What makes social enterprises tick?

You're a special breed of organisation – socially conscious and economically motivated.

Penelope has been in business for 15 years and whilst we never set out to do it, we ended up wanting to only work with organisations that achieve some kind of positive social impact – making society, people’s lives or the world, better. Our clients vary in size, from 1 to 100 users and we’re proud to work with the mix of organisations we do.

So we work exclusively with charities, social enterprises and some public sector organisations and as a result we’ve got a good understanding of the way you work, the things you need and the best ways to leverage the generous discounts and donations available to you as a third sector organisations.

It can be hard to save money

The bad news is that as a Social Enterprise you don't have the same access to discounts that registered charities do which we think is frustrating and unfair. All is not lost however as there are a growing range of software vendors who recognise the non-profit status of a Social Enterprise and will at the very least offer you access to academic pricing. 

You put up with things and you don’t trust your instincts

Sometimes you put up with something - let’s say it’s because you’re nice people, but in our experience it means that sometimes you put up with an IT provider or an ancient computer for longer than you should. Your colleagues probably don't want to kick up a fuss when they aren't being as productive as they can be due to old equipment or slow internet. 

You don't always like talking about IT

We generalise but IT is often looked at as a tool rather than something that gets very much attention, other than when something goes wrong from the leadership within an organisation. IT is boring and sometimes difficult to understand, we get it; but it should be a key part of your strategy and proper budgets allocated to ensure that you and your colleagues can work the most productively as possible.

You sometimes make false economies

In our experience getting good value from IT is about spending money in the right places and at the right time. Spend it where it needs spending and you save money through improved productivity and reduced support costs.

Where you're buying new computers for example, don’t ever buy the cheapest one you can, you’ll get much better value in the longer term from one that costs £60 more, but which has a better processor and faster hard disk. You'll have happier staff and a computer that might last for 4–5 years whilst still feeling fast, rather than one that's a little bit slow on day one.