Want to make positive impact in our world and connect with those who are already driving transformational change? The @SkollCentre is hosting its biggest social innovation conference, @EmergeConf, on 11-12 November at the Saïd Business School, Oxford.

Emerge is all about ‘what’s next’: the big ideas disrupting and challenging unjust systems and practices. It brings together a community of those who are driving transformational social change, and those who want to get involved. At Emerge, you can explore new ideas, dig deeper into issues alongside experts, build skills, and immerse yourself in the innovations which are redefining our world. Get your early bird tickets at www.emergeconference.co.uk.

From Charity to Social Enterprise: The Marketization of Social Care

A paper on ‘From Charity to Social Enterprise: The Marketization of Social Care’ by F Henderson, C Reilly, D Moyes and G Whittam has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research


Please see abstract below:

Purpose: In Scotland, the Self-Directed Support (SDS) legislation is a catch-all payment system which brings challenges to local authorities, service delivery organisations, and the service users it is intended to empower. Set against a backdrop of cuts to local authorities and third sector funding, this policy presents third sector organisations with both the opportunities and challenges of commercialising their activities to become more sustainable. This paper provides evidence of the challenges faced one charity as engages in a process of hybridity to accommodate changes in its funding due to the introduction of SDS.

Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative case study of one charity presents the experiences of a purposive sample of managers, staff and parents advocating for their children. The challenges of gathering data and giving a voice to parents advocating for children with complex needs are discussed.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): This study used a small purposive sample of individuals who were prepared to talk about the challenges of SDS in one national Scottish charity.

Practical implications (if applicable): Organically arising barriers to organisational transition from charity to social enterprise are presented, as staff and caregivers react to the prospect of SDS uptake affecting their organisation. Proactive attempts to embrace a hybrid approach by the organisation, are analysed.

Social implications (if applicable): Understanding how social care organisations and clients are reacting to the implementation of individual payments is crucial as the sector faces very real prospects of established organisations failing  and the market becoming dominated by fewer providers delivering cheaper, lower quality social care. Therefore a policy based on choice for the consumer risks removing choice through a loss of appropriate services in the marketplace, leaving vulnerable populations at risk.

Originality/value:  This paper makes a unique contribution to the fields of social enterprise and social care as no other research has been done exploring the transition to hybridity of charities serving children with complex needs in anticipation of SDS creating an open market. The paper further provides evidence of underlying issues which need to be addressed if SDS is to become a successful policy transforming vulnerable individuals’ lives. The paper further identifies that a specific challenge facing hybrid organisations, not articulated in the current literature, is the need to maintain the support of existing clients through the transformation of the organisation.

TransSOL Policy Report and Newsletter

TransSOL is a transnational research project dedicated to providing systematic and practice-related knowledge about European solidarity at times of crisis. It brings together researchers and civil society practitioners from eight European countries—Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom including a team at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The latest policy briefing and project newsletter are now available to view via the links below:

TransSOL Policy Brief 3-284ccp1

TransSOL_Newsletter_Issue 4-2arj2d6


International academics meet to discuss the future of social business and its role in combatting wealth concentration

From 28th-31st July, Pro Vice Chancellor and Yunus Chair, Cam Donaldson attended the Annual Social Business Day and Academia Pre-Meeting on ‘How Can Wealth Concentration be Stopped?’ in Dhaka, led by our Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Yunus. The Academia Pre-Meeting takes place in Bangladesh annually, prior to the annual Social Business Summit and associated Social Business Academia Conference which, this year, take place in Paris on 5th -7th and 8th-9th November respectively. Here, we see Cam, alongside Professor Yunus,  reporting to the international gathering of academics about progress with preparations for the Paris Conference. The meeting was also reported in the Bangladeshi national press:

Int’l academics exchange ideas on social business (Web)
Daily Observer Bangladesh – 31/07/2017
A pre-meeting, was held on Sunday at the Yunus Centre, Mirpur as the preparation of the Social Business Academia Conference (SBAC) scheduled to be held in Paris on November 8 and November 9, this year. The opening speech was delivered by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chair of the organizing committee of SBAC.

Academics discuss educational aspects of social business (Web)
The Daily Star Bangladesh – 31/07/2017
A group of national and international academics yesterday discussed educational aspects of social business in Dhaka as part of preparations for an upcoming social business academia conference. The meeting took place at Yunus Centre, which promotes works and philosophies of Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus.

Researchers support sustainable community sheds project

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) researchers are working on a new project supporting the development of social spaces known as ‘sheds’ to encourage community development and evidence enhanced health and wellbeing for the people using them.

Run by community members, sheds are organisations which create spaces for people to pursue their hobbies, run community projects, spend time with those with similar interests, learn and share new skills, and enable others who may be isolated and lonely to engage in activities such as education and training initiatives.

In addition to engaging with new social activities helping to reduce social isolation and loneliness, sheds introduce people to other community networks and, as such, can help to develop social capital and enhance community resilience. By providing opportunities for volunteering and income generation, it is argued that sheds enhance employability skills, increase self-esteem, build a sense of identity/value by being productive, and encourage confidence to facilitate a return to work.

The Sheds for Sustainable Development project, led by Dr Artur Steiner, Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship in the University’s Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, aims to design mechanisms for sustainable community development through creating sheds that are both financially and socially sustainable. As such, the project aims to tackle some socio-economic challenges and contribute to creating stronger, healthier and more resilient communities.

Dr Steiner will work with a group of sheds to identify the development and entrepreneurial challenges they face and the opportunities they have for training and employment, and explore the impact of sheds on participants’ health and wellbeing. Through a series of workshops, the team will provide evidence to a wide group of stakeholders including practitioners, health providers, social workers and governments.

The project is funded through the Big Lottery Fund, which exists to help communities and people most in need and supports projects which bring people together, create understanding, help people think about their future and reduce isolation.

Dr Steiner said: “This exciting project is embedded in community-based activities and aims to support community sheds though collaborative work between practitioners and academics. We want to make real positive impact and contribute to the development of sustainable sheds. We will do that by considering community views about shed practices and combining that with expert knowledge. The project will bring social innovation into play through co-designing and introducing new solutions to address selected community challenges.”