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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: 445
Latest Activity: Oct 15

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

What is the Purpose of Business? 3 Replies

At first glance, it might seem redundant to emphasize people as the central focus of economics. After all, isn't the purpose of economics, as well as business, people? Aren't people automatically the central focus of business and economic…Continue

Started by Jeff Mowatt. Last reply by Jeff Mowatt Sep 5.

Join us at the Accelerating Social Innovation Conference on August 21!

Dotforge, The RSA and The Key Fund are bringing the public sector, third sector and social enterprise communities of the UK together on August 21 in Sheffield to discover how technology start-ups can be the catalyst for real positive social…Continue

Tags: event, free, dotforge, accelerator, social

Started by Emily Hill Aug 12.

Join our next Measuring Social Impact Masterclass on the 8th September 2014

Join our next Measuring Social Impact Masterclass on the 8th September 2014@ The Hub Kings CrossMeasuring your Impact can help you =  Secure Funding - Improve marketing and sales - Monitor quality and performance -Demonstrate success - Be…Continue

Started by Heather Black Aug 11.

Looking for partner to support NEETs into EET for £2m bid

Hi everyone,I am currently supporting a consortium in East Sussex to submit a proposal to the Youth Engagement Fund Social Impact Bond PQQ for £2-5m. The proposed intervention is to support 500 - 1000 young people pa over a three period.We are…Continue

Started by Heather Black Jul 29.

#socent from Twitter

Comment Wall

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Comment by Laura H Drane on July 21, 2014 at 11:06

£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).

Comment by Alicia Weston on June 24, 2014 at 0:30

Thanks Fabian.  I guess part of my problem at this stage is I'm still in pilot.  I don't really know how I want to work, what I have is an idea that has great impact.  I'd rather not be dependent on charitable funding and I'm assuming my business & socent background will mean I'll come up with a revenue model at some point, but at this point I don't have one and my main focus is refining the methods and proving the impact for the time being.  So I need something flexible that I can get funding into from foundations but would also enable me to trade going forward if I can figure out how.  Sorry if I'm boring all the other subscribers to this thing with my problems


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This group space is managed by members of the  RSAde team, you can stay in contact with their activity via the Digital Engagement group on this network. 



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