As this is my first blog post of 2010, may I wish you all a Happy New Year!
I'm determined to blog more this year and what better way to kick off than with a list of the top social enterprise coming up in 2010. There do seem to be a huge number this year which bodes well for the future. The more exposure the sector gets, the better off we'll all be!
So here are my pick of what should be in your social enterprise calendar this year. I plan on attending them all.
19 January: School for Startups: Growing a successful social enterprise, London
Would you pay £10 for hours of expert advice from an ex-Dragons' Den panellist? Of course you would! You can do exactly that at this event where Doug Richard and big names from the world of social enterprise will be telling delegates everything they need to know about building a socially driven business. Doug Richard supported my event The Pitch last year and I experienced his expertise first hand. On that basis, his event is set to be a humdinger!
1-2 February: Voice10, Cardiff
Voice is the Social Enterprise Coalition's annual conference and this year it takes place in Cardiff. The theme for 2010 is 'No more business as usual' and features top class speakers including John Denham MP, minister for communities and local government; Carwyn Jones AM, Welsh first minister; Ed Mayo, chief executive, Co-operatives UK and Peter Holbrook, chief executive, Social Enterprise Coalition.
4 February: Media 140, London
Media 140 is fastly becoming one of the world's leading events focusing on the benefits of social media. Despite being founded around a year ago, the not-for-profit organisation has already held events in the UK and Australia. On 1st February, Social Media Week kicks off and Media 140 has chosen to focus on social media and the third sector. Exact details are still to be confirmed but the event will take place in London on the afternoon of 4 February. Keep an eye on the Social Media Week website for updates.
25 March: Twestival, Around the world
Twestival is a charity initiative founded in 2009. Arranged through Twitter, events take place in cities all around the world on the same day with all money raised going to charity. In February 2009, 185 cities took part and £400,000 was raised for charity: water. This year's event takes place on 25 March with all funds going to Concern Worldwide, currently doing great work in Haiti following the devastating earthquake. I have a big interest in this one as I'm organising the Bristol Twestival.
14-16 April: Skoll World Forum 2010, Oxford
Seen as the grand-daddy of social enterprise conferences, the Skoll World Forum is organised by the Skoll Foundation, set up by American billionaire Jeff Skoll. The agenda is yet to be confirmed but with previous speakers including former US president Jimmy Carter; ex-US vice president Al Gore; Mohammad Yunus, founder, Grameen Bank and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, it's set to be pretty good!
13-15 May: Shine, London
Shine is an unconference for social entrepreneurs. Described as the 'antidote to traditional conferences', unconferences have no set agenda but allow attendees to decide the sessions, seminars, discussions and debates. The organisers of Shine promise practical workshops, real stories from established social entrepreneurs and one-on-one advice sessions on all aspects of building a successful social enterprise.
If you'd like to share details of any other social enterprise events in 2010, please post below.