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Social Entrepreneurs Network


Social Entrepreneurs Network

The Social Entrepreneurs Network is a network for all those interested in social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. The aim is to solve some of the practical challenges faced by social entrepreneurs.

Members: 439
Latest Activity: 6 hours ago

Thank you for joining the RSA’s Social Entrepreneurs Network!

Please use this online to start discussions, seek advice, post events of interest and to find other social entrepreneurs who might be interested in collaborating. If you are a Fellow working in social enterprise and would like to kick something off where you live, you can also talk to your local team in your region. There are also tools you can use like the four ways to engage, and the Changemakers handbook (PDF, 210KB).

The Social Entrepreneurs Network in London, hold regular monthly breakfasts (the last Friday of each month) at the RSA House and we also hold larger events looking at how we can help social enterprises.  

To find out more about how we do things, watch this recent film:

For the last two years we have followed two groups of social entrepreneurs in the Social Enterprise Spotlight case study project. Find out who they are here. We hope you enjoy being involved!

Discussion Forum

Pandora's Locker - we're so nearly there...

£999 to raise by Saturday morning - you can give anything from £1! Please pledge and share to support young people, science & the arts Continue

Started by Laura H Drane on Monday.

Is compassion the fourth bottom line?

It was Pope Francis who said last year "If in so many parts of the world there are children who have nothing to eat, that's not news, it seems normal. It cannot be this way! Yet these things become the norm: that some homeless people die of cold on…Continue

Started by Jeff Mowatt Jul 10.

Social enterprise: What's love got to do with it? 9 Replies

Over the coming weeks at Intentionality CIC, and at an RSA Social Entrepreneurs' Network breakfast event in the summer, we’re going to be exploring what makes the biggest, positive difference to the well-being of individuals and communities.  And at…Continue

Started by Steve Coles. Last reply by Steve Coles Jun 30.

Does making money make us heartless? 4 Replies

Does the word "money" break you out into a cold sweat and cause you to panic? If you act from your heart and follow your passion, you may start to wonder if it's disingenuous to earn a decent living from it. But people have told me what it's…Continue

Started by Danielle Anderson. Last reply by Danielle Anderson Jun 25.

#socent from Twitter

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Comment by Becca Massey-Chase 6 hours ago

Hi everyone,

Just a quick reminder that WE WILL NOT BE HAVING A BREAKFAST tomorrow.  We have also decided that August will also be too quiet, so the next one will be in September.  That said, do feel free to arrange your own meetups during this time!

If you have ideas, please do send suggestions for breakfast topics for the coming months.

Many thanks,


Comment by Laura H Drane on Monday

£999 to raise by Saturday morning - you can give anything from £1! Please pledge and share to support young people, science & the arts 

Comment by Becca Massey-Chase on July 3, 2014 at 16:29

Hi all!

Due to lots of holidays (including my own) we're not going to have a SocEnt breakfast on the last Friday of July.  Can I ask if people will be around in August?!  Do you want a breakfast then? 



Comment by Joanna Massie on July 3, 2014 at 14:39

Thought this might be of interest to some of you, from Clore Social Leadership -

The Social Leadership Games from Clore Social Leadership

You are warmly invited to join us for the inaugural Social Leadership Games taking place on 26 July 2014.

It promises to be a fantastic one-day event packed with activities, conversation, laughter and thought, exploring the role of games and play in leadership development and achieving social change.

The day will offer a sample of a range of games and play ideas that can be incorporated into the tool-kit of any social leader - to help build teams, build empathy and understanding, attracting a community and developing strategy.

Equally there is plenty of time to relax, socialise, network and co-curate future events together. 
Olympic performances are not expected, but please bring an open mind and a sense of fun.

Picnic lunch, refreshments alongside drinks and snacks to close the day will be provided. Please book early - as places are limited. (You can book here)

To get a sense of what we may get up please visit and add to our padlet wall.

We look forward to seeing you,

Stuart, Owen, Sinem and Narin

Comment by Laura H Drane on June 26, 2014 at 9:29

The kickstarter campaign for Pandora's Locker is LIVE! This creative production is a youth opera mixing biomedical science and gender through a contemporary resetting of a Greek myth.

Please support if you can in two ways: 1) share this through word of mouth, social media, email, etc 2) donate if you can. THANK YOU! 

Comment by Jeff Mowatt on June 26, 2014 at 7:28

Nicola, The funding issue IMO has been one of the great obstacles toward development of a social economy. We arrived on the UK scence in 2004, with an operational profit-for-purpose business model and a plan which included a description of how it could be financed and.... We registered as a guarantee company arguing for a "asset lock" embedded in the corporate charter. I know of no public conversation on this subject. The entire point of this thing as we argued in our original paper was that this was not charity, but good business. Rather tha donate money that was spent on poverty relief and gone, it would stimulate wealth creation in impoverished communities. In 2003 in our work with the Crimean Tatars, we'd used the term "Communiy Funding Enterprise" to describe how it would operate in conjunction with a CDFI for mutual benefit. ,

Let us have that conversation, ableit 10 years later, making it open and transparent.

Comment by Nicola Wilson on June 25, 2014 at 13:45

Very pertinent timing for the discussion about legal structures from Alicia as I have been asked to chat through some options with someone shortly and it's an issue that a number of organisations I've been working with lately have been grappling with (and one where I feel the amount of useful info and "tools' is a bit lacking although I will be watching Adrian's webinar shortly).

As regards the funding issue, from the insights I've gained, there are some smaller and more traditional Foundations (family ones for example) where they insist on registered charity status (which I assume would include CIO), but I think more and more are coming around.  I think you may find a sticking point if registered purely as a Ltd company rather than as  CIC as most would see this as a mark of social objectives and there is a requirement for an "asset lock" and limits on distribution of funds which add to this assurance, although in theory any company constitution could build in social aims.

Maria Ana is also right that in order to undertake trading activities many charities might eventually take on a subsidiary limited company which would then gift it's profits back to the charity so there are plenty of options.

One quick point about CIO and control - CIO is essentially a charity and as such, also has a Board of Trustees (as well as members), so in which case the control is as with any other charity, I believe.

Comment by Jeff Mowatt on June 24, 2014 at 16:16

Putting love and compassion into economics. it was the death of my colleague and founder at P-CED 3 years ago that prompted me to look back on that which had influenced his work. These included humanists like Erich Fromm and Rollo may alongside Peter Drucker and Alvin Toffler. 

In a  seminal paper, Terry Hallman argued for and conceived a business model for social purpose which invested profit in social outcomes. In 2004, I helped him introduce it to the UK and apply it to the cause of institutionalised children:


Comment by Becca Massey-Chase on June 24, 2014 at 9:30

Hi all, don't forget that the next breakfast is this Friday (27 June, 9-10.30am at the RSA House):

Social enterprise: what's love got to do with it?

If being loved and loving others are the things that make the biggest possible difference to the well-being of individuals and communities, then what would love-based enterprises and institutions look like?

At this discussion-based, interactive breakfast, Steve Coles will give an overview of Intentionality CIC’s research into the role of love in social enterprises.

We'll discuss questions including: "Is love really ‘all you need’?" and "Why do we affirm pop culture beliefs about love, but then ignore them in our workplaces?"

Come along with ideas, thoughts, experiences and counter-arguments and be ready to get idealistic, innovative and inspired.

Find out more and register here: 

Comment by Adrian Ashton on June 24, 2014 at 7:03

might be useful to highlight some research that the CIC Regulator published which found that in the majority of cases, having the CIC status made no difference to the decision of a grant making body to award support - they always look at what type of company structure it's based on (guarantee or share);

I've found that most of the smaller and 'niche' (£5,000 or less) grant making trusts do seem to specify that applicants need a charity number, but many are happy with a guarantee company status;

company law is also flexible enough that the defining characteristics of social enterprise (social purpose, asset lock, restrictions on the distribution of profits to private individuals - all the things that most grant making bodies look for) can all be entrenched into any company's Articles (governing document).


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