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Overview

The SEED Centre is Liverpool Hope University's research, teaching and enterprise centre that acknowledges the difference between social enterprises and ethical businesses and seeks to engage with such organisations and the financial sector to develop ethical practices with mutual, and societal, benefits.

The SEED Centre exists to disseminate through research, teaching and network development the good news of social and ethical enterprise. In this it connects ancient wisdom with contemporary ways of doing business, focusing on the need to seed the best business values in the new soil of young minds, hearts and vigorous business ventures.

Established through funding from the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), The SEED Centre provides international academic leadership in the area of social and ethical enterprise (SEE) scholarship, together with offering research-informed teaching on the principles, practice and formation of SEEs.

In addition, The SEED Centre is actively engaged in developing a range of sustainable and highly entrepreneurial revenue-generating projects, including new applications for 3G mobile platforms, to assist ethical consumers; and creating ‘safari-opportunities’ for enterprise leaders from different national and regional territories, providing opportunities to visit alternative geographically diverse SEE models.

 

Research & Training

There is a rising sense of shared responsibility, especially amongst a new generation of young social entrepreneurs – who operate in an increasingly global market space, and a genuine concern to organise, manage and develop ventures diverging from classic capitalist models. They are seeding a world of business that is intentionally ethical, green, sustainable and concerned to develop society and protect the poor, in developed, emerging and developing markets. The SEED Centre has been created to research and teach about this movement, as well as to germinate new companies and facilitate knowledge transfer between traditional businesses, financial services and the increasingly large SEE sector.

 

SEED Safaris

Our innovative SEED Safaris provide an opportunity for leaders from the financial services and conventional business sectors to learn more about regional, national and international SEEs. These knowledge transfer events will help to bridge the gap between those who understand finance, corporations, big business and the burgeoning SEE sector. There are real and tangible business reasons for finance capital to be interested in supporting the objectives of SEEs, particularly considering this sector has been significantly out-performing the economy as a whole during the downturn, with median turnover growing by 3% above inflation year-on-year[1].

Social and Ethical Enterprises are rapidly increasing in numbers and entering sectors across the UK. Although estimates vary, Government data[2] indicates that there are more than 60,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing at least £24bn to national income. Corresponding data for ethical enterprises is not available, but our own research into the size of membership directories[3] for ethical businesses suggests that there may be a similar number of EEs as SEs in Britain.

£40bn is a conservative estimate of the SEE sector’s contribution to UK income, not accounting for the significant number of conventional joint-stock corporations and SMEs that increasingly want to identify with the values of this sector. Even so, there is widespread agreement that the SEE sector is not widely understood, recognised or properly resourced by financial services and private equity, notwithstanding the pioneering work of such organisations as Charity Bank, Unity Trust, Triodos, The Co-operative Bank and, most recently, Big Society Capital.

In addition to the standard, legitimate cry of small businesses that lack of access to affordable finance is a significant barrier to development, almost 10% of SEs, in a large-scale recent survey, identified ‘cultural barriers to understanding by banks’ as inhibiting expansion[4]. Equally, we have anecdotal evidence from business pitching events, indicating that private equity and wealth fund managers simply don’t understand the social benefits business model of SEEs.

 

To discover more about our SEED Safaris and how your business can benefit, please contact us.



[1] Social Enterprise UK, (2012), Chapter 7, Social enterprise barriers and enablers, in Fightback Britain – a report on the state of social enterprise, survey 2011, p14, London: SEUK

[2] Annual Survey of Small Businesses UK, 2005-2007

[3] The largest network of ethical businesses in the UK (Ethical Junction) has c 940 members, compared with Social Enterprise UK’s 585 enterprises in its membership database of social enterprises (out of a network of 9000 organisations). There is remarkably little overlap between these membership lists, which indicates that social and ethical enterprises occupy largely different social and enterprise worlds.

[4] Social Enterprise UK, (2012), Chapter 7, Social enterprise barriers and enablers, in Fightback Britain – a report on the state of social enterprise, survey 2011, p45, London: SEUK

Members

The SEED Centre is Directed by  Revd Tony Bradley. Tony has twenty five years of experience in managing SEEs and teaching, writing and consulting on organisational leadership and change.  He was 20 years in parish ministry and Christian adult education, is a TV Producer, regular radio pundit and is currently writing a major movie script, with its background in the financial crisis and business ethics. His current research interests lie in the differences between social enterprises and ethical businesses across the UK; the spiritual basis of SEEs and the growth of Pioneer Mission Enterprises.

In the News

The SEED Centre is running an event as part of the International Festival for Business (IFB), entitled The Future of Sustainable Business (10am, Thursday 3rd July, EDEN Building). Further details are available here.

Tony Bradley, Director of the SEED Centre, has written a series of articles about social and ethical enterprise.

3rdi magazine

Beyond Social Enterprise – the emergence of societal entrepreneurship

 

Business Zone

Another new kid on the block: The alternative worlds of social and ethical businesses

 

He is also a regular contributor to Liverpool Hope University's expert comment feature.

Expert Comment: Four years since the bail-out

Expert Comment: Bristol launches own currency

Expert Comment: Change at Barclays

Expert Comment: Government debt rises to £1tn

Contact Us

The SEED Centre

Liverpool Hope University

Hope Park

Liverpool

L16 9JD

 

T: +44 (0)151 291 3786

E: enquiry@hope.ac.uk

Overview

The SEED Centre is Liverpool Hope University's research, teaching and enterprise centre that acknowledges the difference between social enterprises and ethical businesses and seeks to engage with such organisations and the financial sector to develop ethical practices with mutual, and societal, benefits.

The SEED Centre exists to disseminate through research, teaching and network development the good news of social and ethical enterprise. In this it connects ancient wisdom with contemporary ways of doing business, focusing on the need to seed the best business values in the new soil of young minds, hearts and vigorous business ventures.

Established through funding from the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), The SEED Centre provides international academic leadership in the area of social and ethical enterprise (SEE) scholarship, together with offering research-informed teaching on the principles, practice and formation of SEEs.

In addition, The SEED Centre is actively engaged in developing a range of sustainable and highly entrepreneurial revenue-generating projects, including new applications for 3G mobile platforms, to assist ethical consumers; and creating ‘safari-opportunities’ for enterprise leaders from different national and regional territories, providing opportunities to visit alternative geographically diverse SEE models.

 

Research & Training

There is a rising sense of shared responsibility, especially amongst a new generation of young social entrepreneurs – who operate in an increasingly global market space, and a genuine concern to organise, manage and develop ventures diverging from classic capitalist models. They are seeding a world of business that is intentionally ethical, green, sustainable and concerned to develop society and protect the poor, in developed, emerging and developing markets. The SEED Centre has been created to research and teach about this movement, as well as to germinate new companies and facilitate knowledge transfer between traditional businesses, financial services and the increasingly large SEE sector.

 

SEED Safaris

Our innovative SEED Safaris provide an opportunity for leaders from the financial services and conventional business sectors to learn more about regional, national and international SEEs. These knowledge transfer events will help to bridge the gap between those who understand finance, corporations, big business and the burgeoning SEE sector. There are real and tangible business reasons for finance capital to be interested in supporting the objectives of SEEs, particularly considering this sector has been significantly out-performing the economy as a whole during the downturn, with median turnover growing by 3% above inflation year-on-year[1].

Social and Ethical Enterprises are rapidly increasing in numbers and entering sectors across the UK. Although estimates vary, Government data[2] indicates that there are more than 60,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing at least £24bn to national income. Corresponding data for ethical enterprises is not available, but our own research into the size of membership directories[3] for ethical businesses suggests that there may be a similar number of EEs as SEs in Britain.

£40bn is a conservative estimate of the SEE sector’s contribution to UK income, not accounting for the significant number of conventional joint-stock corporations and SMEs that increasingly want to identify with the values of this sector. Even so, there is widespread agreement that the SEE sector is not widely understood, recognised or properly resourced by financial services and private equity, notwithstanding the pioneering work of such organisations as Charity Bank, Unity Trust, Triodos, The Co-operative Bank and, most recently, Big Society Capital.

In addition to the standard, legitimate cry of small businesses that lack of access to affordable finance is a significant barrier to development, almost 10% of SEs, in a large-scale recent survey, identified ‘cultural barriers to understanding by banks’ as inhibiting expansion[4]. Equally, we have anecdotal evidence from business pitching events, indicating that private equity and wealth fund managers simply don’t understand the social benefits business model of SEEs.

 

To discover more about our SEED Safaris and how your business can benefit, please contact us.



[1] Social Enterprise UK, (2012), Chapter 7, Social enterprise barriers and enablers, in Fightback Britain – a report on the state of social enterprise, survey 2011, p14, London: SEUK

[2] Annual Survey of Small Businesses UK, 2005-2007

[3] The largest network of ethical businesses in the UK (Ethical Junction) has c 940 members, compared with Social Enterprise UK’s 585 enterprises in its membership database of social enterprises (out of a network of 9000 organisations). There is remarkably little overlap between these membership lists, which indicates that social and ethical enterprises occupy largely different social and enterprise worlds.

[4] Social Enterprise UK, (2012), Chapter 7, Social enterprise barriers and enablers, in Fightback Britain – a report on the state of social enterprise, survey 2011, p45, London: SEUK

Members

The SEED Centre is Directed by  Revd Tony Bradley. Tony has twenty five years of experience in managing SEEs and teaching, writing and consulting on organisational leadership and change.  He was 20 years in parish ministry and Christian adult education, is a TV Producer, regular radio pundit and is currently writing a major movie script, with its background in the financial crisis and business ethics. His current research interests lie in the differences between social enterprises and ethical businesses across the UK; the spiritual basis of SEEs and the growth of Pioneer Mission Enterprises.

In the News

The SEED Centre is running an event as part of the International Festival for Business (IFB), entitled The Future of Sustainable Business (10am, Thursday 3rd July, EDEN Building). Further details are available here.

Tony Bradley, Director of the SEED Centre, has written a series of articles about social and ethical enterprise.

3rdi magazine

Beyond Social Enterprise – the emergence of societal entrepreneurship

 

Business Zone

Another new kid on the block: The alternative worlds of social and ethical businesses

 

He is also a regular contributor to Liverpool Hope University's expert comment feature.

Expert Comment: Four years since the bail-out

Expert Comment: Bristol launches own currency

Expert Comment: Change at Barclays

Expert Comment: Government debt rises to £1tn

Contact Us

The SEED Centre

Liverpool Hope University

Hope Park

Liverpool

L16 9JD

 

T: +44 (0)151 291 3786

E: enquiry@hope.ac.uk