting new areas of work and make sure they are costed in to your new customers.

“remember the basic tenet of marketing that different people buy different things for different reasons...” You also need to make sure that people are not overloaded with new work and that the job does not require different skill sets – think about training needs and recruiting new people – do you need new skills such as selling or

contract management that you haven’t required before?

Old products, new prices If your funding has been cut and you want to continue to offer a service, you can’t just charge for what people have previously had for free. There may have been great demand when people using the service didn’t have to pay out of their own pockets but it is a very different offer the minute you ask them to pay (including from Personalised Budgets). You need to dress the offer up differently, such as breaking a service down to its component parts and offering a pick and mix package that gives the customer more choice. Above all, remember the basic tenet of marketing that different people buy different things for different reasons. Make sure you have thought carefully about the different benefits your new customers will want from your products and services.

Community enterprise now! Edited extracts from a presentation by Peter Couchman, Chief Executive of The Plunkett Foundation, an agency which supports rural enterprise through community ownership. It’s both amazing and depressing that we have the technology to sustain social networks across the world, but when we come to look at an average village, they struggle to maintain the networks that revolves around the church, the pub, the shop.

decide what sort of enterprises they want. In the south-west most choose to save their shops, in the north-west it’s their pubs – interesting to explore the reasons why! For others, it’s about better use of their church spaces for community benefit.

are not short term projects, they will last for generations. The small community in Hudswell in Yorkshire formed a co-operative and raised enough money through a share issue to buy the pub that had been closed for two years. It was a

“ T h e w o r k o f t o m o r row largely consists of the im p o s s i b l e o f t o d a y. It adds to the difficulty, but i t a ls o a d d s t o t he fun.”

Sir Horace Plunkett, idealist and man of business, 1854-1932

The exciting role that community enterprise now has is to both sustain those networks and repair the damage when elements have been lost. Which is exactly what Sir Horace Plunkett was doing in Ireland 100 years ago – believing that communities have the answers themselves and that if those communities are inspired to take on the challenges, they could do a better job than anyone else. That was radical 100 years ago but it’s now how the three major political parties see the world as working! The last election was the first time ever that all three party manifestos mentioned co-operatives and co-operative action. It’s now up to communities to

Why does community enterprise matter? Why don’t we wait for the public sector to pay for this or for the private sector to come in. Because neither of these things will happen! The time is come when we must stop apologising for being small scale, to say we’re not some strange quirky form - we’re a better form of business, able to survive in ways that neither the public nor private sector has been able to.

major achievement to get the pub up and running a year later. But not satisfied with just opening the pub, they now have a very small community shop and library within the pub, as well as community allotments on the land behind it. Many of us, in the times we’re in, think much of what we want to achieve is looking impossible. But time and time again we’ve risen to the challenge and when we get it right, it’s fun.

Over last 20 years, of 268 community shops opened only 10 shops have failed. We have a resilience built into this model because communities know that, once something is started, they can’t afford to let it fail – these



Helen Fitzhugh, Researcher with The Guild and Richard Patey a Director of Social Value, urge organisations to do more to demonstrate their social value.


Beyond a necessary evil I’ve seen the focus on social impact measurement significantly intensify over the past year. Of course, the move from monitoring towards measuring outcomes has been coming for a long time.Yet at the root of much of the current focus is the simple fact that, as funding for the sector has become scarcer, organisations need to prove their worth. Even so, social impact measurement has, for some, been perceived as a ‘necessary evil’. There’s a real problem if the current economic climate makes people think of impact measurement as a ‘necessary evil’. If it’s done well, organisations get far more out of it than simple justification. Good impact measurement – using appropriate methods and tools, not just the fashionable ones of the time – makes sure the organisation is going in the right direction. It’s about knowing what problem you want to tackle and what you hope will change as a result of your organisation’s action. It’s about putting systems in place to record data about whether that change is happening. It’s about being honest, adapting things that don’t work, sharing good practice and reporting back to stakeholders. In short, it’s about genuinely becoming a continually learning and developing organisation – which is about as far from ‘necessary evil’ as you can get. I’ve worked with a good number of organisations on choosing

how to measure their impact, through individual evaluations, one-to-one diagnostic sessions and The Guild’s ‘Getting started in social impact measurement’ workshops. What I’ve found is that, while there’s no one simple answer and no one tool fits all (let’s face it, if it was easy, everyone would already be doing it) with a bit of hard work and genuine commitment, there are some fascinating, useful and worthwhile answers just around the corner. It’s not just for practitioners to realise this – funders and commissioners need to know too. In my ideal world they would acknowledge their role in fostering an atmosphere of worried justification in the sector and look instead for organisations which are genuinely committed to learning, developing and – in their own appropriate way testing good practice. Then we’d truly get beyond the idea of impact measurement as ‘necessary evil’ and realise its potential.

ocialValue Richard Patey is the Director of Social Value - a social impact consultancy and sub-business of Profit Is Good Ltd

Game changer: capturing and promoting social value Can we really blame the public for not understanding the benefits of social enterprise when the sector itself is so bad at promoting the social part? The fact that charities dominate the social enterprise sector already hinders people’s understanding when this sector is 100% about business and 0% about charity, but what is inexcusable is the fact that capturing and promoting the social value that social enterprises create is still the exception rather than the rule. So why, after decades of Corporate Social Responsibility and over a decade of outcome measurement systems and social impact frameworks, are businesses whose main motivation and distinction is their social purpose, not clearly promoting to their customers and investors their social impact? Too busy? For me understanding the impact your organisation is having is fundamental in knowing how well you are performing. Not skilled enough? To successfully run a business I believe you need to up-skill, either personally or externally, in every key area. I think the main reason why the sector is not demonstrating their social impact is that up to now they haven’t had to. But waiting for funders to start demanding it (which is starting to happen) is sloppy business because

21 promoting social value is a huge competitive edge over the mainstream business sector. So what to do? Commission a consultant to produce a full Social Return on Investment report that requires its own carbon offset? For me the answer isn’t in methodologies, toolkits and frameworks; it is in understanding and practising good design. It is about being able to simply and visually represent the impact your organisation has on the community it serves. How you do that is up to you but rest assured increasingly competitive funding and more socially aware customers mean that you will have to jump on board; it is only a matter of time. Large mainstream business is leading the field in this – just take a look at how Nestlé have embedded the Michael E. Porter approach of Creating Shared Value for all their stakeholders into the core of their business activities and on their website. To still be around a decade from now your social enterprise needs to clearly demonstrate the social value it creates so that your customers and commissioners can add value to their purchasing decisions.

Getting the balance right: entrepreneurial individualism and the 22 co-operative ethos

One of the biggest challenges facing those setting up a public service mutual is how to effectively combine the individualism that drives entrepreneurial enterprises with the co-operative ethos that forms the basis of employee-led organisations. Social enterprises of all forms must be flexible and able to respond quickly to new opportunities and changes in the market. Successful new enterprises are usually agile enough to do this as they are often driven by one person or a small group of like-minded individuals. At first glance, this does not seem to sit comfortably with the co-operative values which include democracy and equity. Co-operatives have an inclusive and collective decision making process at their heart and this can take time and inevitably involves compromise. Many entrepreneurs would find this frustrating and restrictive. In our work supporting staff groups to form mutuals we have found that getting the right balance between focused entrepreneurial drive and co-operative values has been challenging but not unachievable. The balancing point for each individual organisation will be different depending on a number of factors including the size and personality of the staff group and the service being delivered. On all occasions, there must first be a clear vision, mission and objectives for the organisation which are agreed and accepted by all the owners/members. Once these fundamentals are in place it is possible to draw a distinction between the big strategic decisions that the organisation must make and the frequent day to day operational decisions and decide appropriate processes for each.

Andrew Laird Director Mutual Ventures Mutual Ventures is a social enterprise which provides support to frontline staff groups and commissioning authorities.

It is usually effective to deal with the big decisions as part of the governance of the organisation which usually takes the form of a Board or similar body and includes the owners/members. The Board can then choose to delegate responsibilities, such as day to day operational management, down to managers and individual staff as it sees fit. This will allow the owners/members to retain control of the overall direction of the organisation and the strategic entrepreneurial decisions (such as entering a new market) but will allow appointed individuals a level of freedom to make day-to-day entrepreneurial decisions (such as adjusting a service – as long as it adheres to the vision and mission etc agreed by the members/owners). Through experience the organisation will reach its own balancing point where owners/ members are comfortable and the organisation is agile enough to react to the market. . To help frontline staff begin to grasp this issue and many others, Mutual Ventures have produced a guide with Co-operatives UK, the national trade association for co-operative enterprises. ‘Co-operative Business District’ reflects the journey that staff will embark on, from learning about the benefits and risks of setting up a co-operative or other form of social enterprise to taking practical steps to set up an independent enterprise. Free to download at

Finance for enterprise Big Lottery support for social enterprise In Touch asked Jonathan Clark, Regional Manager with The Big Lottery Fund, East of England, for a general overview of their approach to social enterprise, Jonathan writes… As a funder, BIG believes that social enterprises can offer organisations the chance to move away from grant-dependency, provide greater opportunities for sustainability and promote community empowerment. BIG sees social enterprise as part of the wider voluntary and community sector and has funded social enterprises through demand led programmes such as Reaching Communities and Awards for All, as well as more targeted programmes. For example, Village SOS (shortly to air on the BBC) will match villages with lottery funding and enterprising individuals to act as champions to help them achieve their regeneration ambitions. These are four principles that BIG uses to define social enterprises applying for funding. They must:

Venture philanthropy makes it cooler for carers

Cool2Care - Community Interest Company and Social Enterprise Mark-holders – are clear that venture philanthropy – in the form of a grant with targeted management support - is key to their business development. They mainly operate across the south of England recruiting, training and placing young people as personal assistants to support disabled children or young people and their families. Cool2Care are benefitting from a £500,000 co-financing deal which includes a £150,000 grant through the CAN Breakthrough venture philanthropy programme, the remainder being loan finance. The grant and management support will help Cool2Care develop IT and operational expertise, manage investor relations, and report social impact to help market its economic and social value to commissioners and families. For CAN Breakthrough, this combination of grant, loan and hands-on support is essential for building the infrastructure of investees to seize opportunities, manage growth and maximise social mission.

From giving to investing

BIG cannot deliver grant-funding where it could deliver a competitive advantage, however beyond that it seeks to fund outcomes rather than specific organisational structures.

To date, there has been no attempt on the part of government to create a tailor-made regime for community and social finance activity.“At the moment, it’s easier to give £100 to charity than to lend £100 to charity,” says Luke Fletcher, an associate at Bates Wells & Braithwaite, the solicitors behind the design of the Community Interest Company structure. Fletcher is author of a new report ‘ Investing in Civil Society’ that sets out how a proportionate social finance legal and regulatory system could be established,to achieve the government’s policy objectives of growing the social investment market. The report is free to download at

• Generate at least 50 per cent of income from trading activity • Have clearly defined social aims in their governing documents • Be accountable to stakeholders and the wider community for their social, environmental and economic impact • Generate surpluses and principally reinvest those surpluses back into the business or into the community rather than distribute them for private profit


Finance for enterprise


Payment by results

Giving the community a share in your enterprise

The concept of paying for services according to the positive outcomes they achieve is one which is under consideration for many areas of public service commissioning – from tackling youth unemployment to providing healthcare. The government hopes to encourage private investors to back projects by rewarding them with some of the savings to the public purse further down the line – but only if the investments work.

The idea of getting a relatively large number of people to give relatively small amounts of money is gaining traction around the country as a new way to finance social enterprises start-ups. Having a financial stake - alongside the investment of time and effort - can encourage a commitment to sustain the enterprise when the initial excitement wears off.

A pioneering partnership with Peterborough Prison has developed a social impact bond (SIB) to finance work to reduce re-offending by prisoners. Under this pilot scheme, investors will be paid only when particular re-offending rates go down . A preliminary evaluation of the Peterborough SIB concludes that it is too early to draw detailed conclusions (the SIB was launched in October 2010), but initial observations will be of interest to others considering the model. The evaluation is free to download at

As traditional funding streams are increasingly squeezed, instead of turning to the private sector and wealthy individuals for support, communities are being encouraged to invest in themselves. Community Shares is a Government-funded action learning research project looking at new ways for social enterprises to attract finance. The work is funded by the Office of Civil Society, led by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and delivered by Locality (the new name for the recently merged Development Trusts Association and BASSAC) in partnership with Co-operatives UK and the Social Return on Investment Network

Learning from the USA Frank Tortoriello runs a small deli-diner in Great Barrington Massachusetts, USA. Turned down by his bank for a $5,000 loan to move his business to bigger premises, Frank was advised to print his own currency – the Deli Dollar! Each note was designed by a local artist and marked ‘redeemable for meals up to a value of $10.’ The new deli would not be able to take payment in deli dollars all at once, so he staggered the repayments over a year with a ‘valid after’ date on each note. To discourage counterfeiting, he signed each one individually and, here’s the clever bit – he sold each $10 note for $8! The notes were a great success – contractors gave them as Christmas presents to their construction crews, parent bought them as ‘vouchers’ for their children to buy a healthy lunch while at college, even the bankers who turned down the $5,000 loan bought some of them! The result? Frank raised the $5,000 in a month, and all those ‘investors’ came to his new deli diner to cash in on this opportunity and to be part of a growing business rooted in the community.

Frank Tortoriello

Better safe than sorr y… I n To u c h a s ke d Simon West of MasterPolicy Insurance Brokers, new Social E n te r p r i s e E a st of England member, to give us his top tips about insurance for n o t - fo r- p r i va te -profit organisations.

1 A l wa y s u s e a s pecialist

You’ve probably got your home insurance with a household name, one who advertises on TV and who has millions of customers, but buying insurance for your organisation demands the services of a specialist broker. This means someone who has experience in dealing with notfor-profit organisations and their particular needs.



Are you an employer, do you use volunteers ?

Your Management Te a m can be legally liable – a re they c overed?

If you are, then you should be insured for Employers Liability and Personal Accident Cover. You should also consider Employment Law Protection so that if you find your organisation in the unfortunate situation of being in a dispute you can turn to your insurance policy to cover your expenses.

The fact that many people who give their time ‘free’ to an organisation acting in either a management capacity or as a trustee, does not absolve them from these very real liabilities and appropriate insurance cover should be considered.




M a ke s u re yo ur insurer u n d e rs ta n d s t he nature of yo u r o rg a n i s a tion

Do you lease or rent a proper ty ?

Does your insurance p o l i c y give you added bene fits ?

This is important because it is vital that all aspects of your organisation’s work is covered under an insurance policy. It may mean that bespoke cover has to be arranged to cover your particular needs.

Do you own your property? Most organisations wouldn’t be able to operate without their premises. Make sure yours are adequately insured against damage and protect the contents too.



Loo k a t yo u r b iggest risks

Do you hold large stocks of things – equipment or supplie s ?

Ask your insurer to look at the potential risks in your organisation – those that would damage the day to day operations and would prevent you from carrying on with your activities. These risks are those that are vital to cover with insurance.

Do you ever move these from place to place? Losing valuable stock would cause considerable financial hardship to any organisation. Moving supplies can be risky and is where accidents most often occur. Ask your insurer to include this in your policy if it is relevant.

Some policies will include added extras such as PR crisis management, employer helplines and discounted criminal background screening. These could be invaluable ‘free’ tools to your organisation.

MasterPolicy Insuran c e Brokers are a specia l i s t insurance broker ope ra t i n g for over 20 years in t h e not- for- profit s ec tor. To find out more visi t www.mas ter polic y.c o.u k or c all 01767 318200


Support for social enterprise

26 Beyond

2010 business support programme When the going gets tough, the most enlightened social enterprises invest in their people and make the most of funding opportunities. Beyond 2010 funding is available for up to 50 - 70% of certain training and development costs. Call Social Enterprise East of England now on 0845 606 6296 to find out if you're eligible. If you are, the application process is straight forward. But hurry, the funding pot is limited! The Beyond 2010 business support programme is delivered by Essex County Council and funded by the European Social Fund and the East of England Development Agency.

Become a Micro Coach This autumn Social Enterprise East of England is training a new cohort of Micro Coaches and relaunching the programme nationally. What makes the Micro Coaches approach different? Micro Coaches: • are social enterprise and other small business managers and leaders who share their “success skills” to help other businesses. • have 2 or 3 top skills that makes their business successful. • want to support other businesses (and get paid for their time). • have completed two days of learning how to effectively transfer those skills to others. To find out more about what is involved in Micro Coaches and register your interest in becoming a Micro Coach this autumn, visit Developed by Social Enterprise East of England with support from the Big Lottery.

Do you have ambitious plans for your social enterprise? Grant funding of up to £1000 could help you pay for training in leadership and management. If you’re a senior leader of a social enterprises or businesses in the East of England, the East Midlands or the West Midlands with the potential to achieve high growth, this is a great opportunity to develop your leadership and management skills through the Leadership and Management Advisory Service, which is funded by the Skills Funding Agency. For further details, go to or call 0845 894 8969

Ever succeeded at mind reading?


recently visited the ever enthusiastic Sally Chicken. She’s Director of Ipswich and Suffolk Credit Union and a passionate supporter of the co-operative movement. My visit was to celebrate the fact that Sally’s organisation is the first in Suffolk to sign up with Ethecol Merchant Services CIC. Now she can accept debit cards from folk making loan repayments or putting some money into their savings accounts. As with all Ethecol chip & pin terminals, every time Sally’s customers use it, her chosen good cause, the Suffolk Foundation will receive 4p. Not much in itself, but when a hundred Foundation supporters start using Ethecol terminals for debit and credit card payments, the Suffolk Foundation will get around £30,000 a year. By coincidence my visit to Sally Chicken fell during ‘Co-operatives Fortnight’. There was an impressive poster in the window promoting the fact that cooperatives are ‘owned by you’. Her shop window also made it very clear that the Credit Union provides affordable credit. In fact one thing I really like about Sally is the way she makes sure people know exactly what it is her organisation does. Better still is the way she offers obvious compelling reasons for doing business with her Credit Union.

Robert Ashton’s Ashton’slatest latest book ‘How ‘How to tobe beaaSocial Social Entrepreneur’ Entrepreneur’ isisavailable availableon on Amazon. Amazon. He is also a social entrepreneur and campaigner He andisis also a popular an entrepreneur social and enterprise campaigner ‘troubleshooter’ who advises social helpingentrepreneurs organisations in grow the East their of income. England.

I didn’t expect the Co-op to be as well stocked or even as appealingly stocked out as Tesco. But why on earth do they expect me to return to their store when no effort is made to give me good reason? Here are five things they could have done:

• Put up ‘Co-operative Fortnight’ posters both outside and inside the store; • Handed out membership leaflets and a member-get-member incentive; • Briefed their staff so they didn’t look at me blankly when asked how Co-ops were different from other supermarkets; • Shown how their prices compare with Tesco that day to reassure shoppers; • Motivated their staff so they feel part of a movement rather than in a dead end job. Of course as a social entrepreneur, by design or default, you’d not miss any of these opportunities would you? I’m not asking you to sell your soul, just the products and services that give you the income you need to change the world!

Buoyed by Sally’s enthusiasm for Ethecol and fuelled by the strong coffee she gave me I drove on into Essex for a duty visit to my 86 year old bachelor uncle. He’s getting frail now, but still lives independently in the bungalow he had built in 1958. As ever I had to do some shopping for him, primarily milk, eggs, booze and pipe tobacco. Remembering that it was Co-operatives Fortnight, I drove past Tesco to the local Co-op. I expected to see massive reminders that the Co-op is owned by its customers. I expected to be reminded that much of the produce on sale is grown and processed by the Co-op too. I naively expected that the store would be using Cooperatives Fortnight to recruit new members and build market share. I was disappointed.

“Director Sally Chicken welcomes the arrival of her Ethecol terminal with Stephen Singleton of the Suffolk Foundation and her team at the Ipswich & Suffolk Credit Union.”


As you are probably aware, from November 2011 the regional Business Links are being streamlined into a national telephone enquiry and web-based service, but until then you can still benefit from the full range of local Business Link services. So don’t miss the opportunity to get free, impartial advice on starting up and running your social enterprise. The support we offer includes:


Business Link – here to help you develop your social enterprise

Information Our information service can give you answers to all your enterpriserelated questions. Whether you want more information on marketing, employing people, legislation, IT, finance, copyright or any other business issue - our experienced Advisers are here to help.

One-to-one advice A face-to-face meeting or telephone session with a Business Link Adviser will give you access to free, independent and impartial advice and your Adviser will point you in the right direction if you need further help.

Workshops and briefings

Paul Henry, Partnerships Director, urges In Touch readers to make the most of their services before Business Link reorganises at the end of November.

Business Link workshops and briefings are designed to help address these issues. Our programme of regular events runs across the region and includes the following:

• Managing money and making a profit • Finding and keeping customers • Social networking – what’s all the fuss about? • An introduction to online selling • An introduction to email marketing • Internet marketing – free/ low cost ways to attract more customers • How to make search engines love you. All of these workshops and briefings are free of charge. In addition we run a number of subsidised briefings costing just £30 including VAT, which can benefit social enterprises too. These include:

During my time working with Business Link many of the organisations I have met have tended to have similar support needs:

• Growing income from social enterprise • How to find and bid for public sector contracts • How do we improve our • Negotiation skills – buying and marketing activity? selling at the right price • How do we make more use of • PR for virgins • Personal effectiveness – working our website and e-commerce? smarter not harder. • How can we earn more from To find out more about our event trading? programme visit • What should we charge? or phone the booking service on 0845 601 1000.

More questions than answers Mick Taylor, a partner with Mutual Advantage, reflects on two introductory guides for public sector staff on new models for public service delivery, and the context in which they’ve been published.

This is not the easiest time to write a guide on setting up mutuals, co-operatives or social enterprises to run public services, but you can see why everyone wants to. It took the fall of the Murdoch press empire to drive mutuality and social enterprise service provision from the headlines, even in a week when we finally got a statement in Parliament announcing the open public services white paper. The problem is that, while the government has been loud and clear about its aspirations, it has been has been far from speedy in issuing any guidance about how all this might work in practice. Yet what people want when they turn to guides like ‘The right to run’ from the Social Enterprise Coalition, and ‘Transitions’ from Social Enterprise London is just that - how to do it. Re-hashing the principles of business planning just doesn’t cut the mustard, when you can find excellent books in any good bookstore, and highly accessible manuals on procurement and legal structures on the web. The second constraint the guides face is the extraordinary complexity of the process, and the diversity of the public sector. Are we talking about health bodies, local authorities or central government? GPs after all are in the private sector! Pensions, contracting and procurement may work as differently as the decision-making processes and political contexts.

Do any of us know how all this might work for civil servants? Are we really going to see changes to the VAT rules, EU procurement, or TUPE to facilitate social enterprise development? Will changes apply to all kinds of public services? After all, the underlying principles of VAT work differently in health bodies and local authorities. Given the wide variation in opportunities, the lack of clarity in guidance, and the absence of real practice under the current policy regime, it is very hard for anyone to be precise. Will the process followed by a small group of nurses delivering an innovative post-stroke service, yet to be commissioned, be the same as ten civil servants faced with

redundancy, or the externalisation of a complete youth service, including commissioning, from a single local authority? And what about services purchased through independent budgets where there will be no public procurement? Given all the difficulties, it’s no surprise that the greatest strength of these guides is in the referencing, resources and case studies. If you are looking for some help to mutualise a part of the public sector, both provide a good, sound introduction and they are an excellent place to start. However, if you’re looking for a roadmap, then don’t be surprised if the landscape you face on your journey turns out to be quite different.

Further information: The right to run – download at Transitions – download at Mutual Advantage specialise in supporting service-users and employees to establish new mutuals in public services Mick Taylor


And finally‌ SEEE launches new Partnership Logo Is your organisation a Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE) member, a training venue used by SEEE in the last 12 months, or organising an event with SEEE input? If so, you can now include a new SEEE Partnership Logo on your website and publicity materials.

30 If you think you might qualify to use the new SEEE Partnership Logo, e-mail Chris on for the Guidelines.

Open public services and social enterprise The Open Public Services White Paper is an important if not exciting read. So thank you to others who have done the reading on our behalf! The Guild in Norwich looks at what it says for social enterprise, a more general policy briefing from Urban Forum goes into more details, while insomniacs can go to the original 58-page document.

Calling in at a very local library Villagers south of Cambridge are making the most of a redundant red telephone box by turning it into a walk-in library. The facility in Little Shelford (population 700) has been an immediate hit with people living nearby. The idea is that people leave a book, take a book, and they can also leave requests on post-it notes. In nearby Shepreth, a disused phone box was also turned into a pub for the night - The Dog and Bone – when their local closed.


The Guild

Urban Forum

Cabinet Office

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InTouch with Social Enterprise Issue 34  

Summer 2011 edition of In Touch with Social Enterprise.

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