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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: 459
Latest Activity: Feb 26

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

Two great upcoming workshops on organisational creativity etc: Holacracy + Liberating Structures

Two great events about transforming organisations that some of you may be interested in - I hope to be at both of them.*  Holacracy introductory workshop (Feb 25):…Continue

Started by Matthew Kálmán Mezey Feb 5.

Exciting new Community Energy concept and trial- Energy Local

I would like to alert you to an exciting new project in your area. Sponsored by the Catalyst programme, Energy Local  It is a new way of communities working together to get low cost electricity and use their own renewable generation directly -…Continue

Started by Mary Gillie Jan 15.

What is the Purpose of Business? 5 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 Dec 4, 2014.

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, 2014.

#socent from Twitter

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Comment by Adrian Ashton on November 7, 2014 at 22:20

hi Lisa - sounds like you may need a new accountant... (as this one doesn't seem to understand your legal structure?);

one (common) option other than putting yourself onto a payroll would be to act as a sub-contractor/consultant to the company - invoicing for activity as it can afford to pay you for it; and David's suggestion of a zero-hours contract is also a viable one (if a little potentially problematic in light of recent outcries against them...) but whichever way you do this, you shouldn't need to resign as a Director to do so...

happy to find a time to chat further in more detail if you want to get in touch directly, and you may also find some further useful guidance from the CIC Association (

Comment by David Floyd on November 7, 2014 at 19:14

Hi Lisa, being an employee doesn't mean you have to pay yourself a regular salary, it just means you have to pay tax and NI as an employee. There's nothing to stop you building your pay (including all related costs) into project costs and paying yourself as and when money comes in - as long as you report what you've paid yourself and pay tax on it.

Comment by Lisa Oulton on November 7, 2014 at 18:29

Hi Everyone, I've been struggling all year to pay myself. My accountant has said that as a Director of my company the only way I can receive money is as an employee. I did this for a while but my company is still young and the sporadic nature of the income made it very difficult to manage the wages plus on costs. 

I would like to pay myself as a freelancer, as I would be easily able to build my pay into the project costs as I do with everyone else and actually get paid.

It was suggested I could pay myself a dividend, but presumably I have the wrong legal structure for that (CIC limited by guarantee)?

The only thing I can think of is to stand down from my board and just run the company as a freelancer, but I'd rather not do that if there's another way.

Any advice gratefully received!

Comment by Mark Hall on October 28, 2014 at 15:33

Hi everyone, don't forget that the next breakfast is this Friday (31 October, 9-10.30am at the RSA House):

Social Entrepreneurs’ Network - Reviewing the year’s plans

Do you want to play a part in shaping the future of our Social Entrepreneurs network? At the previous session the group came up with ideas on topics for future breakfasts and this session will review the plan for how the network will look and develop over the next year.

Come along and meet other people with an interest in social enterprise and share your thoughts on how you would like to see the network develop. 

Find out more and register here:

Comment by Jeff Mowatt on October 28, 2014 at 11:55

Kate, My experience may be of interest. My late colleague had ambient disabilities through an industrial accident and my minor disability was acquired while running a social enterprise. When my local MP became minister for disabled persons I felt obliged to let him know how little he and his leader had helped.

Comment by Jeff Mowatt on October 28, 2014 at 11:34

Ar first glance it might be encouraging to learn that your thinking on a people-centred form of economic development is being promoted by the EU, Cooperatives Europe and Fair Trade UK.  How this came to be however is a lot less people-centric, particularly for children with disabilities.

EU Ombudsman - People-centered business in development

Comment by Kate Caldwell on October 10, 2014 at 13:54

Hi Adrian, I would be happy to email a copy of the article on social entrepreneurs with disabilities to anyone interested (  

Comment by Adrian Ashton on October 10, 2014 at 9:12

hi Kate - thanks for sharing the link re your research on social entrepreneurship and disabilities, but your paper seems to be stuck behind a paywall... is there any way of being able to share it more openly?

Comment by Graham Gardiner on October 9, 2014 at 20:43

Hello Fellow Social Entrepreneurs! 

Together with a colleague Alice Wallace and with the support of the British Library, I'm launching First Thursday, a network for businesses, social enterprises and charities that want to use entrepreneurial means to make a difference. 

Our inaugural meeting is on Thursday 6th November and is a chance to Share, Meet and learn from each other. Why not have a look and see if you fancy it. 

Hope to see you there. 


Comment by Kate Caldwell on October 9, 2014 at 19:03

Excited to share our research on social entrepreneurs with disabilities, which was recently published in Disability & Society:


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