Transparency and value

29 Sep

 lotsandlotsofworkI’ve neglected this blog (and its select band of followers / readers) for a few months – for which apologies; as I wrote a while back, when things start to get squeezed, it is the ‘nice-to-haves’ that go first, and this personal blog falls under that title.

So I thought I’d share a few bits of writing  elsewhere to fill the void that might be of interest:

– My Third Sector column on social investment ventured into the field of transparency this month, and why it’s important across the sector:

“August is traditionally the quiet month for news, but this can be an opportunity for charities and social enterprises: in the summer months it’s possible to get coverage for topics that might never happen when the political and football (and political football) seasons kick back into action. This summer, however, the sector has been in the media not at its own behest, but because of stories about executive pay and zero-hours contracts.

What struck me about the resulting conversations from this coverage was not so much the strength of views on different sides of the debates but that both sides were concerned with the internal operations of organisations, rather than the external outcomes or impact of their activities. This is something that Social Enterprise UK has always been interested in. We believe a social enterprise should be able to say “we are transparent about how we operate and the impact that we have”>> READ ON HERE


– In preparation for our Bristol event on Social Value, I wrote a piece in the Guardian about where we have got to in the 6 or 7 months since the Social Value Act became law:

“It has opened some new doors and prompted some new conversations – the act may not be as strong in its language or requirements as some might have hoped for, but its status as legislation has undoubtedly changed the nature of some dialogues and created entirely new ones. Again, not all of these have been about provider-commissioner conversations, but also about social enterprises advising and informing their peers, and those inside public bodies doing likewise. And we have heard plenty of examples at SEUK of frontline social sector organisations using the act as a means of opening (or renewing) conversations with key people inside public bodies” >> READ ON HERE


– Housing Associations play a key role in the regeneration of many of our communities, and some of the most innovative partnerships and practice can be found there. I wrote a bit about how housing associations and social enterprise could work together in Pioneers Post:

“What has become apparent during our increasing work with the housing sector in recent years is not only is there great potential in more joint working between social enterprises and housing associations, but also that there is a really significant alignment of values, missions and objectives – local community regeneration; job readiness and job creation; financial inclusion; environmental behaviour change; and much more besides. And yes, many housing associations consider themselves social enterprises themselves, particularly those with a close and established link to particular communities and geographical areas – pioneers like the Aspire Group in Staffordshire, Bromford Housing also in the Midlands, Shepherds Bush Housing Group in West London” >> READ ON HERE


– At Social Enterprise UK, I’ve also been working / heavily involved in a swathe of research reports + publications. Check out the following, starting with our own state of social enterprise survey report:

>> The People’s Business – SEUK’s own biennial state of the sector report

>> Spin Out, Step Up – a report on the finance and investment needs of the health and social care social enterprises that have spun-out in recent years

>> The Landmarc Difference – a total contribution / triple bottom line report for a private company working at the intersection of social, economic and environmental (done with our friends at CAN)

>> Breaking New Ground – an evaluation of Deloitte’s Social Innovation Pioneers programme, analysing its impact thus far, and recommendations for further improvement



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