Well, at last my first ‘proper’ blog. It’s the start of a new year so Oasis and the current spending cuts inspired the title for this post.
It is undoubtedly a time for change within the sector, perhaps change that many of us haven’t witnessed during our working career. Large VCO’s and social enterprises are cutting staff. Some small VCO’s and enterprises have closed already due to drastic funding cuts.
Many others will [if they haven't already] be issuing 90 day notices within their first week back after the Christmas break. Restructure and re-design of services will be at the forefront of Board and CEO’s minds during the next few months and none of us can predict what further cuts might be announced, or what effect these might have. So what do we do?
We could sit back or ‘look back’ as the title of this post suggest and lay blame on the banks or the politicians or some other group of people we consider contributed to the problems we face. We could remain angry and continue to allow the anger to consume us, but will this really achieve anything or will it just keep us occupied and not enable us to find a solution?
The other option is of course to look forward and make the difference we all set out to do in the first place. Yes, sure the goal posts have been moved, but that’s nothing new really is it?
So I thought I’d just highlight a few enterprises [small and large] I’ve been working with over the past few months who are not looking back, but striding forward and opening up their new enterprises to do good business, despite [or in spite] of the cuts we see around us. I hope the examples give all of us a boost and help us start to look forward rather than back at what could or should have been. [I'll provide website links once they're established].
Castle Vale will soon see the opening of a new youth-led cafe [operating as a CIC] and meeting space called ‘UR CAFE’ [that's You're Cafe for those of you who are as old as me]. The enterprise is led by a young entrepreneur and will employ and train local young people who cannot find work. The enterprise will be self-sustaining within one year and already has its start-up investment.
Staying in Castle Vale we will see another CIC enterprise launched [Cycle Vans] early in the new year which provides many valuable jobs and training opportunities for the local people.
Those of you who know Castle Vale will know that there are very few local job opportunities and therefore enterprises like these are vital.
Moving across to Solihull we will see the opening of a new ‘recovery cafe’ which will provide a valuable stepping stone for alcohol and drug users who are in recovery. Again this is an ambitious business that has secured significant start-up finance and will become self-sustaining within the first two years
Moving away from a physical space, MissMacaroon will launch and provide training opportunities and work for young people leaving care. [link click here]
Within the City centre [B.ham] we will see a complimentary therapies enterprise open too. Another business that supports those in recovery with training and gaining work, which is essential to the recovery journey.
There are many more people I’m working with who have plans to develop new services and products the list is almost too long for a quick post, but hopefully the examples above show that many entrepreneurs are not spending their energy on what the cuts might or could do. But instead they are spending their energy on making sure the cuts do not affect their enterprises and social mission by building sound sustainable enterprises.
I take inspiration from the people I’m working with, as they are true entrepreneurs who just needed a little support from me to understand the systems and process of setting up. I’ll return to these businesses in a few months time to let you know how they’re getting on.
So don’t look back in anger! Remember some famous person once said ‘the past we cannot change, but the future is ours for the making’ [or something like that]!