Launch of the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter



Born_In_The_NHSAmongst the stallholders were:

Made by Young People, the socially responsible printing and promotional items manufacturer. I especially liked their Born in the NHS mugs.

The Energy Saving Co-op, an innovative new membership co-op for energy deals.

Co-Wheels Birmingham, the city’s newest pay-as-you-go car club — cutting fuel bills, car running costs and environmental impact.

Devenish Girl Bakery,  the social enterprise with a passion for baking and a talent for training and supporting young people into employment.

Ubuntu bread and street food — South African food from Albert Smith, ex-nurse turned micro-baker, street food entrepreneur and stand-up comic!

Birmingham’s secret garden — Martineau Gardens, connecting horticulture, education, wellbeing and a love for the natural environment.

The Shelanu Women’s craft collective  — an extraordinary group of migrant women who recently made what one paper called “jewels for Birmingham’s crown”: a jewelled artwork and visitor workshop specially for the opening of the new Library of Birmingham.

Change Kitchen, ethical vegan and vegetarian caterer.

Park Lane Garden Centre — one of Aston’s best kept secrets — Garden Pathway pickles and chutneys, Garden Pathway Gardening Services, and Textiles by St Anne’s, all social enterprises that help make a positive contribution to mental health, and all developed by long-established Birmingham charity BITA Pathways as ways of delivering new opportunities for the people who use its services.

Bicycle Deli — fresh local produce, fresh locally baked bread — all turned into bitingly fresh sandwiches and delivered to the door. By bicycle.

Loaf — bringing back real food (and the skills to make and bake it) one loaf at a time…

Sir Albert — with some prompting from the crowd — looked forward to 999 social enterprises in Digbeth within five years. “Well, there we are,” he said, “that’s it — we’ve launched the number so there’s no turning back.”

And who knows? If the Quarter continues developing at this pace, perhaps 999 isn’t such a tall order.