fantastic summer of sport including, thanks to the Olympics and especially the Paralympics, many sports we are unlikely to look at again until Rio. A summer that inspired many of us to dust of that old bike and dream we were leading the Peloton down the Champs-Élysées , scoring the winner in the euros or claiming the Irish Open on a dramatic 18 th hole at Royal Portrush. But how can the sport and especially our new Olympic heros inspire us to do greater things in our social buisnesses!
Pre Olympic talk was very much focused on who, where and when you could use the Olympic brand, even the term London 2012! And for many years now the community, public and even social economy sectors have been ‘obsessed’ with what is and isnt a social business... Social Enterprise is entering the ‘mainstream’ consciousness But too often caught up in DEFINITION and LEGAL STRUCTURES If you have a clearly defined social purpose, back this up with activities (be that reivesting and surplus into this purpose or whatever) and operate to a successful business model... You ARE a social business
Unity – Energy – Commitment of entire #socent sector in Salesforce issue So many of the athletes have thanked their support team – their coaches, physios, dieticians, and so on. Make sure you have a great support team of specialists and take their advice. It might be your accountant, your partner, board member – build a team who believe in you, understand your business and have the specialist knowledge that you don’t have.
Deal with setbacks and move on If you read the stories of these athletes, they have all had their setbacks but have persevered. Heptathlete Jessica Ennis could not compete in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 because of three stress fractures in her right foot. She has had to re-train herself to take off for the long jump on her left foot. This hasn’t stopped her from winning a gold medal four years later. All successful businesses have suffered setbacks, so we need to learn from them and move on
Focus on your strengths Each of the athletes has their own strengths and uses them. Are you a heptathlete, built for a wide range of events, or is the long jump really your strength? Focusing on what you do best (and getting help in your weaker areas) will give you the unique selling point you need to get ahead It may take time - Paralympian Josie Pearson won gold in the discus on Fri having competed in Beijing in Wheelchair rugby, moved to athletics in 2009 and after a lack of progress started the discus... And wins gold
Competition and co-operation In the women’s triathlon, we saw Lucy Hall lead the swimming and cycling, to set the pace and tire others so that team mate Helen Jenkins could save her energy for the running, her own strength, leading Helen to fifth place. This was well deserved when she had been injured not long before the race. We all have competition, but sometimes we should consider working with our competitors rather than against them. Co-operation could lead to getting bigger projects, learning from their strengths and using your different strengths to build a stronger team.
Small changes can make a big difference Many have asked what is behind the success of British cyclists in recent years. The answer is Dave Brailsford, performance director for British Cycling. Brailsford obviously has many qualities, from his eye for the small detail, or what he calls ‘marginal gains’ to an ability to appoint and delegate work to his team of experts.” We have mentioned the team of experts, but the ‘marginal gains’ philosophy is also something we can learn from in business. As a mentor and trainer, my clients often want a silver bullet to solve their marketing issues, but it is usually making small changes which add up to a big difference – from a different subject line in an email campaign to how enquiries are recorded and followed up.
Don’t forget those who helped you and give back Olympic heroine Jessica Ennis regularly still competes with Sheffield AC (division three of the northern league). When you have achieved success, don’t forget your roots, and those who helped you, and be willing to help others.
Funding James Ellington auctioned his sponsorship on Ebay and finally raise funds through King of Shaves sponsorship – Social enterprises must be innovative in raising finance and seek positive partnerships
Do things right Ethical business – social business – social enterprise... Whatever term we use we are often obsessed with doing the right thing – using local suppliers, employing persons from disadvantaged areas or suffereing from disadvantage... As good sustainable businesses Lets face it, no one likes a cheater
Impact & Measurement Measure the impact is becoming more and more important – for PROVING what we say we do Be that for the benefit of our stakeholders (or shareholders!), funders or beneficiaries it is imperative that we can illustrate the impact we have...Imagine if Greg Rutherford hadn't bothered with measuring his 8.31m jump!
Plans to develop:
BCC – WW running 2 programmes currently for Strategy (for existing businesses) and a High Growth programme (for new innovative ideas) that have welcomed social enterprise – more so than perhaps any other non-social enterprise initiatives have in the past E3 Project Based Learning
Dividend cap = 20% over BoE base (max 35%) Crowdsourcing BuzzBnk - £250k raised since Jan 2011 for 26 projects Peoplefund.it – Bicycle Acadamey raised £40k in 6 days! (using a 2m video)
Social Enterprise support NI
Social Enterprise A busted flush or the next big thing? Stephen McGarry @steviemcgarry
Why social enterprise is like... Dont get caught up in Focus on strengths branding Dont forget your roots Support Team & Funding is critical Leadership Do the right thing Roll with the punches Measure Small things matter - ‘Marginal Gains’ Compete or cooperate
Social Economy SupportProgrammes of Support: Access to finance: Social Enterprise Grant providers & trusts Support Ethical Lenders Networks & Linkages Social Entrepreneurs Non-Social Enterprise Innovative sourcing specific Equity finance Community & Voluntary fundraising sector
Social Economy Support Social Entrepreneurship Programme Belfast City Council pre-enterprise programme Social Economy Village Trade Social Non-Social Enterprise specific
Social EntrepreneurshipProgramme (SEP) NI wide initiative provided by Invest NI Blend of one to one mentoring and training workshops 2 elements to the programme Lead in or Enquiry Core – Start Up
SEP – Core Support Start Up stage – suitable for ideas which will generate more than £50k turnover annually within 2 years of start up Business ideas should show growth potential Business planning: 3 year business plan and financial projections Flexible finance package: provided by Invest NI/Lloyds Foundation and UCIT Post start aftercare: tailored to your needs Menu of training: ‘staples’ and more unique
Pre-enterprise support For Belfast based groups with little or no experience of social economy structures or ethos Workshops Best Practice Exchange 1:1 Mentoring support
Pre-enterprise support -continued Pre-enterprise workshops Governance support 1:1 mentoring Best practice exchange – 3 visits and 1 day work shadowing Final event and evaluation - involving other support providers to the sector
Social Economy Village A Work West initiative to provide dedicated quality workspace for the social economy sector Funded by the International Fund for Ireland and DETI through the Peace II Extension Programme Officially opened in June 2009 9 offices available and 4 industrial units Quality room hire and meeting facilities available
www.tradesocial.net@trade_social #societyprofits Free profiles for NI social enterprises in Work West’s trade directory for the sector Supports our ethos to “buy from within the sector” Funded by Lloyds TSB Foundation for NI and Strategic Investment Board Officially launched in June 2008 Details of 266 social enterprises, and growing Regular E-Zine function – allows us to keep in touch with profiled companies and stakeholders
Other Belfast City Council – UnLtd – for Social Economic Entrepreneurs Development Business in the NICVA Community (ProHelp) School for Social Volunteer Now Enterprise @ UBS FE & HE: work Invest NI (Innovation placements & Vouchers & Jobs expertise Fund)