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News Tag: social enterprise

August 5, 2010

Social enterprise creates jobs for autistic people

by David Masters
Social enterprise creates jobs for autistic people
A new social enterprise to help people with autism find jobs has launched in Scotland. Specialisterne Scotland is set to recruit a dozen trainees with autism over the next six months. Those chosen for the programme will undertake four months training before being given jobs as software testers for major Scottish companies. These are jobs with a high degree of predictability and minimal ...




July 30, 2010

Government cuts £11m social enterprise funding

by David Masters
Government pulls £11m from social enterprise
Despite the government's rhetoric on big society, it has announced £11 million of spending cuts to the department responsible for social enterprise. The Office for Civil Society has had its 2010/11 budget cut to £136.9 million, down from £147.9 million. Nick Hurd, minister for civil society, said: "Every area of government is looking at reducing costs and streamlining its work. The Office for ...




July 26, 2010

Social enterprises avoid capital injections

by David Masters
Social enterprises avoid capital injections
A £3m fund designed to help social enterprises expand has closed after making only one investment in two years. Triodos, the bank operating the fund, said most social enterprises are not yet ready for large capital injections. "The recession is having an impact," said Charles Middleton, Triodos UK managing direction. "But our experience was mainly not finding the number of social enterprises that were ready ...




July 20, 2010

Triodos and Charity Bank on track for record lending

by David Masters
Triodos and Charity Bank on track for record lending
Mid-year figures from Charity Bank and Triodos Bank show both lenders are on track for a record year of lending. During the first six months of this year, Charity bank agreed £20.9 million of new loans. This is compared to a total of £22.9 million for the whole of 2009. Figures from Triodos show new lending for the first ...




June 23, 2010

Big Society ISA could boost social enterprise

by David Masters
Big Society ISA could boost social enterprise
Savers could use their ISA funds to invest in social enterprise under the government's plans for a Big Society Bank. Money invested in the Big Society ISAs would be used to build new schools, to rehabilitate criminals, and for other socially useful projects. The ISAs would provide a way for social enterprises to raise capital. Lord Wei, the thinker behind the ISAs and ...




June 15, 2010

Brits ignorant of social enterprise

by David Masters
Brits ignorant of social enterprise
More than half of Brits are clueless about the fastest growing sector in the UK economy -- social enterprise. A study by O2 and Social Enterprise Magazine found many people are confused about the difference between a social enterprise and a charity. Over 50% of those polled wrongly believe social enterprises get most of their income through grants and donations rather than trading. Just 56% ...




June 10, 2010

Social enterprises buck recession with 80% growth

by David Masters
Social enterprises buck recession with 80% growth
Social enterprises defied the recession to achieve substantial growth during the economic downturn, according to a new study published this week. Research by the Royal Bank of Scotland found the 100 highest growth firms in the sector reported an annual growth in revenue of 79% in the year to March. Of the 350 firms that submitted information, the combined turnover was £812 ...




June 8, 2010

Microfinance defies economic slowdown

by David Masters
Microfinance defies economic slowdown
Microfinance is one of the few sectors to have escaped the impact of the financial slowdown, according to a new report published this week. Unitus-Hewitt Microfinance Compensation & Benefits Survey found employee compensation in India-based microfinance institutions (MFIs) has held steady through the recession. Looking at employee compensation is a considered a reliable measure of how much a sector has been forced to make cuts. The ...




June 4, 2010

Nobel laureate warns against microfinance loan sharks

by David Masters
Nobel laureate warns against microfinance loan sharks
Investors looking to profit from microfinance are no better than loan sharks, a pioneer of the industry has claimed. Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus said he is concerned that investment funds are viewing microfinance as a way to make a profit. "Poor people should not be presented as an opportunity to make money," said the Bangladeshi economist. "We started out with the idea of ...




May 13, 2010

“Unconference” offers training in social enterprise

by David Masters
The biggest "unconference" in social enterprise launches today with a post-election party and a debate on how the coalition government will affect socially responsible businesses. The Shine Unconference is "the opposite of a traditional business event, offering a dynamic network where you can be a part of helping the whole movement grow," conference organisers said in a statement. Speakers at Shine include former Dragon's Den star Doug Richard, who ...




May 11, 2010

Britain’s first social enterprise fund raises £3m

by David Masters
Britain's first social enterprise fund raises £3m
Big Issue Invest, Britain's first social enterprise investment fund, is set to close its first round of investments having raised almost £3 million towards a £10 million total. Investors in the fund are similar to investors in a mainstream investment fund, and include pension funds, pop stars, and other wealthy individuals. "We are offering investors a chance to invest in businesses that ...




May 5, 2010

Call Britannia secures £500,000 funding

by David Masters
Call Britannia secures £500,000 funding
Call Britannia has secured £500,000 of investment to help it create 10,000 new jobs for long-term unemployed people across Britain. The funding was secured from specialist investment firm Bridges Ventures, which uses its funds to meet social and environmental goals. The new jobs will be created in ten new outsourced customer call centres in economically disadvantaged areas across the UK. Call Britannia guarantees new employees ...




April 27, 2010

Social enterprises struggle to raise capital

by David Masters
Social enterprises struggle to raise capital
Social enterprises are underfunded because they lack access to capital, according to a new report launched this week in Australia. The Financing Social Enterprise report, researched by Foresters Community Finance, said social enterprises are often unable to access finance from mainstream lending institutions. "The greatest challenge for emerging social businesses is their lack of access to capital for growth and development," said Ingrid ...




April 26, 2010

Hydroelectricity offers H2oPE to ethical investors

by David Masters
Hydroelectricity offers H2oPE to ethical investors
A new social enterprise is looking to transform redundant Victorian river weirs into hydroelectric turbines. H2oPE is installing the turbines at two locations in northern England, and is looking for small-scale investors to back the new schemes. Investors can buy shares in a particular turbine for just £1 each, with a minimum purchase of 250 shares, and a maximum permitted investment of £20,000. Electricity ...




April 14, 2010

Lib Dems will appoint social enterprise minister

by David Masters
Lib Dems will appoint social enterprise minister
Social enterprise will have its own government minister if the Liberal Democrats win the general election next month. In their election manifesto published today, the Lib Dems pledged to build an environmental, sustainable economy. "We believe that mutuals, co-operatives and social enterprises have an important role to play in the creation of a more balanced and mixed economy," the manifesto reads. "Mutuals give ...




March 11, 2010

O2 sets aside £5m for community projects

by David Masters
O2 sets aside £5m for community projects
Mobile phone operator O2 this week announced a £5 million project offering cash-in-hand grants to young people who plan to make a difference in their local communities. The three year programme, Think Big, will allow 13-25 year olds to apply for a £300 grant to fund projects designed to address local problems as identified by young people. Successful project will be eligible ...




February 18, 2010

Manifesto aims to make social enterprise vital to British economy

by David Masters
Manifesto aims to make social enterprise vital to British economy
The Social Enterprise Coalition (SEC) this week said it aims to treble the contribution of social enterprises to the UK economy by 2020. SEC said if it is to achieve the goal, announced in its official manifesto published on Tuesday, it needs the full support of the British government. The manifesto, "No More Business as Usual", was developed in ...




January 11, 2010

CICs seek to attract investment

by David Masters
CICs seek to attract investment
New measures to make it easier for Community Interest Companies (CICs) to attract investment are to be introduced later this year. From April, CICs, a form of social enterprise, will be able to pay dividends to investors of up to 20%. The cap on interest for loans to CICs will also be increased to 10% of the loan's value. The total proportion of profits a ...




January 6, 2010

Social Enterprise boost in West Midlands

by David Masters
Social Enterprise boost for West Midlands
Social enterprise in the West Midlands received a boost this week with the launch of a Forum for the sector's specialist advisers to share skills and expertise. The Forum, set up by the Social Enterprise Centre of Expertise (SECOE), plans to increase the level of support offered to social entrepreneurs in and around Birmingham. “This forum will act as a peer network of ...




November 20, 2009

Social enterprises thrive in recession

by David Masters
Social enterprises thrive in recession
Social enterprises continue to thrive despite the economic downturn, according to statistics released this week. Research by the Social Enterprise Coaltion found that social enterprises are bucking the downward economic trend, with over half increasing their annual turnover since the recession began. Fewer than 20% of social enterprises have seen their turnover drop. Two thirds of social enterprises are making a profit, and a further ...