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Thursday, 29 January 2009

On 13:31 by RT in
As far as I can see, in the UK at least we're entering year two in the growth of social enterprise. Before 2008 I'm sure there were plenty of organisations doing good things sustainably, but the concept of social enterprise really seems to have become mainstream in 2008.

CICs are becoming more common, the concept of Social Return on Investment started to take hold, different models of Social Enterprise were identified, and we even saw the release of a new Self Assessment Framework for Social Enterprise. I no longer see discussions in the blogosphere around what Social Enterprise is and whether it is doing social things sustainably or making money with social or community benefits. I think that's been cleared up as closer to the former... "Enterprises effecting positive social change, independently and sustainably".

I reckon Social Enterprise will continue to embed as a way of life in 2009, and both new social startups and existing charities will feel increasing pressure to set up financially sustainable operations. I also reckon we're going to see more organisations leveraging the web to effect social change. In combination it feels like we're heading towards an exciting and dynamic future in the social space, where we're able to innovate without being dependent on hand-outs.

For me too, 2009 feels like it might be an interesting one. I got involved with a lot of different things in 2008, all of which have possibilities ahead. First and most importantly the Urban Survival Project, which evolved into iVolntr.org for which I'm still hoping to hear back from Google around the results of their 10^100 funding project. We hear back at the end of Jan, and even if iVolntr doesn't make the shortlist I will start a more dedicated effort to get the Google Foundation behind it, or maybe see if I can exploit the new networks available to me through the Fellowship to the RSA I was offered a couple of months ago.

Having managed to raise the funding needed to stave off insolvency, I'm also expecting to be heavily involved with the development of BANG Edutainment and BANG Radio for the next couple of months. Finally if things get worse with the credit crunch and I get signed off, there's always the possibility of getting involved with the development of social enterprise in Thailand or maybe even India with Trn Labs or UnLtd India.

So all in all, the future's looking bright, and here's to a top year ahead. Hope you're having a good start to 2009 wherever you are!!