iSE celebrates 20th anniversary

During June 2020 iSE celebrates its 20th anniversary. BSSEC and iSE have worked together for almost the entirety of that time and for a good part of it Sarah has also served as chair of BSSEC and one of its Directors.

I think many will agree that without the efforts of Sarah and her various teams over the past two decades, the social enterprise sector in Birmingham — and indeed beyond — would not be what it currently is. Congratulations on your twentieth anniversary, iSE.

The message below explains how iSE will be celebrating…


iSE co-founder Sarah Crawley: June 2020 marks the organisation’s 20th anniversary

June sees iSE joint founder and current CEO, Sarah Crawley, and the team mark the date when iSE was incorporated as a community interest company — 23rd June 2000 — and celebrate twenty years of operating as a social enterprise.

Sarah has led iSE CIC through successive periods of change — some good, some extremely challenging — and iSE is now widely recognised as one of the most sustainable local and regional social enterprise development agencies in what is a very tough and demanding marketplace.

Throughout June, iSE will be sharing highlights from the last 20 years so please feel free to enjoy some quick reads, news and messages on our website here.

Sarah Crawley says, ‘This anniversary is our way of not only sharing our story but thanking all those amazing entrepreneurs, supporters and #socent friends who have been, and still are, part of our sustainability and success. Real achievement is always a collaboration of great people willing to share ideas, passion and knowledge – it’s definitely a “team game”!’

‘iSE — or, to use our full registered name, Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs CIC — makes me hugely proud. To have sustained through 20 years feels to me like a massive achievement. Our staff and our Board have been integral to our success and sustainability. Over the years we have flexed and changed to continue to meet the needs of trading social businesses and this has enabled us to focus especially on supporting economically marginalised groups and the development of the trading environment for social enterprises. Relationships and strong, working partnerships are at the heart of everything we do: we recognise when we don’t have the skills but others do, and we want to thank everyone we have worked with over the past 20 years for your support and commitment.’

WiSE WEDNESDAY WEBINAR | 10th June 2020, 10.00am

Sarah is the expert speaker for the next free WiSE Wednesday webinar on the subject of LEADERSHIP, ADVERSITY & SUSTAINABILITY.

Ensuring sustainability through adversity, while maintaining enthusiasm and leading a diverse team, Sarah shares her journey and key learning points from the last twenty years and helps us look ahead to post-lockdown opportunities and the social enterprise landscape ahead. There really couldn’t be a more appropriate topic in the current circumstances, could there?


Read more about the WiSE Wednesday webinar series.

→ Read previous posts on this blog about WiSE Wednesday webinars.

Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website

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