7EMESconf - About Social Enterprise International

  1. Conference rationale
  2. Thematic lines and conveners
  3. Conference organisers
  4. Conference committees
  5. Transdisciplinary Forum
  6. Conference registration
  7. Getting there and accommodation
  8. Abstract submission
  9. Paper and poster guidelines
  10. About Social Enterprise International

26th April 2019

The headline sponsor for the 7th EMES International Research Conference is a well-established network of consultants, educators and researchers working with and through Social Enterprise International (SEi) on European, African and Asian projects. They are known for their commitment to democratic approaches to social enterprise development. The Directors and Associates of Social Enterprise International Ltd decided to reconstitute an existing company (SEi FairShares Ltd) to raise money for the EMES conference.

The members of SEi FairShares Ltd are amongst the founders of the social enterprise movement, tracing their history back to projects in the UK from the mid-1980s to early 1990s. Over the years, they have been joined by directors from around the world (in Italy, Poland, France, China and Indonesia). All of them are leading activists, practitioners or academics who seek to work with other organisations and enterprises through Social Licence Agreements. This creates a global network of activists who develop social enterprises to change the world around us, for the better.

Managing Director, Cliff Southcombe, states:

“We have pioneered ways for people to manage and govern social enterprises by setting up models of social licensing, social auditing and entrepreneurial development (such as the FairShares Model).

We initiated the first UK social enterprise courses for teachers in 1999 (based on our co-publication with the Community Action Network (CAN) called ‘Learning by Doing’). This was used to spread social enterprise through courses in Asia and Africa. We were amongst the first in the world to run accredited social enterprise courses at Hull University in 2002, and then delivered the ground breaking summer schools with Sheffield Hallam University (2009 – 2014) where participants decided to form the FairShares Association.

We have developed and supported innovations, pioneering new decision-making and development processes (e.g. Barrowcliff Model, Shared Growth, Social Enterprise Planning, OPERA) and are now active in applied research projects (funded by Erasmus+ and Horizon 20/20). Our Directors have published (award winning) academic papers and one of the world’s leading textbooks (‘Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice’) was co-authored by our Director Professor Rory Ridley-Duff (working with Dr Mike Bull).

We have not let up. If anything we are doing more, changing more, harnessing the skills and energy of more and more people and bringing social enterprise to new countries. If you want to find out about our current training courses, international projects or want to use our skills to improve or develop your ideas, please contact us or one of our partners.”

Two of their current projects (https://sei.coop/fairshares and https://sei.coop/education) have attracted the attention of co-operatives and divisions of global corporations committed to sustainable development (Philips, Rabobank, Ocean Spray, Yingi Solar, Mercedes SMART). They are now finalising sponsorship arrangements for a three-year social enterprise tour to raise the profile of SE, with a specific focus on the application of the FairShares Model to sustainable social enterprise development.

Find out more from their website at https://sei.coop.

What are you interested in?