Nick Temple, Deputy Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), spoke at the launch of our ‘10 years of social impact‘ publication.
We asked Nick to offer some perspective on what it takes for a social enterprise to thrive in the current and future landscape, using Connection Crew’s story as a point of reference. Here’s a summary of the advice offered to the up-and-coming social ventures present at the event:
” First of all it’s worth noting that 10 years is a long time – this time 10 years ago Chico was number 1: one of Charlie Dorman’s favourite artists [burn!] – In this context we tend to say that it’s been a ‘journey’, which is just code for ‘it’s going to take a lot longer than you think and it’s going to be a lot harder than you thought’. Connection Crew’s report is a valuable exposé of what it’s really like.
There are three things about Connection Crew that I think have been crucial to its success and that are important for the future of social enterprise more widely:
1. Be commercial
SEUK have used Connection Crew as exemplars because it competes in a hugely tough market and demonstrates that it can deliver with consistency, quality and at a competitive price with its social value built in. More of this please.
2. Be restless
Charlie, Warren and the team have a restlessness to improve, to get better, to tackle the challenges they were set up to do, and to not settle for less. Don’t settle.
3. Be open
Connection Crew’s ’10 years of social impact’ report demonstrates its openness. It reveals what’s gone right, but also what’s gone wrong. It’s this willingness to be open across the board – to partnerships, to advice, to new ideas – and its generosity to others in the movement that has helped it reach this milestone. It’s not just about ‘transparency’. Have an openness of spirit too.
SEUK is very proud to have Connection Crew as members and I would also say that the movement is very proud to have them as pioneers and advocates.
Read the ‘10 years of social impact‘ report for more.”