I love ‘Change’! There, I’ve said it out loud. To be more specific it’s positive change that I like so much. Where there is potential for growth, in an organisation and in the team within it I think it’s an opportunity for everyone to ensure we continue to develop ourselves and our organisations. Of course sometimes that change can include shrinkage in an organisation or a team, and that has been exceptionally hard for the Public and Third Sector. It’s very tough for individuals with families to look after, to re-invent themselves and it’s not always a positive outcome for them.
I have been contemplating social enterprises and the age of social entrepreneurs this week. I have read some interesting snippets and articles discussing the need for support for young people and social enterprise and it’s certainly a huge shift in our culture to be encouraging young people to not only run their own businesses, but to run social businesses.
Last week I took part in a Guardian social enterprise discussion online. The subject was women and social enterprise and the lack of women leaders in this sector. Honestly, I don’t think it has ever crossed my mind that I am in a ‘minority’ or seen myself as any different to any new male social enterprise leadership position. I think it’s tough no matter what the gender, to raise the profile of a social enterprise and get start up funding.
I always find it a little tricky that everything slows down at this time of year – as it does in August – we are so focused on getting our clubs on board via the supporting organisations.
I thought you might find it interesting to hear we have a fantastic array of clubs and groups – from boxing, youth, kayaking, community funding club, music, cricket and football. A really interesting mix! As the numbers build we will let you know where we have got to and if there is a dominant type of club.
I thought I would introduce you to one of our clubs here today via our mini case studies pulled together by Alex. But before I do so, I just want to say we are very pleased to welcome Sutton and Richmond voluntary sector networks on board. We hope, as a group of seven voluntary networks, more will follow before too long.
It’s so lovely to be described as an ‘award winning’ social organisation. The Big Issue Invest Tech for Good Challenge has been a great platform for us as we have made essential contacts – not just introductions to new business, but we have met new supporters as well. For example someone from Merrill Lynch is now mentoring our Development Director Barrie Taylor (IT) which I know will be of great help.
I would like to pass a resounding congratulations to the team who have worked so hard to build our system. We have had some extremely good comments come in from our latest new organisation on board from Herefordshire (HVOSS) “Our clubs have been able to pick it up so quickly and easily.
I love being the bearer of good news – we are also welcoming HVOSS (Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service) with the first tranche of their clubs and another Voluntary provision from south London also hoping to join us soon with 50. This means we can finally start to see many more clubs on board and using the system. Both Wiltshire and Barnet should start to see their clubs using the site in the next few weeks – we just have to wait for them to load them onto the system (patience is a virtue, Sally).