What Is The Semi Circle?

The Semi Circle is a brand new programme we are launching under The Circle Academy. 2020 has seen huge changes to the way we do things, and brought our plans for a digital version of our in-person Academy programme right to the forefront. We’ve created a specialised digital learning platform from with to host our programme and populated it with new and improved content. We are very pleased to be launching the Brand New Semi Circle programme as part of this.

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Why a cash flow is crucial for social entrepreneurs

A man walks into a bank, pulls out a gun and says to the clerk, “Give me all your money. I need to set myself up in new social enterprise. I need initial investment until my cash flow is established.” 

The manager turns to the clerk and says, “You’d better do what he says, I think he means business.” 

How right our robber is, any social enterprise, no matter the size or how long it has been established, needs to have a robust cash flow. Like any other business, lack of cash is one of the biggest reasons for small business failure. 

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Welcoming Alvina Menzies to the team

The Circle has welcomed a new member of staff to their team. Alvina Menzies will be joining the team as Academy Manager in August. She will be managing The Circle Academy during its third cohort beginning on September 17th and concluding in December.

The Circle Academy is our 12-week programme focused on developing skills and knowledge in the following key areas: mindset, business model, finance, legal, governance, people, social impact and sustainability through multiple income streams. The programme is now SQA accredited as a level 7 SVQ – successful candidates will complete the programme with a business plan, cashflow and marketing strategy as well as an award in ‘The Circle Academy Award in Social Entrepreneurship’.

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Understanding funding for social entrepreneurs

For any business the ultimate goal is to become financially self-sustaining, and one way to achieve this is through investment and fundraising. At The Circle we adopt a ‘More Than Profit’ approach and encourage others to do so as well. Having a ‘More than Profit’ approach means that companies with a social impact should aim to be self-sustaining from doing what they do (e.g. the sales of its products and/or services) and should not be reliant on a single income stream.

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What Is The Circle Academy?

Here at The Circle, we’ve been thinking hard about how to distil down to it’s essence, exactly what The Circle Academy is, and what it can do for you and your business. It’s an informed, multifaceted approach to equipping social leaders with business skills, covering a plethora of topics.

You can find out more about The Circle Academy here, but with the second cohort of the Academy just around the corner, we thought we’d break down exactly what it is, and answer some of your frequently asked questions along the way:

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The Circle Academy: A Springboard For Social Entrepreneurs

Look at an individual’s drive to create change with innovative ideas and creative solutions, and it’s easy to see why social enterprise in the UK is booming. From establishing pay it forward schemes to facilitating social procurement, the number of entrepreneurs bringing businesses with an ethical focus into every sector and industry is incredible. There are so many success stories and individuals to champion that the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs are often overlooked.

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Our new Digital Learning Producer, Alice

Last week I joined the team here at The Circle as Digital Learning Producer on an internship through The Rank Foundation’s Time to Shine programme. My role will be to assist Kara, the Academy Manager, in delivering The Circle Academy, alongside producing a digital platform for future cohorts of the Academy to use as an additional resource. 

I arrived in Dundee in August last year, and with an existing interest in social enterprise, I was keen to dive into the More Than Profit scene here in Dundee. I was delighted to discover the quantity and rich variety of socially and environmentally focused businesses and organisations creating change in the city. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time volunteering at Dundee’s first zero waste shop as well as meeting several inspiring leaders and social entrepreneurs. 

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The Circle Academy secures funding for its 2020 cohorts

The Circle has received funding to support the delivery of The Circle Academy to a second cohort of aspiring ‘More Than Profit’ leaders. Funding has been contributed from The Rank Foundation as well as the George and Grace Thomson Fund. In addition to this, the candidates will also have the chance to pitch for up to £5,000 through national funders, UnLtd Scotland.

The Academy is a 12-week training programme for those interested in running an organisation with a ‘More than Profit’ approach. Individuals will benefit from 12 weeks of intensive training covering essential topics; mindset, business model, finance, legal, governance, people, social impact and sustainability through multiple income streams.  

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