Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Arguing the toss

We did the pancake thing last night, the kids are old enough now to flip their own which was fun. My preference is for maple syrup and lemon juice. Katie likes Nutella on hers. Pancake day is a funny thing, you do it every year as a child and then with your kids and so the tradition goes on. Tonight I wondered why pancakes? I know it precedes the fasting of lent, but why pancakes? Anyone care to enlighten me?

At the moment I’m tossing around ideas about the future of business support; the truth is that for many social enterprises, the existing support infrastructure can be a rather blunt and less than effective tool. We know the election will be followed by cuts and business support is as likely to shrink as anything else. This is going to happen just as we stand on the threshold of expanding through delivering more public service contracts and supplying ethical consumption. What our members need now is the kind of expertise that can inform their decisions, help them access investment and establish productive peer support . It’s out there, but we need to consider ways to achieve better, more valuable results. I would like to see something along the lines of a more interactive web based service like the peer to peer network, Horsesmouth – ideally led from within the sector.

If we are to do more with less, social enterprise is the vehicle to do just that. We can deliver jobs, new markets, environmental solutions, outsourced public services and buzzing communities and all with maximum social impact – but the entrepreneurs of the future need the support to get them there.

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