Social enterprise conference — Dudley

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the proposed West Midlands Combined Authority is holding a one-day conference called Opportunities for Social Enterprise, Investment & Impact on Thursday 19th November 2015.

More information about Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 and the conference.

Book conference tickets.

Opportunities for Social Enterprise Flyer 290915[1]

Beacon WMCA Conference Email Flyer 230915

BSSEC annual report 2015


We are very pleased to publish our third annual report since incorporating as a Community Interest Company in 2012.

You can view all three annual reports we have so far published on this page or go straight to our Annual Report 2015.

BPCN opens second scrapstore in Yardley

Birmingham Play Care Network has long been at the forefront of the scrapstore movement — using donated ‘waste’ materials from businesses and organisations and turning these into a treasure trove of children’s play materials.

BPCN’s first scrapstore operates from the charity’s base at The Big Peg in the Jewellery Qtr and BPCN has just opened its second satellite scrapstore in Yardley.

For more information about both stores contact BPCN on 0121 236 2917 or send mail.



Protect your IP — with a free expert workshop hosted by UnLtd





UnLtd has teamed up with top IP firm Mathys and Squire to bring a session on Protecting and Nurturing the DNA of your Enterprise to the Birmingham Impact Hub on the 20th October 2015.

Whatever the nature of your enterprise, you undoubtedly have some idea of what differentiates you, what drives your success, and what others might want to replicate given the chance.

What you might not fully appreciate, however, is that those things which differentiate you and drive your success now —  brand names, designs, innovations and inventions, processes and best practices  — are your Intellectual Property and the foundation for your success and ability to grow in the future.

Intellectual Property is the DNA of an enterprise — and the purpose of this workshop is to help you identify, protect and nurture that Intellectual Property in practical and commercially sensible ways both now and in the future.

The session will be held at the superb Impact Hub Brum, on the morning of the 20th October 2015 from 9am starting with a light breakfast and networking, finishing with lunch.

In order to register please send mail to Louise Cannon at UnLtd confirming your status as a social enterprise and your interest in attending this event.

The Reusers — Jericho Foundation’s new venture is helping clients, boosting sales and adding social impact

Used_Furniture_in_Birmingham___Jericho_FoundationJericho Foundation has always been committed to creating employment opportunities through its social enterprises — and now it is able to create more than ever.

The company has successfully reversed the situation of around a decade ago, when — like many — the majority of its income derived from publicly funded contracts of various types. Now, nearly 90% of Jericho’s income derives from commercial sales through its social enterprises and the company receives no government funds of any description.

Jericho’s latest venture — and its most profitable — is The Reusers, a new initiative based in Sutton Coldfield which enables items destined for landfill to be salvaged, sold and re-used — in some of Birmingham’s most deprived communities.

Jericho was able to take over a derelict building and car park adjoining the tip and create a dedicated space for donating, recycling, re-using and buying and since opening a little over two years ago Reusers has:

» Sold close to 300,000kg of material that would otherwise be in landfill. It has a current stock holding of 150,000kg of items.

» Created around 9 full time and 2 part time jobs, 5 of which went to previously unemployed people and 1 to a survivor of human trafficking.

» Delivered 17 supported apprenticeship placements for formerly NEET young people, work experience to around 25 volunteers from schools, Dept of Education programmes and the local community, and around 1,000 people per week donate or buy from the business.

The project has generated sufficient income to be financially sustainable in the long-term.

I'd have a Reusers at every tip if I could manage to do it -- Richard Beard

I’d have a Reusers at every tip if I could manage to do it — Richard Beard

Jericho’s chief exec Richard Beard says, “Reusers is one of the best things we’ve ever done. It’s extremely profitable and the environmental benefits are huge. But more than this, the social impact is terrific. It is enabling us to extend our employment support and job creation work with ex-offenders and reach new groups such as victims of human trafficking. I’d have a Reusers at every tip if I could manage to do it!”

Jericho has opened two additional Reusers Community Stores in Balsall Heath and Small Heath which supply cheap goods to the local community. What a great story of social enterprise development and risk-taking in the pursuit of social benefit. Congratulations, Jericho!

Make great videos on your smartphone or tablet — and promote your goods and services!

Social Saturday 2015 is Saturday 10th October — and is almost upon us.

The aim of Social Saturday is to raise awareness of just how easy it is to support businesses that trade quality items and services and invest profits in projects supporting the local community, international development, the environment, charities and a wealth of other progressive schemes.

What can you do?

Well, here’s an idea.  As a contribution to Social Saturday iSE is offering a free one-off event, hosted by Citizen Click CIC, to help people gain the skills and expertise to make great quality videos on their smartphones and tablets.

The workshop takes place on Tuesday 6th October from 2:30pm to 4:30pm at iSE.

Come along to learn how to make better use of the technology you already have. Let digital coms wizards Citizen Click show you how simple, well-made videos can be used to market your enterprise and its goods, services, successes and news!

Bring your smartphones and tablets with you (Apple and Android).

iSE will be posting the videos as part of Social Saturday.

This training is free but places are limited and booking is essential — please ring Gary Rogers at iSE on 0121 771 1411 or send him mail to book a place.

John Taylor Hospice shortlisted for HSJ award

Established in 1910, John Taylor Hospice is celebrating its 4th anniversary as an independent social enterprise

Established in 1910, John Taylor Hospice is celebrating its 4th anniversary as an independent social enterprise

Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice, the only UK hospice operating as a social enterprise, has been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) Award in the Compassionate Patient Care category.

The HSJ Awards, which have been highlighting successful initiatives in UK healthcare since 1981, shine a spotlight on the most innovative projects in the sector. More than 600 organisations submitted entries for 2015 with individual nominations across all categories exceeding 1,600.

Director of clinical operations at John Taylor Hospice Marie Bradley said: “We’re extremely proud to be a finalist in these prestigious healthcare awards. We’re committed to delivering compassionate care to each and every person who comes to us for help and that means constantly asking ourselves how we could do more. We’re here for our patients and their families wherever they need us, for as long as they need us. To be recognised as one of the UK’s leaders in this category is fantastic for the hospice and for Birmingham.”

JTH logo

John Taylor Hospice will go on to deliver a presentation in front of HSJ’s judging panel in October.

Founded on the principle of mutualisation, JTH was gifted to the NHS in 1948.

In 2011 the hospice became a ‘new mutual’ under the Department of Health’s Right to Request process. The hospice is currently celebrating its fourth anniversary as an independent Community Interest Company.

SEUK’s state of the sector 2015 report now available

Social Enterprise UK’s eagerly awaited state of the sector report for 2015 is now available and can be downloaded free of charge here.

It’s been two years since the previous survey and some significant trends are emerging in the new findings:

» The sector is young and getting younger: Close to half (49%) of all social enterprises are five years old or less. 35% are three years old or less – more than three times the proportion of SME start-ups. In terms of new business formation in the UK, social enterprise is where the action is.

» At the forefront of economic recovery: The proportion of social enterprises that grew their turnover over the past 12 months is 52%. A greater proportion of social enterprises are growing than mainstream SMEs (40%).

» Making a profit, making a difference: 50% of social enterprises reported a profit, with 26% breaking even. Almost all use the majority of those profits to further their social or environmental goals.

» Focused where most needed: 31% of socialenterprises are working in the top 20% most deprived communities in the UK.

» Operating globally: The proportion of socialenterprises that export or licence has grown to 14%. For over 1⁄3 of these, international trade accounts for between 11% and 50% of income

» It’s all about business: 73% of social enterprises earn more than 75% of their income from trade.

» Stronger than ever in public services: 27% of social enterprises have the public sector as their main source of income, an increase on 2013 and 2011. 59% of social enterprises do some business with the public sector.

» Not just any jobs: 59% of social enterprises employ at least one person who is disadvantaged in the labour market. For 16% of social enterprises, this group forms at least half of all employees.

» Paying fair: The average pay ratio between social enterprise CEO pay and the lowest paid is just 3.6:1 – for FTSE 100 CEOs, this ratio stands at 150:1.

This is an invaluable source of sector intelligence for anyone with an interest in the social enterprise sector — don’t miss it.

Business, academia, community finance — all mourn Sir Adrian Cadbury

Sir Adrian Cadbury, whose death aged 86 has been announced

The death of Sir Adrian Cadbury on the 3rd September 2015 aged 86 has just been announced.

Sir Adrian was chairman of Cadbury and Cadbury Schweppes for over twenty-four years. But in his long and busy life of business, public service and civic activism he was also much more than this. He was an olympic rower; a past director of the Bank of England and of IBM; and chairman of the UK Committee on Corporate Governance that so bore his remarkable stamp that its 1992 report — still considered a benchmark on the subject today — became known as the Cadbury Code.

I wouldn’t presume to say I knew Sir Adrian, but on the few occasions I met him — usually in some connection with an ART event, whose founding Chairman he was in 1997, and whose President he served as from 2004 until the time of his death — he radiated an old world charm, modesty and moral purpose that one couldn’t fail to respond to.

It was a report from the Aston Commission, chaired by Sir Adrian, which heralded the start of ART (Aston Reinvestment Trust) – then a new type of finance provider, designed to raise money from social investors to lend to local businesses enabling them to create or protect local jobs for local people.

Steve Walker, chief exec of ART, worked alongside Sir Adrian from  the outset. “Sir Adrian was an astute businessman guided by a strong moral compass,” he says. “He was a great enthusiast when it came to business and loved to talk to entrepreneurs, business owners and managers about their ideas and plans for growth, but he was also a philanthropist and encouraged others to follow his example.”

In 1996 community finance was a new concept — but Sir Adrian was its tireless evangelist amongst his vast network of friends, associates, business colleagues and co-philanthropists. His energy and powers of persuasion were crucial in securing the seed investment which allowed ART to get started.

There are tributes in The Guardian, The Birmingham Mail, The Birmingham Post, The Daily Telegraph (and more fully in the online The Telegraph), the Financial Times, Business Quarter, and on the Aston University website.

That Sir Adrian is mourned so widely and by such a range of institutions and individuals is a mark not just of his long and active life, but also of the high esteem and affection so many felt for him.

“Without Sir Adrian, ART — and indeed the community finance sector which we have helped to build — wouldn’t be where it is today. He was always a friend and everyone at ART will miss him greatly.” — Steve Walker, ART

Bridging to the Future — entrepreneurship and economic independence event

New_Small_Start_Up_Business_Incubator_entrepreneur_Support_Birmingham_ConsultantBridging To The Future is hosting a very special lunchtime event on Friday the 25th September 2015 from 12:00 to 14:00 on the theme “Enabling Economic Independence – The Impact of Social Entrepreneurship”.

Bridging To The FutureBITA Pathways, Natwest, BRAP, University of Birmingham and King Edward VI Five Ways School will explain how they utilise social enterprise to offer individuals different pathways to economic independence.

Their collective experience covers a wide range of ages (from 14 to over 80), locations, types of business and approaches.

Eastside Catering will provide a locally sourced buffet and a chance to continue conversations, start some new ones and get to know other people active in this area.

Please note the event is FREE but booking is essential.

NHS Expo 2015 Review


NHS Expo 15 took place in Manchester last week. The two day event had an attendance of over 10,000 people from health and care, the voluntary sector, local government, and health industry.

NHS Expo 2015 - 3

Paul Maubach discusses the Integrated Care work of Dudley CCG with Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health

A key feature of the event was highlighting the current Vanguard sites in the New Care Models Zone. The area was buzzing with activities and representation from various Vanguard sites, including Dudley CCG, as well as, information on two other Midlands Vanguard sites: Solihull and Birmingham.

NHS Expo 2015 - 2

Simon Stevens, Head of NHS, with some of the team driving the Integrated Care agenda in Dudley including: Dudley CCG, Dudley CVS, Dudley MBC and Cloudberry.

Cloudberry, Dudley CVS and Dudley CCG presented the innovative work that is taking place in Dudley around Integrated Care, including locally developed outcomes CRM, PSIAMS, to a range of attendees including Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Simon Stevens, Head of NHS England.

One of the key announcements was that patients will be able to access their entire medical record online by 2018.


NHS Exp 2015 - 4

Capturing the events of the day at NHS Expo 2015

NHS Expo 2015 - 1

NHS Expo 2015 took place at Manchester Central

If you are interested in finding out more about the innovate work taking place in Dudley then register for the forthcoming Social Enterprise Mentor event taking place in Dudley on 10th September 2015.

University of Birmingham to celebrate social enterprise at special careers networking event


Careers Network, the University of Birmingham careers service, takes a proactive approach to engaging with social enterprises and its next event — on Wednesday 7th October 2015 from 4.30pm until 7pm — will be all about social enterprise.

The event will celebrate the success of the university’s Enterprising Internships Programme. As part of this project the university wants to engage with more social enterprise employers, establishing mutually beneficial partnerships which will increase the pool of internship places for students while also helping businesses to grow.

The event will offer opportunities to network and learn about the ways in which you can work with the University. In addition you’ll hear:

» A key note speech from Sarah Crawley, chief executive of iSE, discussing the benefits of engaging with Higher Education Institutions to recruit students who can help drive businesses forward.

Keynote speaker: Sarah Crawley, CEO, iSE

Keynote speaker: Sarah Crawley, CEO, iSE

» Employers sharing their experience of working with the University and benefits of taking on an intern.

» Students highlighting their experience of working within a Social Enterprise and what they have gained.

» Details of the ways in which you can work with the University and financial support offered when taking on an intern.

Light refreshments. This is a free event but booking is essential.

Any queries, please send mail to Amrit Sandhu, Internship Officer.

It’s all happening at John Taylor Hospice

Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice, the only UK hospice operating as a social enterprise, has an awful lot going on over the next few months.

JTH logo

September — will-writing service

JTH has teamed up with Birmingham solicitors Benson Williams, DBS Law Ltd, Woolastons Solicitors and Robert Shaw & Co to offer discounted will-writing services throughout September. The offer is part of an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of wills and encourage people to prepare for the future.

For more information call Kerry on 0121 465 2000.

JTH 4th Birthday Walk

Sunday 4th October 2015 marks JTH’s 4th birthday as a social enterprise and it is marking the occasion with a 4th Birthday Walk. Its staff and supporters would love it if you would join them.

The event starts and ends at the Ramanda Hotel on Penns Lane in Sutton Coldfield. Families are invited to join us at 9.30am for fun and games and then take part in one of two walks (3.5 miles or 9 miles) which leave the hotel at 10.30am.

You can register here.

Download the event flyer.

Great Birmingham Run

There are also still places left for anyone who wants to join JTH’s team of 65 runners taking part in the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday 18th October 2015.

Simply sign up here and then let either Liz Wood or one or the Community Investment Crew know by calling 0121 465 2000.

Team members will each receive a free running vest, free massage and beer after the run, as well as the chance to win some great prizes!

NHS Expo 2015 – Twitter and Blog Feed


NHS Expo 15 is the main event in the health and care calendar and is again hosted by NHS England in Manchester. The event has an attendance of over 5000 people a day from health and care, the voluntary sector, local government, and industry. This year it takes place on the 2nd and 3rd of September 2015 and has a focus on networking, learning and sharing the ideas and innovations that will transform health and care services, now and for future generations.


Mark Ellerby, from Cloudberry, will be attending the event and will be tweeting from @CloudberryOrgUK (#EXPO15NHS) and wring a BSSEC Blog review, if you want to follow the events over the two days. Mark will also be presenting PSIAMS outcomes measurement CRM at the event with Dudley CCG.


Women & Enterprise — business growth school announced

Women___Enterprise_-_Helping_Women_in_Business 2

Women & Enterprise is launching its growth school – a 2-day workshop for women who are currently running businesses and would like to develop and grow their business.


 Send email to book.

iSE announces Social Saturday 2015

Social_Saturday___Latest_campaigns___Policy___campaigns___Social_Enterprise_UKSocial Saturday was inaugurated by SE UK last year and was hailed as a great success.

Birmingham marked the occasion with a street market in Digbeth, bringing together iSE, the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter, social enterprises from all over Birmingham — and supporters from Birmingham and beyond.

iSE has just announced that in conjunction with the DSEQ Social Saturday 2015 will take place on Saturday 10th October — so make sure that date is in your diary.

The aim of Social Saturday 2015 is to raise awareness of just how easy it is to support businesses that trade in quality items and services and reinvest profits for social good.

iSE is currently finalising the event. If you have brilliant ideas or can offer help or volunteers or anything else at all please speak to Marija Sakalauskaite on 0121 771 1411 or send her mail.

iSE also plans to relaunch the Shop for Change directory, so if you’re not in it and you want to be, contact Marija, as above.


Google Garage steps in to launch new business service at the Library of Birmingham

Google Digital Garage at the Library of Birmingham

Google Digital Garage at the Library of Birmingham

Online giant Google has taken over part of the first floor of the Library of Birmingham to set up its first Google Digital Garage — a new service targeting business owners and entrepreneurs looking for a free digital ‘tune up’.

If you think your business is in need of a digital MOT, head to the Library to for one-to-one mentoring sessions, masterclasses and a digital tune-up – all completely free of charge. One-hour seminar options include:

» Tell Your Story Online – show off the best of your business through the web, on computers and mobile devices.

» Reach New Customers Online – make your business more visible online so new customers can find you, including the cornerstones of digital marketing and how to use online marketing tools.

Seminars run from today through to the 12th Sept inclusive and you can book here.

More on the Google Garage website (where you can also book).

More on this story on the Digital Birmingham blog.

More news on this story here in the Birmingham Post.

National Housing Federation conference on social enterprise, work & wellbeing

This year’s National Housing Federation conference will be held in Birmingham at the ICC and on Thursday 24th September there is a special day-long conference and exhibition devoted to social enterprise, work and wellbeing.

Keynote speakers at the event include Peter Holbrook (SEUK) and Melanie Mills (Big Society Capital) with sessions throughout the day on various aspects of social enterprise and the role it can — and is — playing for housing associations that are seeking to create better opportunities for their tenants and service users.

There is a discounted rate for SEUK members (contact NHF’s Business Sales and Support team on 0207 067 1066 for more information — details here).

View the programme.


Access launches consultation on access to finance and design of new £60m capacity-building programme


Access: The Foundation for Social Investment is a new charitable foundation developed in partnership with the UK Cabinet Office, Big Society Capital and Big Lottery Fund.

Access’s purpose, it states, “is to be a champion for those charities and social enterprises that are at early stages of developing new ways of creating income to bring real change to more people’s lives. Access will help to provide these organisations with the finance and support they need, at the beginning of their development — when it is most valuable but often hardest to find.”

Access’s activities will be delivered through partners, administrators and fund managers: it will not deliver  programmes itself directly to the front line.

Access is currently developing two new programmes:

  • A Growth Fund which combines loan capital with grant money to enable smaller social sector organisations access the types of finance they need to develop.
  • And an innovative £60m, ten year capacity-building programme to help organisations develop the skills and resources they need to enable them to grow and thrive.


The organisation has just launched a consultation exercise about the design of this second programme, the Capacity-Building programme, and wants to hear your views.

You can participate in the consultation HERE or by Tweeting #accesscapacity.

The programme is being funded in part by receipts from the old  Futurebuilders Fund.

More in Third Sector Online.

September Social Enterprise Mentor networking event — Dudley


Cloudberry and Social Enterprise West Midlands, will be running the next Social Enterprise Mentor networking event in Dudley on 10th September.

Social Enterprise Mentor is the Midlands leading networking event for social enterprise providing social entrepreneurs and social enterprises a regular event to help them exchanging ideas, best practice and expertise. The monthly, informal ‘non sell’ networking event provides the sector with an opportunity to work closer together, develop partnerships and collaborate on large and small scale projects – it is a great way to build business relationships!

These networking events are open to all with an interest or an involvement in social enterprise – ideal for start ups, charities, entrepreneurs, enterprises, funders and supporters. The event is also a great way for people wanting to take their first steps towards social enterprise, such as, students, graduates, community projects or SMEs.

Dudley, West Midlands – Register Here (via Social Enterprise West Midlands)

Date: 10th September 2.00 to 4.00pm, with optional lunch starting at 1pm

Venue: DY1 Centre (formerly Stafford Street Day Centre), Stafford Street, Dudley, DY1 1RT

About our Host/Sponsor:

Our host is the DY1 Centre, an asset transfer building run by Dudley CVS and home to a range of organisations, including our sponsor for the event Cloudberry and PSIAMS.


20120709-115547.jpgPSIAMS logos-B2 new