Social enterprise support by App, anyone?

I’ve just been reading an interesting article in the online version of the British Journal of Photography about photographers who are turning to the immersive experience offered by iPad apps to get their photographic projects across. In a world where traditionally published photo books cost a small fortune both to produce (well) and buy, turning to the fundamentally different cost-model offered by apps makes sense. It also means that photography ‘publishuing’ isn’t restricted to just the biggest and most established names in the medium.

Having said this, however, some great names in photojournalism — such as Carl de Keyzer and Christopher Anderson, both of the Magnum Photos agency, incidentally the longest established photographers’ co-operative in the world — are turning to the iPad to find new ways of getting their stories across.

It set me thinking… In a time when the resources for social enterprise business support are evaporating even as we watch, and the trend (both for good and ill) is towards low-cost online options, I wonder whether it would be possible to develop a social enterprise support ‘toolkit’ as an App?

With the ability apps offer to mix media of all kinds, it would be possible to combine audio, video footage, text and interactive workbooks all together in a single package — imagine: introductions to some of the most innovative businesses, switch to see their financial and social return performance, switch again to see how goods and services are marketed, switch again to learn about good governance and management, and yet again for a tutorial on impact assessment or financial management or market analysis… The possibilities are endless.

If anyone knows of a business support app that has already been produced, do let us know — but I think this is new territory. It might even make me buy an iPad, which I have so far resisted because they remind me too much of big mobile phones…. But we won’t explore that particular phobia here….

Oh, and if anyone who isn’t familiar with apps (and there couldn’t be anyone less familiar with them than me) take a look at this one for T S Eliot’s The Wasteland — really quite stunning.

  1. Paul Hanna Reply

    What a great idea! In fact we are running mobile app development courses here, but its the kind of thing you could get started with some students I reckon. Very interesting.

  2. Rosalyn Clare Reply

    Striding Out is developing apps right now. There will be one for social enterprise business support!

    Our first one is out today – Your Nxt Step for young people exploring career ideas, check it out here:


    • Alun Severn Reply

      Rosalyn, Thanks — I would be very interested to know more about the practical issues involved in commissioning devt of apps — and especially about progress with the business support one you mention.

  3. Jan Golding Reply

    I think this is probably the way forward for the majority of business support in the future – the more creative and innovative the apps, the more they will be useful and used.

  4. Simon Lee Reply

    Though I certainly don’t have the skills on the programming side (infact I wouldn’t know where to start) we would be interested in working with others if people would like a legal element – for instance, a guide to help choose the right legal structure.

    Let me know if you are interested in taking this further.


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