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“I don’t think we should fear our competitors, we should just know who they are”

Dave Training 2

CEO of Development in Social Enterprise, Dave Lane, delivered a free Social Value Care Act workshop on Thursday to care providers in Solihull.

Attendance from organisations including Accord came along to learn about updates to the Care Act, where to find funding, the tendering process, creating added social value and marketing and diversification – knowing your market and identifying gaps in the market to deliver more effective services.

Key features of the session included a group exercise, where attendees were asked to think about what their added social value as an organisation is.

Various responses from attendees including “we pay the employer the national living wage and no less”, “we always ensure we employ locally sourced staff”, “schemes including dress down Friday and donating to local food banks every week” and “always seeking out local suppliers who use locally sourced goods, to provide for our events, including local social enterprises”

Dave also ran through the various types of tender exercises and the process. He said that most tendering is done online through procurement websites called ‘e-tenders’. There are several stages in the tender process, starting from the Expression of Interest (EOI), Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ), Invitation to Tender (ITT) and Assessment against the criteria.

It is also likely that the applicant will be required to attend a further clarification interview or presentation. In addition, there could be a 10 day cooling off period in case someone challenges decisions, further contract negotiations and monitoring and performance management before the tender is complete.

A useful Tender portal noted in the session was CSW Jets – specifically for those operating in the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire areas.

For more information about how to apply for Tenders on the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s website click here

Dave Training

Diversification and Marketing

80-20 rule – 80% of business comes from 20% of clients.

Important messages from this part of the session included knowing how your organisation can generate other income and how to market to new customers.

“A mixed market does not necessarily mean your organisation needs to deliver everything, there may be opportunities with partners, who can help to provide and deliver an extra service that may have been impossible on your own”.

“I don’t think we should fear our competitors, we should just know who they are” Dave Lane, CEO DISE

The session was also being filmed by Reel Eyes Films – Simon is currently collating photographs and video shots for a short film for DISE.

You can check what Reel Eyes are up to on their Twitter page.

Photographs above- courtesy of Reel Eyes Films (19/02/2015)


Santander/UnLtd Social Enterprise Development Awards (SEDA) Programme 2015 is now open for applications

Working in partnership Santander and UnLtd are providing support to ambitious social ventures with future high growth potential and intensive acceleration services for ventures that are ready to scale up rapidly.

SEDA Catalyst Awards

There are two levels of SEDA Catalyst Awards available in 2015: consisting of £5,000 cash and a 12-month development and growth support package or £10,000 cash and a 12-month development and growth support package.

SEDA fast growth award

The SEDA Fast Growth Award consists of a £20,000 Award and 12 months of intensive growth acceleration services.

You can submit an expression of interest for a Catalyst Award now. The deadline for expressions of interest is 27th March 2015. The deadline for completed application forms is 10th April 2015.

For further information about the Unltd SEDA programme click here

Or for more information on the Santander website about the awards, click here

NEW Community Asset Transfer Opportunity in Washwood Heath

Closing Date: 06/03/2015

Opportunity from Birmingham City Council

Community Asset Transfer of Hutton Hall

Third Sector organisations are invited to make expressions of interest and provide a business case for the Community Asset Transfer of Hutton Hall, Herrick Road, Washwood Heath B8 1 NT.

An open day to view the property will be held on Tuesday 24th February at 10.30am to 12.30pm. Application forms and information relating to the centre will be available.

If you wish to attend please contact Tracey Arthurs on 0121 675 7926 or tracey.arthurs@birmingham.gov.uk

See entry on Find It In Birmingham:




Herrick Road, Washwood Heath Birmingham B8 1NT


None specified

Posted in sector(s) :

Provision of services to the community



Enterprise Centre Official Opening 29/1/2015

Seven Star Photography 1A very impressive turnout for the official opening of the Enterprise Centre at Chelmund’s Cross, Solihull on 29th January 2015.

The event was hosted by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) and it was a great success. A variety of people turned up to witness the Key note speakerMelody Hossaini speak passionately about Social Enterprises and how to do good business and the official opening by Caroline Spellman MP, Councillor Ian Courts, the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Land and Economic Development and local representatives from the Chelmund’s Cross community.

In the touchdown space at the back of the building, there were networking opportunities and support services available.

Social enterprises including Development in Social Enterprise, DYNAMIC Marketing, Social Enterprise West Midlands and Colebridge Trust lined the bottom half of the room with banners and an array of marketing materials, all available for visitors to have a look, speak to someone and take away something valuable with after the event.

Coventry University and Birmingham Chambers of Commerce also set up stalls alongside the social enterprises with marketing materials for attendees to access information and promote business networking.

Catering for the event was provided by Janine Mcmahon and the team at The Olive Branch Kitchen, who use all locally sourced goods which are made on site at the kitchen only 20 metres away from The Enterprise Centre.

Overall it was a very enjoyable evening with good networking opportunities for local social enterprises and community groups within the Solihull area.

Photography accreditation: Seven Star Photography, 29/01/2015


New DISE contract

Development in Social Enterprise (DISE), the business support provider for the Community Enterprise for Success (CEFS) programme, has been contracted to support the management of Solihull Enterprise Centre on an interim basis. This will involve providing front of house services for tenants and visitors as well as helping to promote the facilities and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Dave Lane CEO of DISE said: “We are very proud to be at Solihull Enterprise Centre, both as a Chelmsley Wood social enterprise and provider of business support in the area. There’s a real buzz about the place, a mix of community and private business side by side. Chelmund’s Cross is fast becoming the heartbeat of community enterprise in Solihull and we hope to support many more businesses in years to come from this superb facility.”

Current tenants at Solihull Enterprise Centre

Solihull Enterprise Centre is already a third occupied, ahead of target, with new enquiries coming through on a daily basis. Tenants include:

  • Central Chauffeurs – professional chauffeur services
  • Gro-Organic CIC – social enterprise specialising in design and construction landscaping, outdoor education and community land based projects
  • JP Recruitment – recruitment for education, child care and construction sectors
  • KS Training – training for care sector
  • Real PCS Ltd – a social enterprise providing personal care services
  • Stanguide – employability training for 18-25 year old


If you would like to enquire about the services provided by the Enterprise Centre please call 0121 704 8755


£150m Endowed to Power to Change

Power to Change announced yesterday (22/01/2015) that is has now received £150m endowment from the Big Lottery to support the development and sustainability of community businesses.

The funding is endowed to the independent trust who will managed the funding. It’s early days yet so we do not have all the details on what or how the funding may work, but it is likely to be a mixture of loans and consultancy / development support.

At the moment the programme is looking for “Community Business Champions” to register their interest so if you are running a community business or considering setting one up do take a look at their website http://www.thepowertochange.org.uk/ we will keep an eye out and keep you posted here too!


Job Opportunity – Transform West Midlands

Transform West Midlands CIC require a – Business Development Officer

  • Are you interested in social justice and equality?
  • Could you take a project from an acorn and turn it into an oak?
  • Are you looking for an opportunity to excel in community and business development?

Transform West Midlands is a community interest company that aims to increase employment prospects for young people through improving housing, particularly in areas of disadvantage.

Transform West Midlands are looking for a half-time Business Development Officer to lead the company through its first projects.  This will include developing our business through appropriate partnerships, business and financial planning and securing further funding and investment.

To apply, please email rowena@transformwm.org.uk for a job description and person specification. We encourage creative applications which display your unique skills and experience, along with a letter explaining why you are the person for the job.

Application deadline: 22nd January 2015

Interviews will be held on 2nd February 2015


Recruiting 250 Social Entrepreneurs

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) is looking for 250 new social enterprise ideas for the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs programme!

If you have a new business or project that will make a positive difference in your community, SSE & and the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme wants to hear from you. The programme offers a fully funded year of training and a £4,000 grant to help you get started.  Applications for the Programme are open from 2nd February until 2nd April 2015.  For more information and details of how to apply visit http://bitly.com/1eA5RjQ


Freelance consultancy – Fundraising Manager

Jericho Foundatiion, along with four other voluntary sector organisations, has identified a building from which they wish to deliver a holistic package of support services to marginalised communities in inner city Birmingham.

Jericho now wishes to identify a fundraiser who will secure the resources for the building (approx. £250K) and develop a long term fundraising strategy for its sustainability.

Role:   This new role will provide a great opportunity for a senior fundraiser to work with Jericho and the collaborations development manager as they embark on a period of significant growth and development.

You will be responsible for raising the funds for the building and developing a long term fundraising strategy for its sustainability.  As well as sourcing revenue funding for the joint and individual needs of consortium members.

You should have a proven track record of raising funds for capital projects from a diverse number of sources including the Big Lottery, GMT, central and local government, public and corporate sectors.

The successful applicant/s will be innovative, inspirational and energetic in approach and will empathise fully with the charity’s aims and ambitions. Ideally, you will be a member of the Institute of Fundraising Managers or equivalent.

We will consider offers on a paid fee basis but offers where some or all of the fees are paid on a commission basis may be considered favourably.

Please submit your 2 page proposal to richard.beard@jericho.org.uk    and ceo@bethelnetwork.co.uk  by Friday 23rd January 2015.


Impact Readiness Fund

A quick post before we sign off for the Christmas break.

Are you a social venture that aims to seek investment or new contracts? Would improving and demonstrating your social impact help you to get there?

If the answer’s yes then you may want to have a look at the (time-limited) Social Investment Business (SIB) Impact Readiness Fund http://www.sibgroup.org.uk/impactready/criteria/

You’ll need to work with an “approved provider” (we know a few and can help here too) and meet the qualification criteria below.

  • Organisations must be social ventures that tackle social problems, are financially sustainable and want to scale up (this includes registered charities, social enterprises, companies limited by guarantee with charitable aims, Community Interest Companies, mutuals).
  • Must be based in England and this funding must support only work that will be done in England
  • Must be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to securing investment (not grant finance), or to delivering public or private sector contracts
  • Have a strong track record of delivery
  • Provide clear and specific plans to build their ability to articulate their impact and to raise investment / win contracts. Applications must outline specific milestones and outcomes that will be achieved as a result of the grant
  • Applications should be for a new project or significant additional activities that meet the above aims
  • Applicants will be required to address the following in their grant applications: theory of change, beneficiaries, wider impact
  • Able to complete work plan within a maximum period of three months

Good luck and Merry Christmas!