The Social Economy FORUM


The first West Midlands Social Economy FORUM event, hosted in September and facilitated by BSSEC CIC Director Sarah Beaumont, was a lively and highly productive discussion with lots of valuable input from those attending! The session topic covered the barriers, as well as the potential, for the VCSE sector in accessing and levering new market opportunities.

BSSEC CIC welcomed expert speakers to the guided conversation, all of whom provided excellent, diverse social enterprise insights and have experience of market shaping, pivoting their enterprise, successful supply chain frameworks and maximising often limited resources…

CHARLES RAPSON Strategic Lead for Social Economy Growth, West Midlands Combined Authority

CHET PARMAR Chief Executive, Colebridge Trust

DIRK ROHWEDDER Associate Director, School for Social Entrepreneurs (West Midlands)

HEIDI FISHER Founder, Make An Impact CIC

Collaboration, Clusters and Consortia-building were key topics from within the room…. lots to develop and progress from a group committed to social economy growth across the West Midlands. We are delighted to share the FORUM #1: At A Glance summary that is an informative, robust capture of the collaborative conversation.

Our next FORUM takes place on Tuesday 24th October 2023 at the slightly adjusted time of 1.30pm to 3.00pm when we will be joined by Brad Benson (WMCA, Head of Procurement) and Carol Glenn (Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Social Value Regional Lead) as we explore ‘Accessing Public and Private Sector Contracts through Procurement’.

The full list of FORUM topics and dates is listed on our website and we would be delighted to see a continued rich diversity of trading social businesses, third sector and faith organisation, cooperatives, employee-owned businesses, CICs and environmental or social purpose-led businesses who are interested and/or invested in growing the West Midlands social economy.

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