Future Business

Future Businesss was a series of twelve events designed to stimulate conversation about social enterprise and social entrepreneurship in Plymouth in a partnership between PSEN, the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre at Plymouth University and Plymouth City Council. We welcomed inspiring speakers from around the country to tell their story and share their expertise…

Tuesday 16th September  2014

“Rethinking Social Entrepreneurialism: how can social enterprise make a bigger societal impact?”

Colin Crooks, CEO of Tree Shepherd and author of How to Make a Million Jobs  – A charter for social enterprise.

Colin will talk on the potential for social enterprise to influence policy and change lives, drawing on his experience as founder and CEO of  Green Works, the UK’s first office furniture recycling social enterprise which employed people futhest from the job market including ex-offenders and homeless people. His current venture, Tree Shepherd, supports social enterprise development in some of the UK’s most marginalised communities. More about Colin here

Wednesday 8th October 2014

“Technology for a Better Future”

Phil Geraghty, Managing Director of crowdfunder.co.uk, and digital marketing specialist, will talk about how social enterprises and communities are engaging with digital technology to make a better world. Expect to find out more about crowdfunding, social media, digital commons and the sharing economy. More about Phil here.

Monday 17th November 2014

“Launching a sustainable food business”

Jenny Dawson, founder of Rubies in the Rubble will tell the story of how she launched her award-winning social enterprise which reduces food waste, produces delicious jams and chutneys and sells them to discerning customers – all based on a few core beliefs: make use of what you have, care about your resources, embrace oddity. More about Jenny here.


Wednesday 19th November 2014

“How parenthood made me a social entrepreneur”

Cecilia Crossley, inspired by her first born, founded From Babies With Love, a social enterprise selling organic baby clothes which donates 100% of profits to children’s charities. Cecilia says:

“I’ve always been interested in the role of social enterprise and corporate social responsibility. I thought to myself, if I can buy a beautiful baby product, for great value, with great customer service, plus the profit goes to babies in need, why would I buy it anywhere else? The answer is I wouldn’t! So I set up from babies with love to offer beautiful baby clothes plus a heart warming feeling” More about Cecilia here.


Friday 21st November 2014

“Marketing for the social sector – how showing what you stand for can help your organisation stand out”

What’s different about marketing for a social purpose to marketing a purely commercial business? How do you sell your social value alongside a product or service? Is social always the best way to differentiate yourself in the market? Jess Smith from Poached Creative will take a look at these questions and offer a five-step approach to marketing success, drawing lessons from the award-winning Buy Social campaign. More about Jess here.

Monday 15th December 2014

“Generation with an Alternative Future”

Constance Laisné, co-founder and Creative Director of AltGen will talk about how co-operative businesses can empower young people to stop fighting for the same jobs and start creating their own work: work that allows them to generate a fair income, do what they love and have a positive social impact; work that will create a more equal, democratic and sustainable economy. More about Constance here.

Friday 9th January 2015

“Building a Good Brand”

Karen Lynch of social enterprise super-brand Belu Water will join us via live web-link to share the story of how Belu came to be an award winning Coolbrand stocked in some of the UK’s best restaurants, hotels and grocers with the restricted resources of a Social Enterprise. The Belu story will argue that if it can be done in water, one of the toughest and lowest margin product categories,  this model could work in almost everything that consumers purchase. Come along, be inspired and you could be building the next ‘Good Brand’. More about Karen here.

Wednesday 4th March 2015

“Combining social and financial value: the case of local stakeholder banks”

Tony Greenham from New Economics Foundation

Local stakeholder banks that collaborate in networks are surprisingly common in other countries, but non-existent in the UK. From Canadian credit unions, to US Community Development Finance Institutions and European co-operative and public savings banks, these banks exist explicitly to create both financial and social value. They are committed to the economy of the specific areas they serve.

What can social enterprise learn from this model? If we had a German-style public savings bank for Plymouth, what would it look like, and what would be the benefits? More about Tony here.

Tuesday 17th March

How to Grow a £5m Social Enterprise: Taking Risks and Learning From Mistakes

Matt Stevenson-Dodd from Street League.

Over the past three years Street League has become a national social enterprise operating in 15 cities, trebled it’s outcomes to over 1000 young people per year moving into work education or training, more than doubled its turnover to £5m and has diversified income streams to the point that now over 60% comes from delivering public sector contracts. Number 10 Downing Street selected Street League to be its first ever official volunteering partner in 2011. Matt will join us by weblink to tell the story of how he transformed a small grant-dependent charity into the innovative and dynamic social enterprise that Street League is today. More about Matt here.

Friday 27th March

​Work like a Genius: Beautiful Team Tools For Beautiful Team Work

In every social enterprise, we need to be looking at smart, useful and beautiful looking tools to make the work simply fade in and allow us to express our best work. This workshop will go over some of the best and trending new web based software that can increase team work and productivity as well as communication. Francesco D’Alessio from Future Framework will share some online tools that make working together simpler and more streamlined. More about Francesco here.

Monday 30th March

The Story of LEYF: Changing the World One Child at a Time

June O’Sullivan MBE from London Early Years Foundation

London Early Years Foundation began life as the Westminster Health Society in 1903, addressing extreme poverty by focusing on child and maternal health. They opened their first nursery during the second world war. Since becoming a social enterprise in 2006, LEYF has become the UK’s largest social sector childcare provider, operating 26 nurseries and providing high quality childcare to 3,000 children and has continued to support disadvantaged families; 46% of the children who attend do so through free or subsidised places. June will tell the story of how LEYF has grown, and developed  its business model, whilst holding onto the founders’ intention to change the world one child at a time. More about June here.

Wednesday 8th April

Does Social Justice Matter When Austerity Rules?

Is social justice possible, or affordable, when our economy is so bleak? Can we afford to be fair when we have to focus our attention on making the books balance, keeping new economies at bay and playing our part in protecting the world? And does a focus on social justice make any difference anyway? Celia Atherton, Director of the Social Justice programme for Dartington Hall Trust will explain how the Trust, as a charity and a social enterprise, tries to balance what can seem like competing imperatives, and explore how working more as a social enterprise has been both liberating and brought greater levels of social justice for its staff and its customers. In doing so it is also making a significant economic contribution to the local, regional and national economy. Dartington believes that a strong values approach is a more important compass than ever before. Do you?

More about Celia here.

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