Coworking space in City Centre launches “Re-Invent Work” week.

THINQTANQ will be hosting a festival of activities to celebrate “Re-Invent Work” Week 27 September – 3 October. Home-based workers are invited to come work for free that week at the coworking space in Plymouth’s City Centre across from the Magistrates Court.  The creative, open plan coworking office space provides the chance for people who work on their own to experience the benefits that come from working alongside other talented people in the same space. Sabrina Simpson who manages the daily operations says, “We are inviting people to come learn about the benefits to personal productivity and the opportunity to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs and freelancers on a similar journey.”

Special events during Re-Invent Work week include lunchtime talks and workshops by business coaches, a talk focused on the needs of creative professionals by the Plymouth Patent Library office, an evening ‘Hootup’ event for people who use or are interested in using the Hootsuite social media tool, a morning business networking event, and a social evening event.  Ms. Simpson advised “We will be offering very special deals on our monthly membership packages for those who attend that week, so we encourage those who have been thinking about working at THINQTANQ to come visit that week.” More information about the event schedule can be found here from next week:

THINQTANQ is a new way to work that provides an ongoing community to support the success of Plymouth’s enterprising self-employed workforce. One of THINQTANQ’s founding members, Hanni Melnicenko of The Superwoman Project ( said after her second day working at the new space, “This was one of my most prouctive days EVER and I couldn’t stop when I got home either! Done about a weeks worth of work I reckon!” Besides providing a productive work environment for our members, THINQTANQ also have meeting room space for ongoing training events, which their members and outside organizations can use.


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Surviving depresssion E-book launch

Network memb1.Blurt cover 2820X4500 (1)ers, The Blurt Foundation, have just launched a new e-book: Blurt it Out – living with and surviving depression.

There’s a 25% discount for PSEN members



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Environmental Business Awards

Devon-based social enterprises are invited to apply for the Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) environmental business awards. They are free to enter and the cereomony is free to attend.  DEBI is keen to highlight the good work of Devon’s businesses, social enterprises, community projects and also individuals.

Winners of the awards in the past have included social enterprises such as Fungi Futures and Grocycle.

Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) is a charity set up over 20 years ago to promote environmental best practice in Devon.  For well over a decade they have been holding an awards ceremony at the Met Office to champion the good work that is being done in Devon.  These awards are financed through sponsorship.  This way everyone gets a chance to shine from large businesses to small community projects and individuals.  If shortlisted it’s free publicity and marketing for all the finalists/winners.

The deadline for entries is Friday 26th September by 5:30pm

For all the details on this year’s awards please go to our website:


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Civil Service work placement scheme

Social enterprises can benefit from a pilot project seeking to create opportunities for flexible work placements between the civil service and private / voluntary sectors.

The aim is to to create valuable shared learning opportunities for civil servants and businesses / social enterprises alike and help break down traditional stereotypes of the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The benefits are that there’s no cost to the business, the civil servant remains employed in his or her department and paid by them, ideal for start-ups etc who cannot finance a job but who need short-term help. All civil servants have a minimum 5 days CPD to utilise and this can be flexed e.g. where they are also in a redundancy situation. Since it’s a pilot, there are no forms to fill in, arrangements are through either sides’ existing processes. The only requirement we have is that those involved give feedback for case studies which will help inform regional or national rollouts.

Download a case study here.


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Disruptive digital start-up?

Wayra UnLtd, a partnership between UnLtd and Telefónica’ plans to take on and accelerate 10 tech-based, social ventures. Selected projects will take part in an acceleration programme that will include financing, mentors including top venture capitalists and Telefonica executives, specialized coaches, 8 months of rent-free work space in Central London, and dedicated help in seeking a commercial relationship with Telefonica both locally and globally.

Interested start-ups will have until 5 October to apply, at

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New social enterprise childcare business to launch on Social Saturday

A new childcare scheme, set up as a social enterprise, is set to offer families in Devon and Cornwall more flexibility while putting something back into the community.

A contemporary twist on a traditional nanny service, Scott & May offers a flexible childcare solution for busy parents to complement existing arrangements such as nurseries, pre-schools, and childminders.

From breakfast cover, to the school run, or an overnight stay, this bespoke service offers childcare in the family home to fit around other commitments, on a sole charge basis.

Emma Bryant, Director of Scott & May, explains: “We are basically offering an extra pair of hands when it is most needed on a pay-as-you-go basis. As a mum who works full time, I often clock watch as I am serving up breakfast so I don’t miss my train. I have friends who work shifts and others who have seasonal jobs. It got me thinking and I came up with the solution of providing a service which would cater for all needs.”

Scott & May plans to reinvest money into community projects, including supporting youth employment and providing accessible childcare to those in education, as well as staff development and charity donations.

PSEN member, Scott & May, will launch on 13 September 2014, alongside the UK’s first Social Saturday.

 Emma said launching her business alongside this national day was perfect timing: “I want to run a business which makes a real difference to my clients but also gives something back to society. Social Saturday was the perfect time to launch my business as my key motivations are to enable families to access flexible childcare but also to support projects which create opportunities. I have chosen to share my profits with charities and projects that will enable young mums to return to education, support young people into careers in childcare and provide work experience opportunities for those with limited skills struggling to find work.”

To find out more about Scott & May, visit or email

To get involved in Social Saturday visit and for more information on social enterprises visit

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Surplus Rescue CIC celebrates UK’s first Social Saturday in Plymouth!

Surplus Rescue CIC, a community and environmental re-use initiative based in Plymouth, is planning an Open Day to mark the UK’s first Social Saturday on 13 September 2014.

Winner of the Herald Green Business of the Year Award 2014, and semi-finalist for the Devon Venus Awards 2014, Surplus Rescue CIC is opening its doors this weekend to celebrate Social Saturday.

With large stocks of quality used office furniture, comprising desks, desk drawer units, cupboards, filing cabinets, chairs, whiteboards and pin boards we have almost everything needed for a home office, start up business or growing organisation. Also newly available to buy will be quality CLS timber lengths and tanalised timber – perfect for builders and those DIY projects.

Our warehouse in Harbour Avenue, Camels Head, Plymouth PL5 1BH will be open from 10am until 4.30 pm on Saturday 13th September 2014.

Shelly Monk, Director and Founder of Surplus Rescue CIC said: “As a Social Enterprise we welcome the opportunity to become involved with Social Saturday, it offers us a great platform to demonstrate the service we provide for our donors, showcase the items we have for sale and promote the activities and service and benefits we are providing for third sector organisations, the community and the environment.”

To find out more about Social Saturday and how you can get involved or register an event, visit

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Plymouth celebrates UK’s first Social Saturday

A book fair, a new childcare service, free trips up an iconic building in Devonport and buying Fairtrade goods are all activities in Plymouth that are set to mark the UK’s first ‘Social Saturday’ on 13th September 2014.

Social Saturday is a national event designed to boost the number of consumers buying from Britain’s 70,000 plus social enterprises – businesses with a social mission that reinvest their profits for good. Events in Plymouth include:

  • Plymouth Play Association – are holding a book fair at their scrapstore on Union Street. See
  • Column Bakehouse, Devonport – get a free trip up the Devonport Column which has stunning views across the city. See
  • Fairport – buy Fairtrade goods in the Pannier Market. Go to for more information.
  • Bread and Roses – buy organic and Fairtrade drinks and food from Plymouth’s best community pub on Ebrington Street – find out more at:
  • Effervescent – enjoy cake and exquisite tea in the Rumpus Cosy arts café, located in Radiant House on Derry’s Cross. Visit
  • If you are thinking of setting up a social enterprise, Iridescent Ideas are offering 25% off their social enterprise start-up services bought on Social Saturday – visit
  • Blue Parakeet launch their new website – – on Social Saturday and are offering 10% off coaching sessions purchased via their website that day.
  • Scott & May, a new childcare service, based in Plymouth will launch on Social Saturday. You can find out more at
  • Surplus Rescue CIC, a community and environmental re-use initiative is holding an Open Day on Social Saturday. With large stocks of quality used office furniture they have almost everything needed for a home office, start-up business or growing organisation. Check out

The Column Bakehouse, run by the Real Ideas Organisation, in the Devonport Guildhall is offering free trips up the Grade 1 listed Column. Plymouth Play Association is running a special book fair from their scrapstore on Union Street and Fairport encourage you to buy Fairtrade goods from their store in the Pannier Market in the City Centre.

Claire Burgess, Commercial Manager at Real Ideas Organisation, said: “Plymouth is one of the country’s first Social Enterprise Cities and we are one of the leading places for Social Saturday.

“We invite people to come and celebrate here with us at the Devonport Guildhall and see what a social enterprise can do.”

Other social enterprises celebrating the day include Bread and Roses pub on Ebrington Street and Effervescent in their newly opened arts café, Rumpus Cosy, on Derry’s Cross. Blue Parakeet Coaching CIC and Iridescent Ideas CIC are also offering discounts on their services purchased on that day.

Social Saturday aims to reach thousands of people to raise awareness of social enterprises and to encourage people to spend their money with them.

Peter Holbrook, CEO of the campaigning body, Social Enterprise UK, said: “When you buy a product or a service from a social enterprise, you directly make a positive difference to the world you live in.

“Through Social Saturday we want to help people find social enterprises to help them improve their local communities and the lives of people who are less fortunate and need a helping hand.”

To find out more about Social Saturday and how you can get involved visit To keep abreast of Social Saturday news follow the #socialsaturday hashtag on Twitter.



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Dartington Social Enterprise Hub are recruiting

Dartington Social Enterprise Hub are re-recruiting for a Head of Programmes with a revised job description. The role is full-time and permanent and attracts a salary of £30,755. Full details are available on the Dartington website.

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A new way to make money for your enterprise

Does your project help people master a practical skill? A local home accessories shop is partnering with social enterprises to craft its new collection

Decorator’s Notebook ( is an online shop offering quality home accessories made by social enterprises and charities around the world. Building on their success working with projects in developing countries, brother and sister team Joe and Bethan John are on the hunt for makers closer to home.

“Unbelievably, it’s actually easier to find products made in places like Bangladesh and Mexico than here in Britain,” explains Bethan. “We grew up in the South West and we know there are local projects with fantastic skills out there, who need a place to sell the products they make. We want to help them generate an income by selling their crafts to our socially-conscious shoppers.

Having a finished product is not essential as the team can offer design ideas and advice. “We’d love to hear from groups with practical skills, such as sewing, knitting, woodwork, pottery or even candle making,” says Bethan. “Our hope it that Decorator’s Notebook can help local social enterprises grow and showcase their skills to people all around the world.”

If your work helps disadvantaged people in your community master a new skill, get in touch with Bethan John with a little information about your project.

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