WMCA: Regional Development Conference – 12th May 2022

West Midlands Combined Authority

West Midlands Combined Authority & New Statesman are hosting the annual Regional Development Conference on 12th May 2022 in Birmingham.

Be part of the discussions around the future of the West Midlands levelling up strategy and local growth. Growth across our region and how this contributes to the regional social economy of Birmingham and the wider region has to be a good thing – this event is an opportunity to find out more and be part of the conversation.

With the establishment of the new Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the levelling up agenda is truly at the heart of UK policymaking. Through panels, live interviews, speeches and debates, leading parliamentarians, local government representatives and industry figures will explore policy areas ranging from social mobility and skills challenges to local government, transport and investment. 


  • What does levelling up mean for local government and devolution?
  • How can levelling up tackle inequalities?
  • How can we level up UK homes?
  • How can the energy industry create jobs and promote regional growth?
  • Solving the productivity problem.

→ Free to attend, please register on the New Statesman event page.

Engage for Good sets up new Ukrainian solidarity network

Engage for Good, Birmingham’s voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) network facilitated by BVSC, has established a Ukrainian solidarity network, to bring together all organisations that want to be able to support the humanitarian effort.

Apologies for the short notice on this: there is an urgent online meeting of the new network at 09.30am tomorrow, Tuesday 26th April 2022.


SIB announces £2m in Blended Grant Funding

Social Investment Business

The Social Investment Business (SIB), Access – The Foundation for Social investment, The Ubele Initiative and Create Equity have today announced £2m worth of grant and support funding to be made available to be used alongside the Recovery Loan Fund to support Black and minoritised ethnicity-led charities and social enterprises based in and delivering impact in England.

The fund aims to begin to rectify historic underinvestment in Black and minoritised ethnicity-led organisations, and to respond to the disproportionate impact of Covid on those communities. Nick Temple, Chief Executive of Social Investment Business

This new grant funding from Access’ Flexible Finance programme will be deployed to address these historical imbalances, offering the following:

  • Unrestricted grants alongside loans with up to 100% of the loan value if needed
  • Bespoke business support
  • Eligibility for RLF reduced from £400k turnover to £200k turnover
  • Minimum loan size reduced to £50k from £100k


Applications close 20th May 2022.

→ Read more on the SIB website.

→ Application details and criteria can be viewed here.

iSE CIC talks Social Enterprise Growth and Collaboration


“It’s collaborative, not competitive.”

Cathy Brown, CEO of Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs CIC (iSE CIC), discusses why intermediaries need to look past their competitiveness and collaborate to help emerging social enterprises more effectively. 

At the recent Social Procurement Festival facilitated by SupplyChange, Birmingham-based iSE CIC CEO, Cathy Brown, was an invited panellist on the Power of Intermediaries – collaborating to support the social impact sector session. The panel summarised that working together and the role intermediaries (social enterprise support organisations) play could be a key success factor to the social enterprise sector, its impact and enterprise sustainability, scale and growth.

Networking, knowledge sharing, access to continued learning, incubator programmes, place-based clusters and peer-to-peer support are all activities that capacity-build social entrepreneurs and their enterprises.

‘Going it alone’, as many start ups do, can be a tough call and developing eco-systems for growth is the platform that underpins the BSSEC social economy activity to support the West Midlands Combined Authority 10 year plan.

Read the Pioneers Post full article here.

Growing the Social Economy in the WMCA Area

During 2019/20, a Social Economy Task Force made up of social sector practitioners and experts from across the region was convened by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), tasked with helping WMCA understand how best the social economy across the region could be grown and its positive impact and social value maximised.

This resulted in the combined authority adopting a flagship policy of seeking to double the size of the social economy – from around £3.5bn to £7bn – over the next decade.

WMCA believes that social economy organisations – those trading or operating for social purpose rather than personal profit – make a significant contribution to ensuring that at the local level economic growth and opportunity are inclusive. It also believes that the social and economic contribution that the social economy makes to some of the region’s most deprived neighbourhoods and weakest local economies is more important than ever as the region begins to build back following the COVID pandemic.

WMCA subsequently engaged a consultancy team made up of West Midlands social enterprise specialists to develop a ten-year framework to enable this growth.

This framework, WMCA’s Growing the Social Economy in the WMCA area: A Framework for Action, sets out what has been termed an ‘eco-system approach’ to enabling social economy growth in which key social economy stakeholders – social enterprises, charities, voluntary and community organisations, local authorities, regeneration initiatives, public procurement departments, local communities – can be brought together in a collaborative way to help grow the sector at the local level. The framework is first and foremost a plan for collaboration and local action.

In addition to this overarching framework, four detailed business cases were developed which have been adopted by the WMCA Board and now form part of the Combined Authority’s official policy objectives.

These business cases cover:

1. Developing social economy clusters in the West Midlands region.

2. Establishing a new regional social economy Development Fund.

3. Establishing a new regional Accelerator programme offering specialist social enterprise business support.

4. Utilising WMCA regional investment programmes for social economy growth.

These initial four ideas each present numerous opportunities for sector engagement and development and we’ll be covering each of these in more detail in forthcoming posts.

The important thing to say at the moment is that the WMCA social economy growth plan is not set in stone; it is not about being ‘done to’.

Of course, WMCA will not be able to fund every initiative – nor is that its role.

Rather, think of it this way… The WMCA does have control of some of the ‘big levers’ – house-building, for instance, and transport infrastructure, initiatives such as retro-fitting homes for improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

All of these offer the potential for supply-chain opportunities and a more ‘social procurement’ approach as well as for the Combined Authority to unlock funding or make appeals to government. It’s about being part of that long game – and ensuring that wherever possible, it is played in a way that favours the social economy, builds on its strengths and particular characteristics, and helps create local economic and social opportunities that are fair and inclusive.

 Please send mail to Sallie Ryan to be added to our new West Midlands social economy growth news mailing list.

Roots HR CIC introduces new COMPLY Service for the Social Sector

Roots HR CIC is helping take the risk out of managing your social sector workforce

For over 13 years, Roots HR CIC has provided a high quality, affordable people management and employment law advice service, COMPLY, allowing micro, small and medium-sized social sector employers to comply with employment law and manage day to day workforce queries, issues and cases arising.

Following a review, including feedback from clients, we are delighted to announce our NEW COMPLY service which will offer three tiers of support to suit the varying needs of employers within our sector.

From 1st April 2022, Roots HR CIC are introducing two new subscription packages, COMPLY Core and COMPLY Plus, to sit alongside our existing COMPLY As Required service within our COMPLY portfolio, both of which offer UNLIMITED~ usage of our HR advice line.

→ Anyone who wants to enquire about the COMPLY service to understand how it can take the risk out of managing their workforce can contact Roots HR CIC on 01562 840060 or by sending email.


iSE CIC announces Social Enterprise Drive Photography Exhibition ‘Resilience”


Capturing Social Enterprise 2022: Entry Now Open!

What does social enterprise resilience mean to you?

Social enterprises work everywhere creating social impact. This is an opportunity to tell your story and be part of a photography exhibition during Social Enterprise Drive 2022. 

Whether it’s the resilience of a community, an individual or a representation of finding strength and overcoming adversity over a testing few years, we invite you to celebrate social enterprise in Birmingham.

All entries will be promoted on iSE CIC social media channels using the hashtag #CapturingSocEnt2022 and shortlisted entries will create a public exhibition during Social Enterprise Drive week.

Closing date

Closing date for entries is midnight on 14th April 2022. Shortlisted entries will be announced by the 16th May 2022 and all shortlisted entries will be exhibited at our social enterprise photography exhibition to held during Social Enterprise Drive in a central Birmingham location(s).

iSE Social Enterprise Drive


Submit your entries (up to 5 per organisation) by email. Share on social media and tag the organisers using #CapturingSocEnt2022


All shortlisted entries will be exhibited during our exhibition as part of Social Enterprise Drive 2022.

→ Please see full terms and conditions of entry on the iSE website here.

Good luck!

For more information, send mail to Elizabeth Forrester


Social Enterprise Support Fund announces new round of grants to support COVID business recovery

Photo: National Lottery Community Fund/SESF

The National Lottery Community Fund in conjunction with the Social Enterprise Support Fund has just announced a fresh round of grant funding offering sums from £10,000 to £100,000, with most grants likely to be between £10,000 and £50,000.

Apologies for the short notice on this — it had previously escaped our attention and it may have escaped yours too, hence this post. The closing date for applications is 1pm on Thursday 24th March 2022.

Be sure to read the guidance closely. The fund is intended to help social enterprises rebuild from COVID-19 and is focused on social enterprises that are supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of the pandemic.

Eligible applicants must be “substantially reliant on income from trading to deliver social impact”. Organisations that get all their income from grants, donations, or fundraising are not eligible.

The fund will prioritise social enterprises which are: working with the most marginalised communities in England; led by and/or working with disabled people and/or from Black, Asian and minority ethnic and/or LGBTQIA+ communities; and led by people with direct lived experience of the issues they are seeking to support.

Social Enterprise Support Fund, Round 2 funding — full details

Grant helps Citizen Coaching launch new ‘Citizen Navigator’ service

Birmingham-based counselling service and social enterprise Citizen Coaching is using a grant of £50,000 from the Social Enterprise Support Fund (via the Key Fund) to help launch a new service, Citizen Navigator. This new service is designed to signpost clients to other essential support, such as housing, benefits, debt advice and other local wellbeing services that will help reduce the additional causes of anxiety, depression or other disorders.

“We came up with the idea of Citizen Navigator,” says Martin Hogg, Citizen Coaching’s founder and MD, “because many people who come to us for counselling are experiencing other fundamental problems in life — and these often get in the way of the counselling.” During and post-pandemic there has been a rise in complex mental health cases, often combined with other life issues, meaning that some clients need more sessions. This has strained services across the country and resulted in waiting lists. Citizen Coaching currently delivers contracts for the NHS, local colleges and private companies, supporting over 4,000 people a year. Three-quarters of the clients it helps are aged 14 to 24.

This additional funding has enabled the new Citizen Navigator programme to be launched with psychotherapist Katie Hitchinson in a full-time role of Citizen Navigator. Katie is a specialist in social prescribing — identifying non-clinical support and services that can be brought together in a network of community-based support to which individuals can be referred — and has previously worked for a number of charities.

Katie Hitchinson, Citizen Coaching’s new, full-time ‘Citizen Navigator’

“My skills and passion for social prescribing feed into this new role,” Katie Hitchinson says, “and I am currently building relationships with charities, social enterprises, statutory and voluntary groups as part of the Citizen Navigator service. It’s important when we’re signposting vulnerable individuals who haven’t reached out previously that they have a positive experience.”

Citizen Coaching hopes that this this ‘super local network’ of community-based providers will eventually number 70 or more and believes it may also offer a way to help rebuild local networks after Covid. 

Martin Hogg is especially concerned about young people who are at present not engaging with support or counselling. “Recent figures show that there are 100,000 ‘ghost children’ in the UK — young people who haven’t returned to school post-lockdowns and have disappeared off the radar. We’re also seeing a loss of hope and a big increase in self-harm and disordered eating in those as young as 11.”

These concerns are mirrored by NHS leaders who this week urged government to tackle the huge rise in depression, anxiety, psychosis and eating disorders since Covid hit, warning that millions in England face a ‘second pandemic’ of mental health issues. There has been a 72% increase in children and teenagers referred for urgent support for eating disorders in one year.

For more information about Citizen Coaching and its new Citizen Navigator service send mail to Martin Hogg.

Social value measurement made ‘transparent and democratic’?

There is an interesting post (Social value? All you have to do is ask — and now you can) over on the State of Life blog, somewhat over-excitedly welcoming what the organisation believes is a new dawn in the defining and democratisation of social value measurement arising from HM Treasury’s incorporating new guidance on wellbeing into its ‘bible’ of procurement process and policy, The Green Book.

This new guidance, Wellbeing Guidance for Appraisal: Supplementary Green Book Guidance was adopted by HMT in July 2021 (when most of us were preoccupied with somewhat different ‘wellbeing’ problems) and it spells out how and why wellbeing measures should be used in assessing public spending decisions. It also makes the case for the recently devised WELLBY measurement being central to this. A WELLBY is short for “Wellbeing-adjusted Life Year and is defined as a change in life satisfaction of 1 point on a scale of 0 to 10, affecting one person for one year.

State of Life’s enthusiasm for this development is easily explained: it is a data and impact measurement company and for several years has been pioneering wellbeing measures including the WELLBY as a basis for social value measurement. This offers the official recognition it has been hoping for.

But what does it mean for the wider social sector?

Well, as a key shift in defining what social value means and how it might be assessed in public spending, it probably does have quite a lot in its favour. For instance:

» For too long social value measurement has been dominated by proprietary models — ‘social value data-banks’ that use complex spreadsheets to combine outcome measures, proxies and financial equivalents. The cost of adopting these was high, but their credibility and acceptance was always contested. Were they reliable and meaningful? And if so, who was paying attention to the results?

» By focusing on established wellbeing measures — including ONS-approved Life Satisfaction survey questions [footnote 1] — it can be said that this new guidance offers a methodology that is officially recognised, universally applicable, and closely allied with other established measures such as the NHS’s QALY measure (‘Quality Adjusted Life-Year’). And many will regard the fact that it requires asking real people how they regard their own life-satisfaction being affected as a result of public policy decisions to be an additional advantage.

Now I’ll be perfectly honest: I have no idea how effective the ONS Life Satisfaction survey is in assessing personal or community wellbeing, but I can see that it offers a universal method whose parameters can be widely understood. I also regard it as more evidently in the public interest precisely because it isn’t a proprietary system whose IP is owned by commercial companies.

But even this exhaustive new guidance will leave some complex questions. For example, causality: does this programme or service or policy ’cause’ these outcomes? What additional outcomes may be attributable to other (related or non-related) causes? How can double-counting be avoided? Well, not surprisingly Wellbeing Guidance for Appraisal: Supplementary Green Book Guidance has extensive chapters on these and just about every other issue you can think of.

If you are interested in new trends in social value assessment or definition then you could do worse than have a look at the Treasury’s new guidance on wellbeing. However, as is always the case, the real test will be seeing how it translates into practical expression in actual, real-life procurement and commissioning. And whether it results in more social sector providers winning public contracts.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Footnote 1: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) uses four survey questions to measure personal wellbeing. The questions are: (1) “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?” (2) “Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?” (3) “Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?” (4) “Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?”

News from the Crown Representative’s VCSE Advisory Group

For some time now Sarah Beaumont has sat as a member of the VCSE Advisory Group convened by the government’s Crown Representative for the VCSE, Claire Dove CBE. This group is designed to act as an intermediary between government and the voluntary and social enterprise sectors and we have decided to try and use this blog to communicate more of what it discusses. This makes for a long post but a valuable one and we hope you find it interesting.

Claire Dove CBE convenes the VCSE Crown Representative’s Group

The most recent VCSE Crown Representative’s Group meeting was held on the 16th February 2022 and Sarah has just reported the following.

There were three main areas of discussion:

1. Levelling Up

On the 2nd February the Government published its new Levelling Up White Paper Levelling Up the United Kingdom.

This White Paper promises a series of next steps: a comprehensive programme of engagement across the UK; consultation on missions and metrics and the devolution framework; the establishment of a new body focusing on local government data; rolling out Levelling Up Directors across the UK; simplifying growth funding; creating three sub-groups to support the levelling up advisory council; and introducing future legislation to create an obligation on the UK Government to publish an annual report on progress and to strengthen devolution legislation in England.

(Wider commentary on the White Paper is now starting to appear — for example, by The Centre for the New Midlands, the Local Government Association, and Policy Exchange.)

The Government also published UK Shared Prosperity Fund: pre-launch guidance providing information regarding the aims of the fund and the delivery roles of local partners.

2. Commission on Social Investment

Peter Holbrook from SEUK gave a brilliant overview of the background, process and findings from the Adebowale Commission on Social Investment. Many of you will be aware that the experience of seeking and winning social investment has been very mixed and I am personally delighted to see this report and look forward to seeing what the impact might be!

Key findings of the Commission on Social Investment report are as follows:


  • The Commission’s final report calls for “comprehensive structural reform” to the social investment market.
  • It concludes that “the needs of social enterprises have been deprioritised over the past decade” and that “social investment cannot work – and has no purpose – without social enterprise.” This de-prioritisation has come at a time when social enterprises need greater access to finance, with the social enterprise sector growing rapidly.
  • The Commission concluded that despite some £600m of public investment since 2010, the social investment market is “fundamentally the same in 2019 as it was in 2011”.
  • Social enterprises in the regions and nations of the UK have been underserved by social investment, as have disadvantaged groups, such as Black-led social enterprises. In particular, the Commission found that the “social investment continues to have a serious problem with inclusion and equity particularly, although not exclusively, in relation to race.”
  • The Commission found that the structure of the social investment market was at the root of these problems, particularly the lack of patient, concessionary capital for on-lending to social enterprises and the lack of flexibility in the structure of key institutions within the social investment market, such as Big Society Capital.
  • These structural weaknesses have led to a lack of diversity in the financial products available to social enterprises, particularly a lack of “enterprise-centric finance”, which the Commission has defined as investment which is built around the needs of social enterprises with flexible repayment terms rather than conventional debt products.



The Commission also highlights a major opportunity for economic and jobs growth:

  • Over 5,000 social enterprises and charities have been helped through social investment so far. If another 5,000 social enterprises were ale to grow with the support of social investment this could:
    • create 180,000 jobs either directly or indirectly, with 36,000 jobs in the most deprived communities.
    • add £3bn to the UK economy.
    • raise £1.2bn in tax revenue.
    • inject over £600m investment into the poorest parts of the UK.

Overall, the Commission believes that the UK could see a £4 return for every £1 invested into a reformed social investment market.


The Commission’s key recommendations are as follows:

  1. HM Government should develop a new UK-wide social investment strategy, in consultation with the devolved administrations, to provide renewed clarity and purpose to the social investment market which has been underpinned by nearly £1bn in public investment.
  2. A new £400m ‘Frontiers Fund’ should be given to a reformed Big Society Capital, which should have its financial sustainability target removed, to provide enterprise-centric finance to social enterprises.
  3. A new “Social Enterprise Loan Guarantee” scheme to provide security to investors in long-term patient capital for social enterprises backed with £200m of public money.
  4. An additional £100m investment in Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, to ensure the ongoing provision of blended finance to social enterprises.
  5. A new “Flexible Capital Taskforce” to work with charitable foundations to boost their investment in social enterprises and unlock £380m of new capital by 2030.
  6. A new £50m “Black-led” social investment fund to tackle the current inequality of social investment in Black-led social enterprises.
  7. Regular investment in place-led social enterprise infrastructure to support the growth and development of social enterprises that can access social investment. An initial investment of £44m should be made from dormant assets with further tranches in the future.


3. Developing Procurement Opportunities for social enterprises within government contracts

DCMS reported that it has had considerable success in increasing the number of SMEs being awarded government contracts. Around 50% of DCMS contracts are now won by SMEs.

DCMS is now pursuing changes which will similarly increase the number of social enterprises winning government contracts. Procurement processes will change to include targets, an action plan and data collection measures focusing on contracts up to £50K, all of which will be flagged as ring-fenced VCSE reserved opportunities.

DCMS plans to be the first department to have ring-fenced opportunities for the sector. Watch this space because this seems to represent a real commitment to system-change in favour of the social economy sector.

A procurement opportunity

The MOJ has an opportunity to provide Helpline and Website services  for Prisoner Family/significant others. One grant will be awarded to a single bidder or consortium. The grant is expected to run for three years from 1st August 2022 – 31st July 2025. The current expected level of funding is within the range of £110,000 to £130,000 per financial year (£330,000 – £390,000 in total over the three year period). TUPE may apply to this competition. The closing date for bids is 27th April 2022.

  For more information about this MOJ opportunity send mail.

Disability Resource Centre is recruiting

Birmingham Disability Resource Centre (DRC) is seeking to recruit an Employment & Training Project Officer.

Hours: Full Time 36.5 hours per week
Salary: NJC SCPs 9-15 Currently £20,903 to £23,541

DRC is one of the leading disability organisations operating in Birmingham, Solihull and the wider West Midlands.  Under the direction of the Service Manager – Employment, Skills and Community Development, the post holder will effectively deliver Positive Pathways employability courses to disabled people and those with long term health conditions in Birmingham and Solihull.

DRC says, “The Positive Pathways course is an innovative, life-changing programme helping unemployed disabled people and those with long term health conditions overcome barriers to employment. This role will include delivering information on a wide range of issues to groups of beneficiaries as well as working with them on a one-to-one basis with the objective of enabling them to achieve their full potential.”

Closing date for applications: Friday 11th March 2022.

Details and applications.

Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter returns with face-to-face networking

iSE has just announced that it is delighted to be able to say that face-to-face networking is back for Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter supporters, bringing together social enterprises, mission-led businesses and not for profits in Digbeth, Cheapside and Highgate.

If you haven’t connected for a while, drop by and say hello!

The March meet-up will be at Creative Alliance will hear from CEO Noel Dunne on how creative apprenticeships can support social enterprises to bring young people into their workforce, and the support available.

The University of Central Birmingham (UCB) will also be on hand to share information on its student placement schemes for social enterprises.

Light refreshments, connection and conversations provided with plenty of time to catch-up with faces old and new.

Please book here

Be part of Social Enterprise Drive 2022

iSE has just announced that Social Enterprise Drive is back for 2022. This year the week-long festival of social enterprise will take place slightly later — in early-June rather than April as has been the case previously.

What began life as a local Digbeth-based initiative nine years ago has grown into a wider celebration stretching across the city and well beyond. But its aim remains the same: to celebrate the social enterprise sector, raise awareness and understanding of what it does and showcase the positive change it creates by trading for social good.

iSE’s Elizabeth Forrester says, “From climate change to food poverty, we want to raise awareness and celebrate the businesses tackling the long-term social and environmental challenges in communities and neighbourhoods head on.”

Social Enterprise Drive 2022 is focused on celebrating innovation and resilience in the West Midlands.

iSE is calling for social enterprises to get involved and be part of the celebration — by hosting events, doing good business, reaching new audiences, building connections and helping to get social enterprises noticed.

 Propose a Social Enterprise Drive event — if you’ve got an idea you’d like considered for the Social Enterprise Drive 2022 programme please submit it using this form by 28th February 2022. Thank you.

→ Last year’s Social Enterprise Drive programme and those from earlier years.

Open 4 Community — BVSC launches new funding search portal

BVSC has just announced that it is launching a new funding search portal called Open 4 Community.

The newly designed funding search tool will enable charities, voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises to search hundreds of funding opportunities from government, the Lottery and independent grant-making trusts.

The portal is being launched today (31/01/22) at 1pm at BVSC’s regular Monday Business Development & Funding Weekly webinar. There will also be a further tutorial webinar on 28th February 2022 offering basic training in how to use the portal.

Register for today’s webinar 1pm Monday 31/01/22

Virtual networking event for social enterprises in the health and wellbeing sector

iSE is offering another free online networking event for social enterprises and trading third sector organisations — this time, for those active in the health and wellbeing sector. Date and time: Wednesday 23rd February 2022 • 10:00am-11:30am.     Book your place (Eventbrite)

Roots HR CIC celebrates over 1,000 downloads of its free toolkits

On the 1st July 2021, specialist social sector HR provider, Roots HR CIC, launched the first of a series of free HR toolkits, as part of its social value offer to the sector. We covered that story here.

Throughout last year the company issued one toolkit every month — packed with useful guidance, templates, tools and training webinars to enable effective people management within small to medium social sector organisations. To date, toolkits have covered Recruitment, Selection, Pre-Employment Checks, Induction, Probation and Agile Appraisal.

The company has been delighted by the success of these toolkits and over 1,000 have so far been requested.

Roots HR CIC plans to continue issuing free toolkits over the next six months, and forthcoming titles include Wellbeing at Work, Pay and Benefits, Personnel Files, Leavers, Sickness Absence and Under Performance.

You can still request copies of any of the six toolkits published so far and sign-up to receive notification of future titles.

WM Growth Hubs announce Birmingham 2022 CWG ‘meet the buyer’ event

Find It in Birmingham has just announced that on Thursday 3rd February 2022, from 09:00am-10:00am, the West Midlands Growth Hubs will be hosting a FREE online Meet the Buyer event to enable four of the companies contracted to help deliver the Commonwealth Games 2022 to present further opportunities for local suppliers and SMEs.

That the Games has a Social Values Charter and in Birmingham is focusing on improving health, wellbeing and community cohesion as part of the legacy of the Games has been widely promoted. The city is also benefitting from a range of community grants as part of Birmingham City Council’s £6m Commonwealth Games Community Fund. (The latest round of Stronger Communities grants has just closed and grant applications are currently being assessed.)

What there seems to have been much less information about, however, is how contractors for the Games plan to use social value legislation in their supply-chain procurement to help ensure that this spend creates additional social, economic and environmental value.

Perhaps this event is an opportunity to clarify this?

More information and booking link HERE.

Please note: this event is for businesses located in the West Midlands Growth Hub areas of Coventry & Warwickshire; Greater Birmingham & Solihull; Black Country; Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire; Worcestershire; and The Marches.

Building a Board and good governance — free online workshop

Building a Board and Good Governance
Wednesday 26th January 2022
10:00 – 12:00 GMT

iSE and the GBSLEP Growth Hub are holding an exciting workshop for existing social enterprises and trading third sector organisations.

The workshop, Building a Board and Good Governance, is designed to help organisations build strong and effective boards and will cover:

  • Roles and responsibilities of being a director.
  • How to find and recruit new board members.
  • Identifying what makes a great board.


The session will be highly participatory and there will be plenty of opportunities for networking and making new connections.

Book your free place here.

iSE and the Social Enterprise Academy: Rethinking income streams

iSE is partnering with the Social Enterprise Academy to deliver an exciting new fully-funded programme for leaders of social impact organisations.

Join them for an impactful and responsive online learning programme. Through a blend of live facilitated sessions and self-directed learning, you will explore what’s needed to rethink your income streams.

What will you get out of the programme?

  • Review your current enterprise model in the light of new trading realities.
  • Evaluate your assets and their fit with the needs of customers and beneficiaries.
  • Explore the concept of an Enterprising Mindset.
  • Identify different sources of finance for growth.
  • Examine different Growth Tools and how they might be applied to your evolving business model.
  • Explore partnership working as a route to increasing social impact and income generation.


Spaces are limited.

More details and book your place.