Category Archives: Hot News

Selnet Ltd are a BIG Potential Provider

Selnet Ltd has been approved as a BIG Potential Provider. Read below all about the Big Potential and how the fund and working with Selnet could help your organisation become more sustainable.

For more details and to start your application process, go to the BIG Potential website: www.bigpotential.org.uk

 

About Big Potential Big_Potential_Logo_PINK_webhomepage

Big Lottery Fund’s new £10 million fund is aimed at eligible voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VSCEs) to improve their sustainability, capacity and scale and help them deliver greater social impact for communities across England.

A grant from the fund will help VCSEs, at the very beginning of their social investment journey, to get specialist and tailored support to become investment ready.

 

What is investment readiness?

Investment ready is a term used to describe organisations that want to grow and expand and who develop their capacity to the extent that they will be successful in gaining external (repayable) investment. This means understanding the requirements of banks and other financial institutions (investors) when you are looking for investment and it includes knowledge about how to develop business plans to secure external finance and communication with investors.

 

What will the Big Potential programme offer?

Big Potential will offer VCSE organisations the chance to consider the usefulness of social investment as part of its broader financing or fundraising strategy.

Organisations will have access to a brand-new Big Potential website :
www.bigpotential.org.uk

with fantastic learning and development content and in-depth information on social investment including case studies, guides and a fully automated diagnostic tool which will be a helpful companion to any VCSE organisation starting its social investment journey.

VCSEs can apply for grants between £25,000 and £75,000 in total to undertake more in-depth investment readiness work with one of Big Potential’s approved providers. These grants will not cover costs relating to the ongoing delivery of your work; just work relating to your organisation’s investment readiness. The grants can also not support projects or activities that the state has a legal obligation to provide.

 

Applying to Big Potential

Overview of the process

In a nutshell, VCSEs that are eligible can apply for a grant from the Big Potential fund to help them become investment ready. There are a few processes to go through:

1. To start, you will work through a Diagnostic Tool assessment.

2. The Social Investment Business grants team will assess your responses to the diagnostic tool. If you are suitable to proceed you will be invited to a more in-depth 1:1 session with our support advisors.

3. After the 1:1 session with a specialist, expert support advisor, you will receive an investment readiness report which describes all the business development you need to undertake before you can be considered to be investment ready.

4. You will need to team up with an approved provider (an individual or organisation providing technical, financial, legal, business planning or other direct support) of your choice. Selnet Ltd is an approved provider and our listing can be found here:
http://www.bigpotential.org.uk/provider/social-enterprise-lancashire-network-selnet-ltd

5. You will meet with the provider and plan an investment readiness project and when this is ready you can apply to the fund for a grant to help you pay for this. You have to pay the provider from this grant (you will get full guidance on how to select and work with a provider as part of the process). This is a preliminary grant.

6. When you and your provider have reached the stage where you think you have an investment deal in sight you may apply a second time to the fund for an investment plan grant to do further work. VCSEs can apply for this grant directly if they already have an investment deal in sight.

7. You may be asked to make a contribution to the total cost and the investment panel that makes decision on grants will pay full attention to your finances, balance sheet and cash flow forecast before making that decision. Please note that being genuinely unable to contribute to costs will not prevent a suitable application from being reviewed by the Panel.

8. Once we make you an offer and you have received your grant, we will explain the usual monitoring and end of grant process associated with grant funding.

Big Potential Application Process

 

The aim at all times is to help VCSEs who want to, grow and expand and provide greater social impact for and with communities across England – in short, to help them become investment ready.

Big Potential will be targeting VCSE’s that are both at an early stage of their investment readiness journey and those that are further along that journey, who are seeking to raise up to £500,000 in external investment. This is to support VCSEs move to a more sustainable funding model and become less dependent on grants. 

 

Social investement business logoawarding finds big lottery logo

 

 

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Key Fund Introduce NEW Resilience Fund

Keyfund Resiliance
P
lease click the image to enlarge


Income per head in inner London is the highest in the EU. In the North West, we live in the shadow of former industrial powerhouses, with unemployment black spots.

Whilst the narrative from the capital is one of progress, many villages, towns and cities here are struggling as the public sector shrinks. We are seeing many existing charities, co-operatives, social enterprises and social ventures, many of whom deliver essential services, attempting to adjust to the changed environment as austerity reduces the availability of grant funding. For many this means they must ‘grow, change or die’.

These are challenging times.

Sounds dramatic? But without change, the North-South divide will deepen. The same old stuff won’t work, new challenges need new ideas.

Organisations are looking to develop new products and services, moving into trading, using the profits they generate to support their transition, and deliver their social impact in a more sustainable way. But it’s not easy.

Which is where the Key Fund comes in. It enables this change. Think of it as a revolutionary movement – a new way of doing business.

As the biggest social investor operating across the whole of the North of England, it works with businesses that are about more than just profit, but deliver social impact.

Since it set out in 1999 with the aim to revitalise communities from the collapse of the coal and steel industries, it has evolved into helping to shape new kinds of industry.

We need daring, courage and fairness to live on this planet, things the Key Fund has in spades. Key Fund understands the challenges of working in disadvantaged communities and provides a wide range of support to organisations looking to make this transition: from direct 1-2-1 advice, to specialist investment readiness training via the ‘Early Days and Changing Ways’ programme, to providing investments up to £300,000 with the new ‘Resilience Fund’.

So whether you work for, or are a director or advisor of a charity, co-operative, social enterprise or social venture, perhaps it might be time to speak to the Key Fund about how they can help you to grow or change.

Phone Key Fund on 0845 1401400

 


 

 

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Growth Vouchers

How can they help you to grow your business?

 

growth

The Growth Vouchers programme can help you find the expert advice and support you need to grow your business.

The Growth Voucher contributes 50% towards the cost of expert advice up to a maximum of £2,000.

 

Professional advice can be funded in a number of areas, including;

  • Raising Finance & Managing Cash Flow; examples include advice on the overall financial health of your business, improving cash flow management, credit control or advice on how to negotiate with banks and investors.
  • Marketing Attracting & Keeping Customers; examples include advice on effective marketing strategies, market research, targeting existing and potential customers, using social media to extend your reach into new markets, pricing strategies and selling skills.
  • Making the most of Digital Technology; examples include advice on product development and market testing, customer service, building online sales, and technology improvements.
  • Improving Leadership & Management Skills; examples include advice on planning for the future, change management, and how to build and improve the management potential of you and your team.
  • Recruiting & Developing your Staff; examples include advice on how to hire, train and manage staff, employment law and regulations, and performance management systems. 


Is my business eligible?

  • Do you have less than 50 employees
  • Have you been trading for at least one year
  • Is your business registered in England
  • Your business has not paid for strategic advice or received less than 200,000 euros of public money in the last 3 years


How do I apply for a voucher?

Complete the short application form by visiting www.gov.uk/apply-growth-vouchers

For more information regarding the programme and frequently asked questions please visit www.winning-pitch.co.uk/growth_vouchers or email growthvouchers@winning-pitch.co.uk

 

Please email growthvouchers@winning-pitch.co.uk for an electronic copy of this text and growth voucher logo.

 

 

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Brooks Newmark announced as next minister for Civil Society

Brooks NewmarkDavid Cameron has announced that Brooks Newmark will be the next minister for civil society.

Newmark is the MP for Braintree. He has been an MP since 2005. He has sat on the Treasury Select Committee since 2012.

He is involved with various charities including PARC, a respite centre based in Braintree for children with severe disabilities, Farleigh Hospice and A Partner in Education, which he founded in 2010.

He is still a trustee for A Partner in Education which has been set up to furnish a new school in Rwanda. Over the three years since it has been registered with the Charity Commission its total income has been £4,200 with an expenditure of £24,000.

Nick Hurd tweeted his congratulations saying that Brooks Newmark “is an old friend and I am relieved and delighted that he is picking up the baton. A very decent and thoughtful man”.

In 2010 Newmark was appointed a senior government whip with responsibility for the Department of Business and the Wales Office and later was given responsibility for the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister until September 2012. During this time, Newmark was a Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury.

Before entering politics, Newmark was a senior partner of Apollo Management LP, an international private equity firm.

 

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Ribble Valley Business Awards 2014

rv bus awards

The Ribble Valley Business Awards (or RVs) is all about championing the people and enterprises that make Ribble Valley such a great place to live, work and visit.

This awards initiative – new for 2014 – is organised by the volunteer mentor team at Enterprising People – a project offering free, one-to-one mentoring support for local people and organisations with innovative ideas they want to make happen.

This first of what we hope will become an annual and prestigious part of the local business calendar will be officially launched for entries in July 2014, with the winners announced at a glittering awards ceremony at 

NOMINATIONS WILL START ONLINE IN JULY.

PDF To see a full list of awards and sponsors, please click here.

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Recycling Lives Wins Second Queen’s Award for Sustainable Enterprise

April 22, 2014

After winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2010, recycling and waste management firm Recycling Lives has just scooped the award for the second time.

Queens_Award_2014On this occasion, it was the company’s recently launched “Flat Panel Display recycling and employment project” at HMP Kirkham that impressed the judging panel.

By establishing a busy recycling centre within the prison, and integrating the training and work experience opportunities there with the six-stage charity programme available at its own premises, Recycling Lives offers prisoners at HMP Kirkham the chance to secure supported accommodation and stable employment after release.

Granting the award for a second time to Recycling Lives, the office for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise stated:


Widely accredited for its environmental management, the company targets niche recycling markets, processing previously unrecyclable items, such as flat screen displays, and making working components available for re-sale where possible.

Thus, Recycling Lives diverts products from landfills and contributes significantly to environmental improvement. Through its work, the organisation offers ex-offenders, homeless people and long-term unemployed individuals routes to employment via rehabilitation, training and accommodation, enabling them to develop vital social and employability skills.

Bu supporting charities, social enterprises, community ventures and ethical businesses, Recycling Lives sets a benchmark not only for the sector, but for industry in general.

 

Recycling Lives was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in recycling livesPreston, Lancashire. The company is considered a social business by its directors, having expressed a commitment in 2011 to working only on projects which demonstrate a positive social impact.

In addition to its earlier Queen’s Award, Recycling Lives was championed for its commitment to positive social impact in a 2012 Government white paper entitled “Social Justice: Transforming Lives”. The company’s founder and chief executive, Steven Jackson OBE, was also recognised in the 2013 New Year Honours List for Services to Employment and the Community in Lancashire.


Mr Jackson commented on this latest award, saying:

We’re all incredibly proud here at Recycling Lives: to be recognised not once but twice by the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is a huge honour.

For years, Recycling Lives has sought to develop effective and creative solutions to recycling and waste management challenges that prioritise not only environmental sustainability, but social and economic sustainability as well.

Organisations need to see that it is absolutely possible to build up and sustain a successful commercial business while making Corporate Social Responsibility a primary concern.

 

In addition to expanding its commercial recycling and waste management activities, Recycling Lives hopes to extend its social impact via its charity-led Community Dotcom services.

The company’s nationwide Community Dotcom schemes, including SkipHireNetwork.org, OfficeClearanceNetwork.org, BulkyWaste.org and ScrapCarNetwork.org, enable charities and ethical businesses to deliver reuse and recycling services to householders across the country.

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Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme

If you’ve got an idea for a project to improve your local community, this programme can help make it happen.

school of social entrepreneurs- Ipswich
We’re offering a fully funded year of learning and a grant to help you get started on a new idea or scale up an existing social enterprise.

During the programme you will develop as a leader and obtain the skills needed to take your organisation to the next stage.

The programme is incredibly practical and students can expect to learn from their peers, build new networks and be challenged by practitioners.


The programme is split into Start Up and Scale Up:

Both programmes offer:

  • Fully funded 14 day learning programme
  • Grant (either £4,000 or £15,000)
  • Mentor from Lloyds Bank/ Bank of Scotland

Start Up will get your new project or idea off to a flying start.

Scale Up will help you grow an established social enterprise.

 

Find out more

 

Entrepreneurs Programme Logos

 

 

 

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European Structural Investment Framework for Lancashire

pdf EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy for Lancashire Final – 31-01-14 LEP Board


The European Structural Investment Framework outlines how funds will be used to increase productivity levels for key economic sectors, promote sustainable employment growth and tackle the barriers to employment for Lancashire’s most disadvantaged communities and increase capacity to unlock the economic potential of Lancashire’s businesses and residents.

Liz Tapner, Chief Executive of Selnet Ltd and a ONE Lancashire Director along with consultations from the wider sector has represented the Social Enterprise and Third Sector and this is where the process is at to date.


LCC notes:

Please find attached the copy of the ESIF 31st January 2014 Submission, This document has gone to the National Growth Board and comments and feedback will be issued. Therefore the document is likely to change between now and possible national endorsement/approval in May 2014.

Once we have feedback and have been given more detail on the processes for selecting projects, etc we will arrange a further stakeholder event to discuss the implementation of the ESIF (in the context of the ERDF/ESF/EAFRD national Operational programmes).

 

 

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Selnet chief meets Nick Hurd MP to represent Lancashire’s Third Sector

Liz Tapner, Chief Executive of Selnet Ltd (Social Enterprise Lancashire Network) was asked to represent the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) at a ministerial visit at St Georges Hall on 23rd January 2014 to launch the Liverpool City Region pilot of The Social Investment Business (SIB) Local Impact Fund. It’s aim to offer simple unsecured finance and investment readiness support to charities and Social Enterprises in the Liverpool City area. There are 2 pilots as part of the current EU programme Liverpool and Northamptonshire.

A group of LEP representatives from across the North West had a private meeting with Chair at SIB Sir Stephen Bubb and Nick Hurd MP who gave recognition to the economic significance of the Third Sector as a growing and viable sector that needs affordable long-term finance.

Mr Hurd also acknowledged, the need for local staged investment and the value of the representatives local knowledge and intelligence to enable then to meet real local issues & needs

Questions from the session included how the LEPs are planning to support social enterprise as part of their economic growth strategy? To this Liz Tapner was able to respond that she has been working with the LEPs Technical Assistance Group who are currently writing Lancashire EU Structural Investment Funds Strategy (ESIF) enabling them to consult with Third Sector front line service delivery organisations and their support agencies.

Liverpool City Region is showing great leadership in supporting the social sector by setting up a Local Impact Fund, how does Lancashire plan to provide similar opportunities? Through strong partnerships with Social Enterprise North West, Selnet, ONE Lancashire and her position within the Technical Assistance Group, Liz is championing ongoing support and investment to the Social Enterprise Sector in Lancashire and is keen to work with the Social Investment Business and the LEP to include setting up a Local Impact Fund amongst other initiatives.

Read the following post Third Sector Representation in Lancashire’s Growth Plans to find out more about Lancashire’s growth development plans and how our sector is being represented.


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Left to right:
Sir Stephen Bubb – Chair Social Investment Business, Aidan Manley – CEO Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Liz Tapner – CEO Selnet / Representing Lancashire LEP, Nick Hurd MP – Minister for Civil Society, Kevin Janes – Cheshire & Warrington SE Partnership / Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Angeliki Stogia – European Officer Network for Europe, Karen Tierney – Acting Deputy Director New Economy/Adviser to Greater Manchester LEP , Dr Pernille Kousgaard – Liverpool City Region LEP

 

 

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