News: Social Firms UK

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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.

Social Firms UK CEO job advert

 This highly dynamic small charity (see and respected umbrella support organisation for Social Firms and Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs) across the UK needs a new Chief Executive.

Positive and strategic thinkers required in this ever challenging environment. Social Firms and Work Integration Social Enterprises are rooted in the rapidly growing social enterprise sector and as one of the national support agencies we have a huge and vital job to do.

Apply if you’ve got the right attitude, skills and the flair of an entrepreneur and a leader and if you believe in the principle that everyone should have the opportunity to be employed, irrespective of their disability or disadvantage.

Social Firms UK is an equal opportunities employer and particularly welcomes applications from individuals from under-represented groups.

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 Firms UK CEO to step down

The board of Social Firms UK have announced they have reluctantly accepted the resignation of CEO, Sally Reynolds, who will step down at the end of the year. Sally has been committed to the sector since the inception of Social Firms UK in 1999 and as co-founder has worked tirelessly to champion fair employment opportunities for the most disadvantaged in society.

Reynolds stated “Social Firms UK is at a very exciting point in its development as an organisation. We have a highly capable, competent and committed staff team and a strong board – because of this I have no qualms about handing the reins over to someone else to lead it into the future. Unfortunately, exceptional personal circumstances means that I am no longer in a position to continue in this full time post.”

The Growing Business Awards are now open for nominations!

The most established and prestigious programme recognising UK entrepreneurs and growing businesses is now open for entries. This year's awards have moved to a new level. The Growing Business Awards will still honour the UK's top entrepreneurs and SMEs, but we've also:

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.

Big Society Guy’s epic charity ride - via number 10!

Social Enterprise Manager at Pluss Guy Eatherington is gearing up to cycle the length of Britain in support of the Big Society, and he is hoping to recruit the Prime Minister to lend his support along the way.

Guy’s ambition, when he sets off from John O`Groats on July 29th, will be to cycle 125 miles a day, completing his solo marathon ride all the way to Lands End, weather permitting, in 8 days. But before the big day comes the big practice, and the opportunity this week to drop off a personal invite for the Prime Minister….

Not content with regular training rides of up to 200 miles with other members of his local Cycle Touring Club, 40 year old Guy will be attending a professional conference in Blackpool this week – only to then cycle 303 miles all the way back home to Devon.


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.

Alliance of supporters launch petition to narrow gap between rich and poor in the UK

An alliance of co-operative businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has launched a new petition - the first of its kind - which calls for co-operative action to narrow the gap between rich and the poor in the UK.

With the gap at its highest since records began, the petition aims to get 100,000 people calling for national debate on narrowing the gap through action to share ownership and wealth in a co-operative way.

Over 25 prominent organisations are supporting the petition, including Friends of the Earth, National Union of Students, Mother’s Union, Groundwork, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the National Childbirth Trust and the Equality Trust.

The petition was launched outside the Bank of England by leading figures from the co-operative sector including Len Wardle, Chair of the Co-operative Group, Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK and representatives, young and old, from the co-operative sector and from NGOs.