As part of our 10th year birthday celebrations we are looking back and highlighting some of the fabulous social enterprises we’ve worked with over the years. Back in 2014 we were an approved provider for the “Big Assist” programme, which aimed to support VCSE infrastructure organisations to become more sustainable and less reliant on grant funding.

The Big Assist

During the three years DISE worked on 23 projects across the UK, from Brighton and Hove to Bately. Overall DISE scored 4.7 / 5 with the programme’s “trip adviser” styled feedback system. Here we look at one of those pieces of work with the Greater Manchester Community and Voluntary Organisation‘s subsidiary GMCVO Databases.

GMCVO Databases

GMCVO Databases provides bespoke Client Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for charities, voluntary organisations and small businesses, helping them to work smarter. With ambitions to expand beyond Greater Manchester, Development in Social Enterprise was engaged to assess the potential for growth.

GMCVO Databases was born when its parent charity (Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation) identified the need to better manage its own data and struggled to find a suitable and affordable IT solution. They came across open source CRM software designed specifically for the voluntary sector – CiviCRM. Using CiviCRM GMCVO was able to design and build its own database and soon discovered there were other not for profit organisations looking for tailor made solutions.

Within two years the demand for CRM services made it necessary to incorporate ‘GMCVO Databases’ as a social enterprise subsidiary of GMCVO – one of few CiviCRM specialists in the country. DISE began working with GMCVO Databases in 2014 when they approached us to look at their business growth strategy.

The Project

“We wanted the benefit of external expertise from consultants who would enable us to understand how best to grow the business and attract higher value contracts,” says Alex Whinnom, Chief Executive of GMCVO. A business and marketing plan had already been prepared which was reviewed as part of the brief.

What They Said

“DISE were very thorough and held a series of meetings with our management team followed by detailed analysis of our core offer, customer base, pricing strategy, financial performance and projections. We also received an in-depth report on the market for our services looking at market size, competitors, how to reach our ideal customers and where the opportunities lie.

It was a sizable piece of work and so incredibly useful that we at GMCVO Databases are planning to work with DISE again to help us appraise other GMCVO businesses.”

“Having an independent perspective on our plans has not only improved our understanding of the business and our market, it has also increased our confidence and confirmed that we have been moving in the right direction.

“DISE understand our sector and what we are trying to achieve. The whole experience has been very valuable and we can highly recommend their services to organisations looking for professional social enterprise expertise.”

To see more or download the full case study see our case study section here 

If you need high level, experienced and professional support from social enterprise expert’s then get in touch.