Sector news

Bikeworks opens at Bethnal Green on July 18th

 Bikeworks' new shop and offices will be open to the public from Monday 18th July.

Find them from 18th at 138-140 Cambridge Heath Road, E1 5QJ. See map here

Some of their activities such as the all ability cycling club will however continue to operate from Victoria park. The Gun wharf site will remain open to the public until the end of July.

Any queries call us on 020 8980 7998.

Government removes Bill’s power to support social enterprises

Government removes bill's power to support social enterprises tendering for public sector goods contracts.

Social Firms UK is lobbying Nick Hurd, Cabinet Minister for Civil Society about restrictions the Government have made to the Public Services (Social Enterprise and Social Value) Bill which mean that it will not help social enterprises trying to sell their goods to the public sector.

The Future 100 Awards 2011, is now open for entries!

 The Future 100 Awards are designed to recognise the talents of young social entrepreneurs who are running a business with a triple bottom line. The awards are organised by Striding Out, sponsored by Ernst & Young, and supported by our PR partner echaritybox.

The Future 100 Awards can be entered by entrepreneurs aged 18-35 who demonstrate entrepreneurial flair and innovation in progressing a responsible business venture with a strong commercial foundation and social and/or environmental impact.

To find out more and request an application form visit

Deadline for entries is the 31st October 2011 at 5pm.

Muhammad Yunus speaks at Good Deals 2011

Good Deals 2011, the UK’s leading social investment conference returns to the Barbican Centre, London on Thursday 24 November.

The agenda is packed full of useful workshops to help social enterprises grow and gain investment, and microfinance pioneer and serial social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus will be guest of honour.

There'll be a fantastic mix of delegates made up of social enterprises, investors and corporate innovators. See the full programme online.

Book you ticket now to avoid disappointment:

Social Firms selected for Olympic legacy job creation project

 Two multi award-winning Social Firms are celebrating being announced as the first social enterprises to receive support from Business in the Community’s (BITC) new campaign - arc.

arc, which launches today, will create a lasting social legacy for the Olympic host boroughs by stimulating the creation and growth of financially sustainable social enterprises – enabling them to provide employment opportunities for 1,000 local people.

Social Firms UK celebrate KTP success

 Applications for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) funding have always been fiercely competitive and never more so than at present. With a large number of innovative projects across a range of industries vying for each year’s allocation, it is worth noting that only a small number of them come from the third sector. Therefore, Social Firms UK being awarded one in partnership with Middlesex University is a clear acknowledgement of the relevance and benefit the project will have within the sector.

The funding will be used to recruit a graduate Research Associate for one year to assess the business success factors in establishing and running a Social Firm – an important hire in the current economic climate.

The project aims are threefold:

Social Enterprise Coalition unveils new name and visual identity

The Social Enterprise Coalition has unveiled its new visual identity and has started trading under its new name, Social Enterprise UK.

Social_Enterprise_UK250_250.jpgThe organisation changed its name and identity to better reflect its role as the national body for social enterprise and better represent the UK’s social enterprise movement. The team, based in London’s Old Street, worked with creative brand agency Spencer Dubois to create the new brand, which will be gradually rolled out over the summer, starting with the release of  Fightback Britain – a report on the largest analysis of the UK’s social enterprise sector.

New data shows social enterprises are outperforming the rest of the UK economy

 Social enterprises are outperforming the rest of the UK economy in terms of growth, according to the RBS SE1001 Index unveiled at an event in London this week.

According to the index, which was set up to track the performance of the sector in the UK, the top 100 social enterprises in the index grew on average by 91% (compared to 79% last year).

Meanwhile, the total combined revenue of the top 100 enterprises on the index grew by 51% and the revenue growth of all those on the index who submitted figures was 14%. This compares well with revenue growth of the FTSE 100 in 20103, which was around 5%. It also compares well against the fastest recorded growth period of UK SMEs4 (in 2006) when their revenue growth was 8.4%.

This year a total of 409 social enterprises entered the RBS SE100 Index and 18 organisations were shortlisted across three awards.


Turning buying into giving - UK consumers get a new choice

Life Changing Retailers Launch Major New ‘Big Society’ Initiative

UK Consumers get a radically new choice across a whole range of goods and services from Tuesday 24th May 2011. An enterprising group of over 180 companies covering the length and breadth of the UK are launching a major new retail initiative - Just Buy.

The unique aspect of Just Buy is that every supplier is in business for good. The Just Buy directory is made up of social enterprises that predominantly employ staff who have a disability, sensory impairment, mental health problem or face some other serious disadvantage when it comes to getting a job.

Just Buy will be formally launched at an event at one of their member charities HQ – Clarity Employment for Blind People, 276 York Way LONDON at 11.00am on Tuesday 24th May 2011.

A Social Firm fit for a Queen

Brighter Future Workshop, a Social Firm in Skelmersdale, West Lancashire, is celebrating in true royal style. It has won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for outstanding achievements in Sustainable Development.

Peter Cousins MBE set up the company with a clear vision for change by offering low-cost recycled mobility equipment and training opportunities to otherwise isolated individuals. In the last four years it has provided over 3,000 training opportunities for people with various types of disabilities and recycled or repaired over 5,000 pieces of mobility equipment - diverting them from landfill to enable disabled people to buy at an affordable price.