Archive for Social Enterprise

Firming up your structure in 2013

cashregisterPic5One of your New Year resolutions might be to begin thinking about how to take your local community enterprise forward in terms of legal status. with the benefits and responsibilities that entails.

The Guardian small business network have just published a clear and detailed article about the pros and cons of the ‘big four’. You can read it online here…

The article looks at the following – setting up as a sole trader, becoming a partnership, creating a new limited liability company or becoming a limited liability partnership.

To help you decide what is right for you the article has a simple, clear grid of advantages and disadvantages for each option.

If you are already trading, or want to legalise your status, this simple, clear article can help.

If you are a local community charity, planning to extend your trading activities or looking to create a social enterprise then you can, like the above, visit the VolResource pages – which offer framing information for charities wishing to register as a limited company or to become a community interest company.

VolResource offers a good stating point to review and make a list of your options as a trustee or director. Always consult the Charity Commission web pages too when doing your research.

The Charity Commission have just launched a new portal for trustees looking to partner, develop their structures and governance etc. This too can be a helpful first reference place to look.

As always, if Sandringham Enterprise can share our experiences and knowledge, just ask us.

Community business planning tool

canYouPlanItButtonThe organisation Community Matters have just released a new social business planning tool – Can You Plan It.

This interactive tool is not the usual dry, spread sheet based business tool kit you so often come across. This great resource involves the use of ideas cards, consultation processes and how to plan together.

It offers any sort of community business a way to explore an idea, or development opportunity, in a way that fosters creativity, clear thinking and an understanding on how to achieve your aims that is not delivered through ‘text heavy’ frameworks.

You can download a quick pdf leaflet for the tool here.

If you would like to see all the elements of the toolkit online you can visit the Community Matters web site page here.

You can find the main secBEANS main website here…

Start your Social Enterprise

You can access useful information for your start-up in this publication from Social Enterprise UK, a booklet sponsored by Unity Trust Bank.

This guide, which is a short version of Craig Deardon-Phillips’s book Your Chance to Change the World, presents the key elements which need to be considered to help every social enterprise become a reality.

There is a lot of information for budding social entrepreneurs available, but we liked the easily digestible ‘main points’ approach of this publication.

It also offers some useful case histories, issues which will be recognisable to community groups who have started any project, whether a community business or not.

From planning your business plan, through working out what your social enterprise mission is and how to work best in partnership with others. The section of governance and legal forms is also clear and useful.

You can download this free pdf booklet here.

If you would like the whole book and really get into the ‘no-fibbing’ guide to Social Enterprise, you can find it on the secBEANS bookshop page (…and donate a small amount to SEC when you buy!)

Enterprise news – always updated

Get news automatically here...We have just published a new secBEANS page – a newsfeed where you can find constantly updated enterprise news, advice and resources.

From The Economist to the The Start-up Foundry, you will find a variety of enterprise themed newsfeeds, which we hope you will use as a one-stop shop to keep current with enterprise developments and small business information.

Do you have a favourite blog or news source that you like to use? Would you share it with others? If you let us know, we’ll integrate into our page if we can  (…and give your business a credit too!)

You can subscribe to the individual feeds by rss at anytime, for free.

If you do not yet use rss feeds to keep up to date with enterprise news, or any news at all, this link will take you a short 100 second YouTube movie which explains how it works. Keep up to date with a news reader – makes life simpler…

You can find the secBEANS newsfeed page here… 

 

Getting out and meeting others

Getting out and meeting others – that could be the ideal definition of networking for community groups, social business and community enterprise people.

You don’t necessarily have to leave the safety of your home or office to create impact for your group or enterprise by setting up a stall, or creating a neon sign twenty foot high to promote yourself or your project.

The Shy Connector

View more presentations from Sacha Chua

Rather, like this short and informative slide set from Sacha Chua, you go and essentially talk to people – about yourself maybe, your project certainly and what your goals are, definitely.

If you are shy or reserved, Sacha offers some very clear modes of thought to help you get started. Some simple techniques and pointers to gain both your confidence and the confidence of your audience.

Give the techniques a try to see if your contact cultivation improves!

Fire up your marketing

Getting ahead with your marketing planIn a part of our occasional series of useful booklets from HubSpot, secBEANS brings you another edition.

This one has some timely and relevant advice and information for community entrepreneurs. Whether you are  thinking about getting your first customer or client, or making the absolute best of the new media and web resources you already have for your enterprise or group.

You can view or download a pdf copy of the booklet here.

Inside are chapters on how to get found as a local enterprise, how to get the best from your press releases, get twitter working for you and how to get going with mobile.

This multi-page booklet is perfect for the new enterprise and for those who are about to start reaching ‘critical mass’.

If you are a community group, looking to develop sustainable forms of income, the booklet still has much to offer. Showing you how enterprise techniques can be deployed to get your message out to your community too.

You can get free Adobe PDF software here… 

 

beansBOOKS pages just launched

beansBooksBluescreenPicWe have just launched the beansBOOKS pages for the secBEANS network.

This online bookshop, powered by Amazon.co.uk, provides everyone who visits us with access to carefully chosen titles to help establish, develop or manage your community enterprise.

You can buy with confidence from Amazon, book distribution you can trust.

(We never see your personal or financial details…ever).

We have a regular monthly selection of useful resources, along with strong sections on being a female entrepreneur, small business finance and marketing ideas for smaller enterprises.

We also have sections on community business specifically, explaining how sustainable community enterprises can change the vitality and view of community landscapes – philosophically speaking.

Have a look at beansBOOKS – every purchase you complete using the links on our pages sends 5% of the transaction directly to SEC to help with our charitable activity.

The business bookshop – a service from the secBEANS network and its members.

Why ethical community enterprise?

Below is a short film – delivered by Richard Wilkinson, who is co-author of the book The Spirit Level – talking about inequality and economic activity in communities.

For figures and chart fans there is much to enjoy, but if this is not your thing don’t be put off. Listen to the story – it stresses how important, as we believe at SEC, that ethical economic activity in communities can be.

Driving better health for children, better mental health for adults and improving social relations and human capital across a community.

Richard’s argument is that national income or factors of economic growth which we read in the national press or from central government are not, in the end, of essential importance to our human well being.

It is the nature of local economic activity, driving creativity, generating additional income and creating feelings of trust and community capital that will enable those communities to be both resilient and durable.

Great message!

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