Social entrepreneurs know they are doing an invaluable job solving seemingly intractable social problems using as their alchemy, business. To add to this we have all been thrilled and even astonished at the unconditional endorsement for social enterprise from the new Government. What is needed is investment and capacity building if we are to take the fantastic models we have developed that have won us the world's respect for social enterprise development and turn our compelling side show into the main event.
I was cheered that the Big Society Bank was announced this week and that the Government had chosen to commit all possible unclaimed assets to the fund. However at best that will still add up to less than Futurebuilders had on an annual basis, and that was not enough to meet existing demand. Added to this the keen selling of social enterprise has meant that demand has gone through the roof. One of my top bloggers, Beanbags and Bullshit did a recent post on this which I think hits the nail on the head. The Bank is a start but it won't finance the capacity building needed to deliver the big show, which is social enterprise everywhere.
I believe the Government wants people in new jobs doing things that inspire them, delivering goods and services that boost the UK's GDP and innovate public services to the envy of the rest of the world. They want organisations like SEL and our 2100 members to make this happen and sooner rather than later would be preferable. We just need something in the tank.
I'm at home now with the troops. Today is our first day of no childcare, an innovation of my husband's who thinks if we all muck in we can do without. I'm seeing a theme here aren't you? Anyway I got home to a pile of clean laundry he had proudly done (the first in 15 years) and watered and fed children. I hadn't the heart to tell him our au pairs never did the laundry. I remember hearing Victoria Wood say she, like me, was so fed up with the family laundry, same old knickers and socks, she quite liked the idea of doing someone else's. So I shall keep quiet and drink to the hope that long may it last. It seems I'm off knickers, at least for a bit.