Measuring the quality of your committee?

We were recently at a Social Enterprise business advisors meeting in The Midlands. We were fortunate to have a presentation from The Guild, a Norwich based social business/community advice organisation.

The booklet beng discussed was Social Impact Measurement. An often complex piece of work to determine what the outcomes of your organisation are in terms of the beneficial impact you have on the community.

However, part of the booklet was an analysis of ‘quality measurers’. Schemes of analysis or reflection which groups can use in committee and with their supporters to determine how good their governance is, or how the delivery of their work matches against expected recognised standards.

Yes, there are some very expensive and time consuming examples in the booklet, but there are also some very cost effective and elegantly simple ones too. Helping committees or boards of governance determine their strengths, weaknesses and the need for change, if any.

You can download the booklet here.

AT SEC we have experts on governance, committee support and enterprise/social organisation management. Our support is free. If we can help you with a ‘quality project’ for your group or committee just ASK SEC! 

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?

See those beans grow!

fairPic2011The recent Christmas Fair was evidence that there are already a number of community enterprises – creative small businesses offering goods and services to the Marham community.

Part of SEC’s remit as a community charity is to foster ethical enterprise. Helping support people’s creativity and populate a local economy with new energy.

Maybe you have an idea, but are unsure about how to start, not clear about what to do to turn your creativity into a structured business?

Beans (our new idea name so far, although together we might change it) can be an informal network of like minded people in the Marham community, coming together to share their thoughts on what to do, marketing, money or anything else that helps support you.

What to do first? We need a volunteer, or volunteers, to help co-ordinate the group.

SEC can offer a no-cost platform for the activity, providing web pages, formal business advice, networking experience and professional support across a variety of creative themes. We’ll find a place to meet regularly, in a non-judgemental and supportive atmosphere, where you can talk to others about your ideas or problems.

If the community picks up the idea of a LETS scheme for the area, you could use the new alternative currency to dip your toe into the market place, with no risk.

We could start an online directory of beans members, featuring your goods or services – provide you with a web site if you don’t have one yet, help you think about counting your own beans (keeping the books really).

Practical, grounded advice – whether your aim is to make one cake or one hundred, to create and craft one piece of jewelry or a thousand – helping to get your idea started at just the level you want and no more.

If you would like to help use our contact us page on the SEC main web site and let us know. We’ll be in touch.

Image: Ready for customers at the Marham Christmas Fair

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Racing in Oxborough

stJohnsOxboroughPicA number of members of the SEC team attended and sponsored, from their own resources, a race at the recent Oxborough Village Race Evening.

The funds from the night were being raised for the Fabric Fund of St. John’s Church in Oxborough.

It was a lively evening and the event contributed over £700 to the Fabric Fund. The Chair of SEC officiated at the microphone and there were some stunning Victorian moustaches and bowler hats in evidence from the village organising committee, much to the delight of the audience.

(None of the SEC team horses won by the way, so we all went home much lighter in the pocket…but it was great fun).

St. John’s Church image: Creative Commons licence – John Salmon