Blogging from the Social Enterprise Exchange, Glasgow

The team from iSE are at the Social Enterprise Exchange in sunny Glasgow. We arrived yesterday to glorious weather to set up our Shop for Change stand with the help of Harris and Harris Accountancy CIC, Textiles by St Annes, BVSC Conferencing.

Fantastic networking last night at All Bar One and a great vibe today.

I just took part in a really good session led by Kirsty Wark, with Chuka Umunna (MP for Streatham), Sophie Tranchell of Divine Chocolate and Paul Monaghan (head of social goals and sustainability at the Co-operative Group) which ended up exploring such things as capitalism, social enterprise and good business and how to do it! It was excellent.

Alex Salmond is speaking now. Above all the networking of 1200 people has been full of energy and the trading place full of business and exchanges.

Amongst other things we are here to launch our fantastic new Shop for Change Pop Up Shop, a special online store selling a product designed and made specially for us by Frost and Snow.

Frost and Snow’s special Dark Chocolate and Ginger Brownies can be bought only for the next 3 days but you can put an order date for Easter or a birthday — cheaper than flowers and the person receiving it knows the gift comes from a social enterprise. We even include a gift card for your special message.

We need more products to market through Shop for Change and we have been talking to people at the conference here.

Go and have a look at the Shop for Change Pop Up Shop and tell us what you think about it! But better still — place your orders.

UPDATE 29th March — Alun Severn: Well, it isn’t often that I receive exclusive samples, but  a box of Frost & Snow’s dark chocolate and ginger brownies just turned up in the post. I opened them while I was still standing in reception and the first out of the box went to the building manager and the receptionist. Yes, I suggested they might share one, and don’t pretend you wouldn’t have done the same thing. First impression: six generously sized brownies packed in an elegant brown box and tied with ribbon. Understated chic.

Second impression: They are superb quality. The chocolate is rich but not overly sweet, the cake moist but not ‘claggy’ as some brownies often are. The slightly warm underlying ginger holds the sweetness in check and makes something special of the humble brownie.

Conclusion: they taste delicious, they look excellent, and the presentation is spot-on. Congratulations Frost & Snow and iSE. Is six a lot to buy in one go? Hm, perhaps — treat yourself and split the box with a workmate or two.


  1. Chris Newis Reply

    Hi Alun,
    I was just settling down in my sleeping bag last night on the forecourt of Tesco, Oldswinford Cross, after a delicious meal of pasties, when it occured to me that today marks the closure of AWM.
    It is worth recalling the support that AWM offered for social enterprise, from the earliest days in 2001, to the establishment of SEWM.
    It seemed that AWM, along with the RDA’s in general, got how different social enterprise was to voluntary sector activity and promoted it as such.
    West Midlands was also the first region to integrate support for social enterprise into the main business support offer in the region. Given the lack of resources for social enterprise at the moment, we may look back on those initiatives as the goodtimes.
    Chris Newis

    • Alun Severn Reply

      Chris — I somehow missed this comment of yours and didn’t get an alert (I don’t always — WordPress is temperamental in that way). Anyway, given what we now know about the environment for business support and other resources for social enterprise, I think it is evident that the RDA times — whatever we may have said during them — were a golden age for SE support….

      cheers, Alun

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