All News

New training programme for young disabled people

The government has announced 2 new programmes for 16 to 24 year disabled people to gain work experience .  For people with complex learning difficulties and disablities the Supported Internship scheme will offer real work experience and support from specialist coaches, who will also supporting employers to become more confident about employing young people with disabilities. The Traineeship scheme will offer young people with less complex needs workplace experience and the chance to develop skills that employers need. Read more here.

Free banking for social enterprises from the Co-op Bank

 The Co-op Bank has launched free banking for social enterprises. The Social Enterprise Direct Plus account offers free banking, free online banking and interest on balances over £2000, and is available to social enterprises with turnover less than £1million. The account means no service charge, no charge for writing cheques, using a business debit card, or for standing orders or direct debits. Eligible social enterprises can deposit up to £100000 each year free of charge and deposit up to 5000 cheques and there's no minimum balance or monthly deposit requirement. 

Homelessness and Work - new guides

 Broadway, campaiging against homelessness, has produced a series of guides for service providers, homeless people and employers on starting, staying in and thriving at work.  The guides are based on the outcome of  research involving 50 homeless people over their first year in a new job.

The Guardian Charity Awards Launched

The Guardian Charity Awards 2013 in association with Zurich are open to UK social welfare charities that can demonstrate excellence and achievement in what they do. Eligible charities must also have been registered in the UK for more than two years and have an annual income of between £5,000 and £1.5 million.


Social Firms UK members could access cheaper energy bills

A large scale energy buying group supported by Social Firms Wales, The Wales Coop Centres and Cylch and has now gone UK wide. Joining the group can offer a no-obligation opportunity to access cheaper energy bills. 




In the first instance to enable them to get quotes on your behalf you will sign a letter of authority which enables them to talk to the utilities and negotiate on behalf of the group. They would also require the most recent full copies of your electricity and gas bills. There is no obligation to accept the free quote.

They are expecting to go to the market place in the 3rd week of June for contracts starting on 1st October 2013.


Social Firms UK Member Future Clean wins International Award

An award winning social enterprise that supplies environmentally friendly car valeting while offering work and training to disadvantaged people has won a top international award.

Future Clean won joint first in the REVES Excellence awards 2013 which took place in Brussels on Friday (June 7th). The award is designed to showcase innovative partnership working.

Innovation in Social Financ£ - Do you need money for your Social Enterprise?

There are some great social enterprises and social businesses that really need investment.

However it is increasingly difficult to find finance for organisations who require investments of less than 100k.


Innovation in Social Finance is a collaborative pilot to try and find financial solutions to support, develop and grow those great social business ideas.

They are looking to offer a range of Finance Solutions investment support to help you fund the development of your business in the West Midlands.

Finance Solutions investment support will look to broker a range of mix and match assistance including:

Promote your Social Firm or Enterprise in Clinks' Directory

Clinks' Directory of Offender Services is an online resource containing information about hundreds of Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations working with offenders and their families.

The Directory can be used for signposting to vital services and connecting with others in a specific field or region. It's also a great way to promote your organisation to service users, other organisations and statutory sector staff, including those from prisons, probation trusts and local authorities.

Clinks is dedicated to promoting VCSE organisations working in the Criminal Justice System and so using the Directory is easy and completely free. Signing up to the directory is also the first step towards inclusion in the forthcoming Partnership Finder: a criminal justice supply chain and consortia directory for primes, commissioners and the VCSE sector.

Social Enterprise Awards launched in Northern Ireland

NI Social Enterprises go for a ‘Hat Trick’

Social Enterprise NI, the representative body for Social Enterprises and Social Entrepreneurs across Northern Ireland today announced that applications for the Annual Awards 2013 are now open.

Northern Ireland has scooped the main award for ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ for the last two years and is looking for its third overall UK winner.

The Awards reward and showcase the very best of Social Enterprise of which there are shining examples in Northern Ireland. The winners will go forward to the UK finals in London on 27th November.

This year there will be total of 10 main award categories open to Social Enterprises including –

  • Education, Training & Jobs Social Enterprise
  • Social Enterprise of the year,
  • One to watch (best new start up)

There are also categories open to supporters and investors of Social Enterprise.

Social Enterprise Awards Wales launched

The Social Enterprise Awards Wales is a national competition designed to celebrate the amazing work done by Welsh social enterprises and shine the spotlight on the sector.

The Awards are open to all social enterprises in Wales.

Nominations are now open! The awards are your opportunity to raise your profile by highlighting the amazing work you do. Last year saw the highest number of social enterprises come forward and demonstrate their innovation, imagination and their passion for social change. This year Wales wants to do even better.

So if you’re proud of your work integration social enterprise or social firm,  then enter the competition now!

The closing date for entries is 12pm Tuesday 6 August.

Click here for more details.