banana skins for social enterprise


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keynote presentation given on 2 Nov 2010 at social enterprise conference in Salford on the risks social enterprises face that no-one talks about...

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banana skins for social enterprise

  1. 1. Banana skins to watch out for... Adrian Ashton
  2. 2. • Social enterprise – if you’re going to do it, do it with your eyes open! Adrian Ashton
  3. 3. The definitions mire • Not necessarily for you, but understand what people will ‘project’ onto you based on their understanding (i.e. commissioning officers) • Social enterprise can take any one of 13 different legal forms... • Risk of market confusion with increasingly ethical practices of private companies Adrian Ashton
  4. 4. You need to make a profit • Need for customers as well as consumers • Ongoing reliance on grants and donations = charity model Adrian Ashton
  5. 5. Staff performance issues • Not everyone who works in a social enterprise will be the perfect employee... Adrian Ashton
  6. 6. Advice and support • Don’t take it at face value – question it • You have to live with this enterprise, not your advisor, so get them to explain why what they’re recommending is not only the best option, but also the best use of your time Adrian Ashton
  7. 7. The banana skins: • Confusing definitions • Need for paying customers • Don’t tolerate under performing staff • Question the validity of advice and support Adrian Ashton
  8. 8. Case study – Caremart Ltd • Footcare for older people • Flagship social enterprise for DoH • National investment programmes • Replicating enterprise Adrian Ashton
  9. 9. The banana skins it had to deal with... • Incorporated as a share company (on advice) • Refused loan from social enterprise lender because ‘you’re not a social enterprise’ (lender didn’t understand definitions) • Delayed applications to national investment programmes owing to problems with application documents (poor performance) Adrian Ashton
  10. 10. BUT DON’T BE PUT OFF!! • Now you know what the problems are likely to be you can avoid them and enjoy it more! Adrian Ashton