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Serving Community Enterprise

Adrian Ashton's Blog (20)

social enterprises coming out of the public sector...

provocative research finds that public sector workers setting up social enterprises to externalise services face more signficant problems than anticipated http://bit.ly/hVKBzr

Added by Adrian Ashton on February 16, 2011 at 18:07 — No Comments

Half of social enterprises will be lost in the next 5 years – and it’s our fault!

About a year ago, I argued the pressing and urgent need for social enterprises to value their people more or risk losing them.



Sadly the latest national salary and careers survey seems to suggest that these warnings have fallen on deaf…

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Added by Adrian Ashton on November 24, 2010 at 12:40 — No Comments

greatest challenge facing social enterprise

provoking paper suggesting that all social enterprises share the same 'greatest challenge' - http://bit.ly/bUJuj1 (opens as pdf doc)

Added by Adrian Ashton on September 17, 2010 at 15:05 — 1 Comment

the evolution of social enterprise

great pdf: 'the evolution of social enterprise' as viewed as a historical timeline (monastries to today) http://bit.ly/bZEgMu

some people have found it doesn't give enough detail to the european dimension, but the authors are happy to receive contributions for future updates (details in the document)

Added by Adrian Ashton on September 16, 2010 at 9:49 — No Comments

what can Shakespeare teach us about social enterprise? (better 'to be', or 'to do'...?)

Many charities and local authorities are now running services and activities under the banner of ‘social enterprise’ to contribute to their sustainability (both as services and organisations).



This perhaps helps to explain why there’s such confusion about what social enterprise is: some organisations presenting their structure and form as the basis for their identity, while others present…
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Added by Adrian Ashton on September 10, 2010 at 8:58 — No Comments

lots of CICs but what are they doing?

so - this may (hopefully) provoke some discussion: a posting on a LinkedIn group recently said that of the 5000+ registered CICs, only 1% were co-operatives and the majority are 'inactive' (not trading) which was based on the authors looking up their records at Companies House.

if this is the case, then this surely poses an urgent question for the Association - namely what's going on if people are incorporating as CICs but then not actually doing anything? I know that the CIC…

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Added by Adrian Ashton on July 12, 2010 at 13:01 — 4 Comments

social accounting - how hard can it be if a sole trader can do it?

the Social Audit Network has just published a story of a sole trader who is doing social accounting on themselves http://bit.ly/8Xxh3i (opens as pdf, see p3)

Added by Adrian Ashton on July 12, 2010 at 12:22 — No Comments

CICs, ella fitzgerald and 2008...

just stumbled across mp3s of the feature I recorded with @davedawes (founder of entreprenurses cic) on CICs back in 2008 that were really popular at the time http://bit.ly/aPkaye (and also feature ella fitzgerald and S&M clubs...)

Added by Adrian Ashton on June 25, 2010 at 12:44 — No Comments

where next for social enterprise (and CICs) in the 'big society'?

There’s increasing interest from politicians and investors for social enterprises to enter ‘non-traditional’ market places (apparently there’s a belief that social enterprises don’t usually foray out of construction, catering or childcare into markets like telecoms, IT, financial services, etc etc...), especially into industries where private businesses have failed.





So – leaving aside the argument that if other businesses fail in these markets, where is the logic in us…

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Added by Adrian Ashton on June 24, 2010 at 19:21 — No Comments

could social enterprise benefit from using a co-operative identity?

Co-operative enterprises are extremely varied in their basis for membership, forms and structures, but all share a common global basis of…

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Added by Adrian Ashton on June 15, 2010 at 9:27 — 1 Comment

should you trust your business advisor?

OK, seeing as a lot of work that I do is in the guise of a business advisor, this may sound a bit odd, and I suspect may turn out to a be a tad contentious, but bear with me…



I recently saw some publicity for a local enterprise agency that caught my eye (for the wrong reasons) because of a client testimonial they’d used: “their advisors give you honest feedback as to whether or not your idea is a good one”.



As business advisors, it shouldn’t be our job to tell you if… Continue

Added by Adrian Ashton on May 17, 2010 at 16:42 — 2 Comments

the danger of being too successful in achieving your social purposes...

a charity made front page news by closing after receiving £100,000 from the Home Office because it's been "too successful" in reducing crime and so its services are no longer needed.



Well done to them - rather than try and continue a service that no one wants/needs, or to re-invent themselves with new services (which would undoubtedly have moved in into areas different to those that originally attracted its staff, volunteers, trustees and other supporters to it), they've decided to…

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Added by Adrian Ashton on April 23, 2010 at 10:30 — No Comments

Adrian Ashton's website is currently 'unwell'...

dear all - sadly my main website is unwell.



Hopefully back up before too long, but until then thanks for your patience if you're trying to access copies of any of my published articles, cheesy pics or links...



in the meantime you can still see my blog - http://thirdsectorexpert.blogspot.com, follow my tweets at…

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Added by Adrian Ashton on March 21, 2010 at 21:10 — 1 Comment

franchising social enterprise - replicating the 'magic dust' and the hidden danger within?

I’ve been involved in the replication of social enterprises and co-operatives since 1998: as a member of a worker co-op that was licensed from another successful original worker co-op (which led to my being asked by some to comment on the failure of the Whole food Planet franchise that was based loosely on it earlier this year); as a manager of one of the regions of the ill-fated Aspire: the first attempt at creating a formal franchised social enterprise in every region of the country;… Continue

Added by Adrian Ashton on March 7, 2010 at 21:31 — 4 Comments

if you could have your time again... life lessons for social entrepreneurs

There’s a regular feature in a private business management magazine that asks prominent business leaders each issue if, with hindsight, they’d have done anything differently if they had their time again.



Recently, at a networking event organised by Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber and Unltd, I had the opportunity to ask a panel of prominent and successful social entrepreneurs what they, if they had their time again, and with the benefit of hindsight, might do differently.…

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Added by Adrian Ashton on February 28, 2010 at 16:19 — No Comments

does your legal form make you a social enterprise?

The current launch of the national social enterprise mark has brought to the fore once again the issue of how we identify and recognise social enterprise.

Many argue that in order to be a 'true' social enterprise, your organisation must exhibit specific characteristics and that these must be present in one of a number of limited legal forms (limited in number and choice, that is) - asset locks, accountability to more than just investors, controls on how profits and used and…

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Added by Adrian Ashton on February 15, 2010 at 18:09 — 7 Comments

the most taboo social enterprise issue?

most taboo subject about #socent? the fetizisation of 'scaling up' - http://bit.ly/9EvGhi

Added by Adrian Ashton on February 3, 2010 at 12:18 — No Comments

the secret truth about business plans?

As an enterprise/business advisor (a graduate of 2 university degrees in business, a member of various professional bodies, and published by peer review on business support), I've had a lot of time to think about business plans.



And there's a lot of stuff about them out there: courses, books, templates, on-line tools and programmes, consultants offering to write yours for you...



However, there always seems to be an underlying assumption that whenever you start to talk… Continue

Added by Adrian Ashton on January 27, 2010 at 14:44 — 1 Comment

if we don't start to value our own people more, social enterprise will be lost...

The recently published national Careers and Salary Survey 2009/10 (regeneration & renewal 09/21/09) makes for sobering reading for the social enterprise sector:



1) future career opportunities and prospects in social enterprise are felt to be more affected and limited by changes to funding regimes than in the private and public sector;



2) social enterprise (while it may 'punch above its weight') apparently pays its people less than is fair - typical sector salaries see… Continue

Added by Adrian Ashton on January 4, 2010 at 20:24 — No Comments

when is social enterprise like a toilet?

...when Social Enterprise Day (nov 19) co-incides with World Toilet Day!

(insert your own punchlines)
http://thirdsectorexpert.blogspot.com/2009/11/when-is-social-enterprise-like-toilet.html

Added by Adrian Ashton on November 2, 2009 at 17:55 — No Comments

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