Developing social enterprise in Croydon 21 February

21 February 2018  10:00am – 12:30pm

LWS Cafe

46-48 Westow St, West Norwood,   SE19 3AF

Come along to LWS Café, http://www.livingwatersatisfies.org.uk/ a social enterprise trading to reinvest profits into supporting women leaving refuge, to find out how the SEEK Project supports people who are not in work to set up new social enterprises and to gain the skills to move into employment.

You will also be able to find out about how UnLtd https://unltd.org.uk/ can support you through their awards and accelerator programmes including their Thrive accelerator for established social enterprises working on improving employability and looking to scale https://unltd.org.uk/thrive/.

Social Enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, strengthen communities or improve the environment. They aim to generate most of their income through selling goods and services, reinvesting the majority of their profits to further their social mission.

The Seek Project

The SEEK Project supports people who are not in work to set up new social enterprises and to gain the skills to move into employment.

Social Enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, strengthen communities or improve the environment. They aim to generate most of their income through selling goods and services, reinvesting the majority of their profits to further their social mission.

 About the programme

The SEEK project is a 6-month intensive social enterprise StartUp Programme which includes:

  • 1-week training course providing expert knowledge and skills to help you get started
  • An individual learning journey to plan your path to setting up
  • A business mentor who will provide you with one to one support throughout the programme
  • Monthly workshops from experts
  • A StartUp fund of £500
  • 4 days of work shadowing of a social enterprise CEO or Manager
  • Peer to peer action learning sets once a month
  • Support to engage in local business network events

At the end of the 6 months you will receive a package of on-going support including one to ones, access to the action learning sets and social enterprise networks.

What will I get from the programme?

By the end of the programme you will have:

  • Created a business plan
  • Completed your learning journey and have a plan for your next steps including how to access other business support programmes and finance
  • Gained knowledge and skills on starting a business from a range of experts
  • Been introduced to the community of social entrepreneurs in your area, built relationships with others on the same journey and established contacts with a variety of organisations and people who can help you take your social enterprise to the next stage
  • Accessed your £500 fund towards your startup costs
  • Had the opportunity to set up your social enterprise

What are the costs?

If you are eligible the programme is fully funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund under the Building Better Opportunities Programme. You can also access funds to cover your travel and child/adult care while participating in the programme activities.

Where does the programme take place?

The programme will take place simultaneously in Brighton, Chichester and Croydon. Some activities will bring the group together and be held in Brighton.

How do I apply?

Step 1: Check you are eligible for the programme

To be eligible you must:

  • Not be in paid work (not necessarily receiving benefits)
  • Legally have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Be aged 19 or over (or 15-18 if Not in Employment Education or Training)
  • Have a social or environmental issue you are passionate about improving through business
  • Be available and ready to participate in all programme activities over six months

Step 2: Tell us about themselves and their idea

Contact us to receive the stage 1 application form or download it from our website, complete it and return it to us.  Once submitted, we will check you are eligible and arrange a meeting.

Step 3: Develop their skills and idea

We can help you to develop your idea, build your confidence, get inspired and gain relevant skills before your pitch. This support is offered through The Launch Pad which will take place over 6 days in early 2018.

Step 4: Pitch your idea

Stage 2 of the application is a pitch where you will share your social enterprise idea with a small panel.

15 social entrepreneurs will then be selected from across the Coast to Capital region to start the programme each year. Those selected for the 2018 cohort will start the programme in May 2018.

For more information and to apply email seek@startupcroydon.co.uk, call us on 0203 747 4747 or check out www.startupcroydon.co.uk/training-and-mentoring/seek-project/

For discussion on social enterprise in Croydon see my article (March 2016)

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/croydons-social-enterprise-debate/

The development of social enterprises in Croydon has had the backing of Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly in their work on the local economy since 2014.

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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