If Gabriel Garcia Marquez were alive today, perhaps he would have entitled his magnum opus ‘One Hundred Years of Backslapping’?
Hot on the heels of the SE100 awards (2 weeks ago) and Social Enterprise Day (1 week ago – read more here), the Social Enterprise Awards took place this week. There were 11 award categories in total (read the full list here), with the ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ award going to The Link Group, who provide ‘new and improved homes for rent and sale, community regeneration services and support and care to over 10,000 people in Scotland’. Goodie Bags on the night were provided by The Cooperative Bank. Hopefully they didn’t let Paul Flowers near them, though the sector could probably do with a 1990’s Brit Awards style event every now and again (plenty of candidates for Michael Jackson, though who’d be Jarvis?)
There were several interesting articles in The Granuiad this week relating to ethics and what not. Here they discuss the challenges facing the Co-op Group in the next six months in trying to strengthen its governance while maintaining its democratic principles. They highlight the mobilisation of Co-operative activists to engage in this debate, who recently took to Twitter to discuss how the Co-op Bank’s ethical stance played out in practice, particularly during the 90’s (they’d have probably mooned Jacko back then too). Oh yeah, and Channel 4 also stirred things up by describing themselves as a social enterprise.
Speaking of integrity, two charities oop norf have walked away from local authority contracts because they consider the terms of service to be unacceptable. They are literally refusing money on the basis of their principles – fancy that! And in more heart-warming news for the Third Sector, Demos report that the presence of Charity shops actually contributes to, rather than detracts from, the vibrancy of high streets. Though how they make estate agents, hairdressers and chicken shops more vibrant I’m not quite sure.
All of this is tenuously linked to The Great Leader of the Quiet Revolution’s plan to possibly, just maybe, provide financial support for charities that have used their reserves up as a result of the spending cuts his own government implemented. What an incredibly prescient thing to do – if only it had been predicted that this may happen!
Finally back in Macondo, international fund manager Threadneedle and Big Issue Invest have collaborated to launch the ‘Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund’, which will be available to retail and institutional investors from early next year. And 45 minutes outside the City of Mirrors, Allia has raised £4.2m bond funding for a social enterprise centre. Located in Cambridge, the centre will be home to about 50 charities and social-purpose organisations.