Hello social enterprise people! Welcome to this month’s news round up.
So the new PM wants more optimism in our country. If he’s serious (who can tell?), there is good reason to bring his focus to the world of social enterprise, and that’s what we’re intent on doing.
Some of the early data from our State of Social Enterprise survey, which will be published later this year (October 8th), indicates that despite us having a closer relationship and understanding of issues of poverty, disadvantage and division, we are also more convinced that our social businesses can and will succeed in healing our communities and even our nation, playing an important role in addressing many of the structural and systemic issues that affect the big wide world outside.
Are we perhaps foolishly optimistic, deluded perhaps? I think it’s just that that you and I know the solutions to our world’s multiple crises are not as impossible to resolve as some would have us believe. We believe in our businesses and it’s easy to see why when you work within them.
Human and environmental progress are both achievable, even in these most uncertain of times. But to achieve this progress means utilising many more of our assets; we need everything and everyone pulling in the same direction – reducing inequality, protecting biodiversity, building homes, and averting further climate chaos.
Ensuring businesses use their might and power, insisting that all economic activities are pulling in that same direction, is mission critical to solving the world’s problems, and yet it seems that we’re rather curiously accepting of business as usual (minus a few plastic straws of course) and kicking the can, and nearly all of those problems, further down the road.
I have no doubt that we’re going to be heading into another difficult decade, but the greater the inequity, the more urgent the need to do things differently. The more socially unjust we become; the greater the numbers that flock to our way of doing business.
Yes, it’s true that we’re more optimistic than most, we’re optimistic that our way of doing business will ultimately succeed, that prioritising our collective and community wellbeing brings greater reward than ruthlessly accumulating capital at any cost. I have no doubt that the new PM will just love our optimism and the way we work, I’m rather less sure that we should expect a golden age of social enterprise policy to emerge, despite our friend Danny Kruger, a former DCMS civil society advisor, now finding a new home in the PM’s strategy team.
Thanks to those of you who came and participated at the social enterprise APPG in parliament a couple of weeks ago – we had CrackedIt, Divine, CLARITY & Co, Cafédirect, Fat Macy’s, Forty Hall Vineyard, Miss Macaroon, Re-wrap, Studio 306, Toast Ale and Belu, among many others. The atmosphere was electric with over 100 members creating a magnificent buzz of entrepreneurial energy. The 12 parliamentarians that turned up were full of praise for what you’re all achieving and vowed that they’ll do more to support us in the future.
Finally, from me, we are beginning our preparations for our AGM on October 8th. We’ve had some fascinating discussions about what we need to do to really achieve on our lofty ambitions of mainstreaming social enterprise and realising its ultimate potential. Victor, our chair, our board and staff team are incredibly ambitious for what our movement can achieve in the coming decade. It will require a different set of relationships, greater resource and adjusting our structures to reflect our larger ambition. This is as much about movement building as it is about an ambition to build a membership in the 10’s of 000’s. Our lawyers are working up some proposals for you, as our members, to approve at the AGM. But if you do want to know more or have your own ideas about what we should be doing differently then, as always, feel free to drop me a line directly.
Enjoy what’s left of the summer, thanks for your support and see you soon.