Charity, business and community

networkDiagramPic34‘Businesses should act as ‘community hubs’, helping promote social interaction amongst their customers and developing local action plans to create happier, more resilient communities’.

This is a quote from a new report from the RSA, The Community Footprint: Shared Value for Business and Communities, outlining how local business, social business, can become hubs or focal points for community interaction and development.

Charities and social enterprises in particular, can have a role to play in this ‘combination’ role. A community charity, like SEC, can provide a focus, a tunnelling of ideas to engage community business in this sort of network activity, particularly in a remote rural area.

A charity could, for example, through its social enterprise network or community development activity co-ordinate and contribute to the strategies and focus of ethical business support to that community.
Helping businesses to answer the ‘how can we help’ question?

You can see the RSA report here…

The Community Footprint: shared value for business and communities

The RSA report looks at a a case study of a B & Q store and how it’s instore activity and engagement with customers and staff, were able to affect and effect change in community projects.

Big business, with financial and operational clout, can clearly be players in this role – but we would argue that there is a place for small, local economic groups and networks to use the same model – generating change using their very specific local knowledge too.

Our secBEANS network can fill this role too – acting as a focus point for community enterprise and using the charitable aims of SEC to make a strong community impression – adding new value to community projects.

Food for thought?

Beans are about!

beansTogetherPicWe have just posted the web pages for beans – the new enterprise support network we will work hard to keep active in the Marham community.

beans is intended to be a useful resource for those residents who have started, or are thinking of starting, a new enterprise in our rural community.

If you would like to volunteer to help us organise our network meetings, or contribute to our resources list – or write articles for our web site or secBLOG – you can subscribe with your email address here.

We’ll let you know when our network meetings take place and occasionally send you updates and news from the beans team.

You can subscribe to the beansBLOG for free updates too. You can see articles on new start-ups, paying your tax and why ethical enterprise is such a good contributor to community health.

We are also establishing a beansDIRECTORY, where you can advertise your business to others. In the future, we will publish the directory in other formats and places, thereby spreading the word about Marham enterprise.

See you at our next network meeting?

Franchising a social business

copyPic4The Social Enterprise Coalition have just published a manual to help charities and social businesses replicate or franchise their business operations.

Franchising is most often a process associated with fast food outlets or profit maximisation, but this interesting hybrid manual from SEC helps to show social businesses how they can prepare and deliver, in partnership with others, a replicatable service, brand or organisational ethos in another community or geographical area.

You can download the Social Franchising manual here.

Here at Sandringham Enterprise, as a social enterprise ourselves, we are always interested in replicatable social business ideas and in how to help others deploy them.

As a development resource in our own right we have the skills available to help other organisations to deliver their repeatable business model in the not for profit sector. If we can help, let us know.

The SEC document contains the ten steps to readiness, some case studies for review and a template for a social franchising agreement.

A good starting point if you have a social enterprise you can duplicate in the service of others.