Celia Richardson rounds up the biggest social enterprise news, including a social enterprise election manifesto

Plus a London Evening Standard campaign, a new Buy Social Directory and the International Festival of Business

- More than 400 organisations have now joined the Social Economy Alliance, which is working on a general election manifesto campaign to rival any produced by the big business lobby. A crowd-funded advertising push will kick off in the autumn. Meanwhile, the National Consortium of Social Enterprises is more than halfway towards its target of 1,000 members. Funded by the NOMS Co-financing Organisation and the European Social Fund, it's designed to enable more social enterprises and trading charities to win public sector contracts.

- A tattooist, a draper and a 'juiceologist' are among 10 young social entrepreneurs who have won the backing of the London Evening Standard as part of its flagship campaign to tackle the capital's gang problems. They'll be supported by the Cabinet Office, the Lloyds Banking Group and the School for Social Entrepreneurs to build their ventures.

- A new Buy Social Directory has been launched, listing 10,000 social enterprise suppliers. It's aimed at professional buyers in the public and private sectors. Register your social enterprise or trading charity at www.buysocialdirectory.org.

- The International Festival of Business takes place in June and July in Liverpool. On 26 June, social entrepreneurs addressed the festival to promote the UK social enterprise sector.

Celia Richardson is director of communications and policy at Social Enterprise UK

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