Since July of last year, as part of an Awards for All funded project BSSEC been searching out and publishing the stories of newer, younger social enterprises. We have called these stories the changing face of social enterprise.
The reason for doing this was two-fold. First, the sector is changing. There has been something of a surge in what might be called grassroots social enterprise activity — new social entrepreneurs getting on and trying out their ideas, often with little previous experience. We felt that some of the stories we uncovered would help explain and illustrate these new and emerging trends.
And second, we felt that if we could focus a bit more time and effort on promoting these newer, younger social enterprises then they too would benefit. They would get some free publicity and in developing their stories might also learn some other useful lessons along the way.
Developing these stories has been a fascinating experience because it has also required us to reflect on social enterprise and on the difficulties new-starts face in a period of public spending cuts, massively reduced access to business advice and support, and increasingly complex social and financial pressures.
One of the things that impressed us most strongly is the level of discussion we have had with some of those who approached us. This made us aware that it is now extremely hard for new social enterprises to find a time and place to discuss shared problems, reflect on their experiences — and have a good natter and if needs be let off steam. We thought it would be a good idea to sponsor a City Drive event which we hope will offer just such an opportunity. And that’s the purpose behind New Start Stories: The Unvarnished Truth. Come along, have a bite to eat, and enjoy.
→ BOOK by emailing Elizabeth Forrester at iSE.
→ +++++STOP PRESS+++++ Read what Sarah Crawley has to say about City Drive in a new post over on iSE’s website. It makes fascinating reading because she sets in context a process that began when resources for infrastructure support for social enterprise were cut and new ways of supporting the sector became necessary…