New national support service for social enterprise sector
Published Friday 8th June 2012
A new national support service for the UK's social enterprise sector is being launched in Westminster by The University of Northampton.
'Inspire2Enterprise' has been piloted in nine counties for the past six months, benefitting more than 1000 social enterprises in the process, and is now being rolled out nationwide. The University of Northampton is working in partnership with business performance specialists Exemplas.
It offers those engaged in social enterprise and third sector trading a range of free services include guidance on starting up a social enterprise, advice on managing and operating a social enterprise, support with operational and financial planning, and also with strategy, organisational and market development.
Initial support services are delivered remotely via telephone, email and online by specialist advisors. These free services are supplemented by optional, paid for, face-to-face advice, coaching, mentoring and training, provided by a network of regional delivery partners.
Professor Simon Denny, the University's Social Enterprise Development Director, said:
Figures show that there are over 60,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing around 800,000 people nationwide, and contributing at least £24 billion to the economy. In the coming years the sector stands to benefit as central government, local authorities and the wider public sector look to social enterprises for new ways to address social challenges and achieve greater social and economic value.
Historically social enterprises have struggled with accessing affordable, qualified, practical support particularly during the key phases of enterprise start-up and growth. There has not been, until now, a dedicated service for the sector providing an accessible range of specialist advice, intelligence, research and training.Professor Simon Denny
The University of Northampton's Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford, added:
In addition to directly supporting our students and staff to learn about, set up and run social enterprises, we are investing in selected social enterprises directly, and supporting the entire sector. Inspire2Enterprise has been a huge investment for us, but it is an investment we are proud to make, as we know that with the right support, social enterprises can do even better.Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford
The launch of Inspire2Enterprise takes place at a reception at Westminster, on Tuesday 12 June.
For more information about Inspire2Enterprise