Christmas has come early for social enterprise and I don’t mean that our Christmas Gift Guide has just been launched! The resignation of the Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Tracey Crouch, last week has meant that we now have a new Minister responsible for social enterprise – Mims Davies.

Sadly, we are still sharing our Minister with around five other briefs with everything from horse racing to charity lotteries all included in the new role. And the Minister is located in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport not the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy driving economic reform, where it should be. The whole experience is a bit like getting that Christmas gift card to a shop that you don’t want to shop in…

In response to Tracey’s resignation, we launched a flash campaign #TimeToMove which hundreds of social enterprises took part in. We wrote to the Prime Minister asking her to recognise that a sector which contributes £60bn to UK GDP and employs 2 million people should not be stuck with horse racing in DCMS. The campaign on social media reached around 2.5m people and although we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, we laid down an important marker. We aren’t going to stop campaigning on this and we will be working with our members to put further pressure on the government.

One of the reasons why social enterprise has been pigeon-holed with gambling in Whitehall machine is the lack of understanding of our sector. This year we are running again on Social Enterprise Day our popular campaign #WhoKnew. This is our sector’s opportunity to tell our story about the work that we do, the people that we help and the difference that we make. By collectively sharing our stories, we all have a much better chance of cutting through to the public. It is a great chance to promote your social enterprise, engage your customers and funders, as well potential supporters. This campaign is for every social enterprise as well as for supporters. There is no excuse for not taking part! Make sure that you check out the SEUK website to find out more about what you can do to take part.

One of the highlights of the year for me is always the Social Enterprise Awards. This year’s Awards are fast approaching on the 28th November so we don’t have long to wait. It is important that we recognise the achievements of our sector and inspire those around us. We are going to be hilariously hosted by comedian Mark Watson, so it is not only sure to be an uplifting occasion but also a great night out! It’s not too late to get tickets to network with your peers, to reward your team and support the social enterprise movement. So why not give yourself an early Christmas present?

Speaking of, our social enterprise Gift Guide launches tomorrow so look out for it in your inbox and on social media for great ideas on where to buy social this Christmas.

Have a great rest of your week.

Andrew O'Brien

Director of External Affairs

Social Enterprise UK