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Gastblog: Nick Temple | Director Social Enterprise UK

Nick Temple (Director Social Enterprise UK) was op 4 september te gast bij het congres 'De social enterprise als businesspartner van de gemeente' waar hij een aantal succesformules uit de Engelse social enterprise-sector uitlichtte. Lees hieronder zi.

Gepubliceerd op 22 september 2014

Nick Temple (Director Social Enterprise UK) was op 4 september te gast bij het congres 'De social enterprise als businesspartner van de gemeente' waar hij een aantal succesformules uit de Engelse social enterprise-sector uitlichtte. Lees hieronder zijn gastblog:

nick_templeWhen I first joined Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), one of the first enquiries I received was from Mark Hillen and Willemijn Verloop, who were in the process of setting up Social Enterprise NL in the Netherlands. We discussed lessons and learning from the SEUK experience, and what things might be most important to prioritise in starting up an organisation like this. They've made huge strides since, due to a real commitment to their vision, some passionate advocates in different sectors, and through building a great, hard-working team. They now have around 200 members, some breakthrough exemplars, and increasing influence with government.

I recently caught up with the SENL team on a one-day visit to Amersfoort, a town outside Amsterdam, where they were holding a conference particularly aimed at local government and social enterprise. It was a chance for me to share what is happening in the UK, and our work to build the markets for social enterprise - through Buy Social, the Social Value Act and Social Enterprise Places, and their associated activities. But it was also a chance to learn about great social enterprises, get new ideas and listen to those with fresh perspectives.

The great social enterprises include Tony's Chocolonely (edging up to 6 or 7% of the whole Dutch chocolate market), VanHulley (which transforms old shirts into boxer shorts whilst providing employment for women disadvantaged from the labour market) and Taxi Electric (you can guess; but well worth a look). There were plenty more, and I was struck again by the potential for sharing experiences between social enterprises doing very similar things in different countries. There may not be anyone else in the Netherlands doing what Van Hulley are doing, but Who Made Your Pants? and them could have a good chat. And Tony's ChocoLonely is expanding into the US, so might be able to compare notes with Divine who have done similarly. As the movements grow in all countries, there could be a role for a more joined-up (but lean!) European network that helps facilitate and broker these connections - for partnerships, trade and mutual support.

There is less movement in public service delivery, partly as a result of different political structures and systems, both local and national. But there are signs of progress - I had conversations with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (analogous to BIS in the UK) and the Ministry of the Interior (Cabinet Office equivalent) who were both very interested in the introduction of a new legal structure (a la Community Interest Company) and of the more recent Social Value Act. All such things need to be tailored to the national context, but they are clearly open to thinking that starts to build the market for a more social economy. Again, we have things to share but also to learn.

A final few thoughts and thanks:

- to Jan Jonker for being the most energetic academic I've seen in a while, and for entertainingly saying "Nick Temple" in the middle of a long sentence in Dutch to everyone else's amusement (they did stay and listen, like you ordered!)

- to Stefan Panhuijsen and the rest of the Social Enterprise NL team for making me feel so welcome in advance and on the day; a special mention + thanks to Nina Koopman, who can now add 'unofficial interpreter' to her many other talents..

- to colleagues from Movisie who ran, facilitated and hosted with aplomb and grace

and to those setting up and leading the social enterprises, big and small - for keeping going, for (re-)inspiring us, and for changing things one step at a time. I was struck by the common challenges, similar debates and areas of opportunity compared to the UK: there is certainly much more that unites us than is different. So I hope that we can all take more of those steps towards a fairer society together + in partnership.

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Wil je de presentaties van het congres (nog) eens bekijken? Klik hier

 

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