The willow bows low trailing its branches into the glittering water. Sunlight slides off a copper-green tower. Partially closed, ancient wooden slabs of doors refute access to the masses but the courtyards, cloisters, and colonnaded walkways beyond are glimpses of a different world. I’m in Oxford and the University and its constituent colleges are an ever-present reminder of knowledge, power, inequality/equality and wealth.
Whatever your politics and whether you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the political direction of the country: cheer yourself up with a social enterprise Christmas challenge.
The death of shareholder capitalism or empty words? Radical new world or smokescreen for business as usual?
“Corporate leaders scrap shareholder-first ideology.” I read the headline of this news article - announcing a significant change in the way American corporates plan to do business - with eye-widening astonishment. As I went through the story this feeling intensified to excitement, flipped to cynicism, scepticism and disbelief and then, at the end, resolved to a state of cautious optimism. I’m so reasonable/gullible/idealistic - delete as appropriate.
What’s the point of businesses? Maybe, job making? On the face of it, creating jobs – assuming half decent conditions and fair pay – is a good thing. How about ‘wealth’ creation? But, again, what is that for? A good life, wealth for oneself, one’s family and future generations maybe.
We’ve just got back from the Social Enterprise Mark conference in Birmingham. This annual event brings together people from all over the UK and beyond. The theme was Growth for Good and how certification and standards can help businesses grow, be accountable and transparent.
Social enterprises are leading the way when it comes to paying the REAL living wage. Our guest Policy Researcher, Benjamin Stein, explores the human and business benefits of paying fair wages.
The UK is home to three million children deemed to be in poverty, 70% of these come from working families. Theresa May declares every week that “work is the best route out of poverty”, and she’s absolutely right. But thousands of people in poverty do work, so our route needs improvements.
Our guest Policy Researcher, Benjamin Stein, explores knife crime: the impacts of austerity, how social ventures are part of the solution and how business and community solutions are needed alongside policing. He also talks about some poignant personal experiences.
Whitleigh is a small district in Plymouth that I walk through most nights after work. Last month, it was the location of a teenage stabbing...(click read more)
“Half of Europe’s tidal energy [is] around UK shores. The seas could help us reach a huge chunk of our 2020 energy targets.” Dr Jennifer Hoxton, University Highlands and Islands - NERC Planet Earth, Summer 2017.
Paul Hamlyn Foundation awarded Iridescent Ideas CIC a small grant in 2017 to explore the concept of community-owned tidal power in Plymouth. This blog explores our findings and ideas to help the future development of projects like this.
Our guest Policy Researcher, Benjamin Stein, explores the power of social enterprise in a polarised society.
It’s no secret that the UK is hopelessly divided right now as to what sort of society we want to create. Whether it is Corbynites versus Tories or Brexiteers set against Remainers, there isn’t a whole lot we agree on. Simply put, the public conversation has become volatile, and we need some respite.
Starting something, no matter how big or small can be a challenge. It could be the joy of painting your bedroom or your amazing start-up idea that is going to make you millions. Whatever it might be the chances are you are going to hit a few brick walls trying to turn your idea into reality.