It’s always a pleasure when old friends stay in touch — even more when they contact you and say, “I’ve got a great idea for something we can write together to go up on your website,” which is what happened to me a week or two back.
I was contacted by my old friend Simon Lee, whom many of you will remember. Simon now works for Hempsons solicitors in London, where he specialises in advice to social enterprises and charities.
We had a chat on the phone and it turned out that we had both been exercising ourselves about some new and emerging trends in the social enterprise sector. Why is the landscape of the sector changing in the ways currently apparent? What’s driving businesses — and in some cases huge ‘for profit’ businesses — to consider adopting some form of social enterprise model? Can such developments be taken at face value? We also touched on social value and wondered whether social enterprises were losing ground to the private sector in delivering on social value.
We agreed to write a sort of joint ‘think piece’. I’m not sure we manage to provide very many categorical answers but in a sense that wasn’t the point: this was as much about keeping our brains on their toes (if you see what I mean) and trying to interrogate (and perhaps even challenge) some of our own thinking…
We hope you enjoy reading it. And thanks to Simon for taking part in the experiment.