In a blaze of glory

Posted in: Blog.

As Glasgow saw firefighters battling to save two of its historic buildings; Glasgow School of Art, an iconic building by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1897-1909) and Broomloan Road Primary School, now disused but in its heyday attended by the likes of football manager, Sir Alex Ferguson; we were overwhelmed by the support and memories shared from well-wishers across the globe, reminding us just how big an impact Mackintosh and his works have, not just locally or nationally but internationally.

Students preparing for their end of year degree show and everyone still on a high after ‘The Reid Building’ was recently crowned Building of the Year 2014 were shocked and distraught as they watched the blaze rip through the building. Thankfully, in both instances, no-one was injured and we celebrated, the world over, upon hearing firefighters were able to save 90% of the iconic Mackintosh building’s structure.

Incredible news for all as acknowledged by the fire service themselves when they tweeted “Thank you for all messages of support on the @GSofA fire today. Still much work to be done. We know how much the building means to people”.

As with any business, social enterprises also experience crisis and this is an issue our sector is getting used to.  The financial performance of social enterprises is rarely a topic for discussion, in good times or bad, and we believe this is a contributory factor when social enterprises fail or when third sector services close due to financial difficulties. Stakeholders and funders often focus on the social value, additionally social enterprise awards and recognition by peers is usually related to social impact rather than business performance and sustainability.

Just Enterprise business support service will address this issue in the 2014-2016 programme with a new early intervention/business recovery service to provide specialist assistance when social enterprises encounter financial difficulties.

We will work with our partners to encourage organisations to seek assistance when things begin to go wrong, and to arrest the trend of enterprises closing suddenly due to issues that were known about but not addressed. The most effective crisis management response happens when organisations engage early when options are greatest.  Our aim is to change the culture where achievements are lauded, yet failures and difficulties are not shared.

While Glasgow School of Art looks to the future of retaining one of Mackintosh’s masterpieces, we also look forward to supporting companies future-proofing themselves through addressing issues and building business resilience.

If you feel your social enterprise could benefit from our advice and support  then why not contact us online or chat to Emma Stratton on 0141 425 2900 to discuss the options available. See how else CEIS supports individuals, businesses and communities here.

Find out more about the Scottish Government’s Just Enterprise business support programme, where qualifying social enterprises may even be able to access business support workshops for free. Check out our event calendar for upcoming workshops and dates.

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