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DISE funds start-up grants for community enterprises in Solihull

New community enterprises in Solihull can get a boost with grants of up to £500 from the Social Enterprise Development Foundation CIO backed by Development in Social Enterprise (DISE).

Individuals and informal groups with business ideas that will help their local community can apply to receive a package of support which includes a grant, business consultancy and training to give them the best possible start.

It is hoped the initiative will help to stimulate a new wave of community businesses in Solihull, similar to Chelmund’s Fish and Chips, which caught the headlines when it opened as Britain’s first community chip shop earlier this year.

The start-up fund has been made possible by DISE, which donates its profits to the Social Enterprise Development Foundation to help community groups grow their ideas.

David Lane, MD of DISE said:

“We’re pleased to be able to offer community members and groups small grants to stimulate their ideas and get their community businesses going, as many early stage organisations find it hard to find funding to get their ideas off the ground.”

The grant complements Solihull’s Community Enterprise for Success programme, which offers two days business support to social sector organisations, enabling beneficiaries to get the best possible start.

The grant can be used to cover expenses such as business registration, travel, marketing and event costs.

Applicants are invited to complete an expression of interest form by 9am on 22 October, outlining their plans and how the fund could assist them.

Download an application pack and check eligibility here 


The Social Enterprise Development Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO No 1162437). It was set up in 2015 to:

  • Provide incubator and hub spaces for enterprises
  • Provide enterprise development support, advice and guidance
  • Provide small organisations and start up enterprises with development grants.

For more information visit http://sedf-cio.org.uk


Apply to pitch to win a £500 grant award and a Social Finance Mentor for the year!

Have you got a social enterprise business idea you want to kickstart?

Are you a current social enterprise or entrepreneur looking to diversify or develop a new product or service?

As part of Social Enterprise West Midlands Social Finance Fair on the 1st October SEWM CIC is providing up to 4 social enterprises or social entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch for an agreed amount of seed investment/grant from the Pitchers Platform sponsor and a Social Finance Mentor.

Sponsored by BCRS Business Loans the Pitch will take place as part of the conference with a panel of Social Finance experts in front of the event audience.

The enterprise or entrepreneur must:

  • be ready to trade/currently trading, be constituted under one of the 9 legal structures,
  • demonstrate a passion for the product and service and, most importantly, see the market
  • opportunity and explain who is going to buy the product or service!
  • illustrate what the money will be used for,
  • demonstrate how they will measure journey and product/service delivery.

The winning pitch will be awarded a £500 award grant and a Social Finance Mentor for the year*

If you are interested in applying to pitch and want to find out more please email info@socialenterprisewm.org.uk by the 24th September 2015!

Download the Pitcher’s Platform flyer 
* Terms and conditions of mentoring do apply. Mentoring agreement to be decided between the mentoring organisation and mentee.


Social Saturday videos for DISE clients

Social SaturdaySocial Saturday – a UK wide campaign to celebrate, raise awareness and buy from social enterprises – is back on 10th October and based on last year’s success, it’s a marketing opportunity you don’t want to miss.

As part of our social mission to ‘do good business and create social value’ we are offering ten DISE clients in Solihull and Birmingham the opportunity to promote their products and services through the power of video.

That’s right, ten social enterprises will receive a free mini video which will be premiered on Social Saturday to showcase their wares and help spread the message that it’s good to buy social.

Plus, we are also joining forces with Social Enterprise West Midlands to maximise the reach of all the videos produced as part of their online digital showcase campaign for Social Saturday.

The offer

  • This offer is open to social enterprises that have previously worked with DISE and are based in Solihull or Birmingham and is available on a first come first served basis.
  • Each mini video will be filmed on location enabling one person per social enterprise to talk about their products and services, business or special offer.
  • The duration of the video will be 30-45 seconds with a title slide featuring a company logo and website and a closing slide acknowledging DISE sponsorship. Minor revisions to final edit only.
  • Filming will be done by Reel Eyes Films – a video production social enterprise based in Solihull – www.reeleyesfilms.co.uk
  • Filming slots are available on 22nd, 23rd and 24th September and will take approximately one hour per enterprise.
  • All videos produced will be uploaded to the DISE You Tube channel and will be promoted via the DISE Twitter and Facebook accounts on Social Saturday in association with Social Enterprise West Midlands.
  • Participating enterprises must be willing to promote the video on Social Saturday through their own social media accounts and website where available.
  • Featured social enterprises can use their video beyond the Social Saturday campaign as desired.

Register your interest

Enabling our clients to make the most of campaigns like Social Saturday is one of the ways in which we reinvest 100% of our profit as a social enterprise.

If you are interested in a short video to promote your business on Social Saturday please get in touch with us as soon as possible and register your interest by 12pm on Monday 21st September. Call 0121 667 6810 or email info@disecic.org.

More ways to back Social Saturday

1. Download the Social Saturday campaign pack – includes ideas, press release templates, suggested tweets

2. Register your social enterprise for free on the national Buy Social Directory

3. Check out the Social Saturday website for more inspiration and resources to promote your business online

4. Use the #SocialSaturday2015 hashtag in your tweets and posts.


Have you seen TV ads for the Employment Allowance?

The Employment Allowance has been open for claims since 6 April this year, however, not many employers are aware of it.

The scheme enables employers to reduce the amount of National Insurance contributions (NICs) they pay for their employees by up to £2,000.

Social enterprises and charities are eligible and if you usually pay less than £2,000 in National Insurance Contributions, you could be a lot better off!

The Government says that up to 1.25 million businesses and charities will benefit from Employment Allowance. Around 450,000 businesses and charities won’t have to pay any employer National Insurance contributions at all.

Find out more and check your eligibility


Warm welcome to Suzanne

Joining the team at Development in Social Enterprise is Suzanne Detton who will be supporting our business support projects and also taking care of our marketing communications.

Suzanne has a degree in Geography from Staffordshire University and her passion for research led her to discover the world of social enterprise whilst on placement with the Aspire Housing Group.

“I really enjoyed my first taste of social enterprise and when I saw the opportunity to work for DISE through the Graduate Advantage scheme, I jumped at the chance to apply.

“So far I’ve been working on a number of market research projects to support my colleagues at DISE and also had the chance to attend a networking event at the new Chelmund’s Cross Enterprise Centre in Solihull. It was a great opportunity to meet DISE clients and I hope to meet many more in the coming months and learn about their work.”

Suzanne is based at our Birmingham office and looks forward to being the first point of contact for our clients whether you’re calling or visiting.


New contract win! Worcester Volunteer Centre

Development in Social Enterprise are delighted to be working with Worcester Volunteer Centre under the BIG Assist programme.

Over the next few months we will be supporting staff, managers and trustees to find creative and enterprising ways to maximise their ability to provide core services to the voluntary and community sector in Worcester. Established in 1986, volunteering is at the heart of their many services which Worcester people rely on each day.

Worcester Wheels provides community transport for elderly and vulnerable people clocking up 400 single trips every week. Your Helping Hand provides dog walking, shopping and gardening services to enable people to remain safe and independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Their supported volunteering programme Choices has already helped 100 young people by giving them the extra support they need to enjoy the many rewards volunteering can offer. There are also a number of organisational development and business training courses on offer plus local organisations accessing the Creative Partnerships voucher scheme need look no further for marketing and funding consultancy. All these projects and services and more are detailed on the new Worcester Volunteer Centre website.

If you’re interested in learning more about our work with Worcester Volunteer Centre please contact us on 0121 667 6810 or email info@disecic.org.