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EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards closing date looming – Friday!

Our friend Melanie over at Social Investment Business dropped us a line to remind us that the entrepreneur of the year awards close on Friday.

Having worked in our region for Social Enterprise West Midlands she knows the spirit and passion of social entrepreneurs here and wouldn’t it be great if someone local won!

So if you know someone, or you think it could be you, why don’t you zap over to the website and apply… nothing ventured, nothing gained… someone once said!

So this is a last reminder entries close on Friday so there is still time to apply http://www.ey.com/UK/en/About-us/Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneur-Of-The-Year

Good luck!


£10m fund to open in April

If you need £50,000 to £300,000 to support your community business to develop and grow then you’ll be pleased to know that the Power to Change £1om grant programme is opening a new funding round on 26th April 2016.

A few pointers:

Power to change is for community business rooted in the community with community ownership (check eligibility here) and in previous rounds it only funded 5% of applicants and more than two thirds of applications dd not meet their criteria. Funding will rarely exceed 75% of overall development costs.

Power to change is expecting this round will be highly competitive and is having further rounds in July and October. the fund expects to award relatively equal acorss each round.

Key dates to note:

  • 5 April: Full criteria will be published on the Power to Change Website the grants helpline will open to help you with your application and any questions you have about eligibility.
  • 19 April: They will host a free Q&A webinar about the programme.
  • 26 April – 1 June: First application window
  • July 2016: Second funding round opens
  • October 2016: Third funding round opens

To register your interest then click here



New £1m Coop Support Programme Launched Today

Firstly we’d like to say we’re extremely pleased to have been selected as a preferred supplier for business support on this new initiative and look forward to helping cooperatives develop and grow, but now what you really want to know.

The Hive a new programme of business support for people wanting to start or grow co-operatively run organisations has been launched today.

Run by Co-operatives UK, the network for Britain’s thousands of co-operatives, in partnership with The Co-operative Bank, The Hive will provide mix of online resources, training, advice and peer mentoring to organisations and start-ups right across a range the co-operative sector.

You might run a co-op already and want to strengthen it, be at the early stages of starting-up your business, or considering converting your organisation to co-operative or community ownership.

From renewables to retail, sports to social care, if you’re looking for business support, The Hive is for you.

See how The Hive can help you build a better co-operative business.

View a short film here





Open to Applications

The Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Start Up programme is open for applications.

Now we’ve got your attention. The school for Social Entrepreneurs (Midlands) is open to applications. We are proud to work with the School for Entrepreneurs as “Expert Witnesses” on their Social Enterprise Start up programme not just because their Learning Manager (2015) said “every start-up programme should start with Development in Social Enterprise”, but because it’s probably the best start up programme for social entrepreneurs in the Midlands.

The programme offers:

  • 14 days of learning over a 12 month period starting in October
  • A mentor from Lloyds Bank
  • A £4000 grant to help get your idea off the ground.

As you can see the programme is an extensive action learning programme with a grant and therefore places are highly contested, but if you don’t apply you won’t be in the running!

They are holding an Information and Taster session in Birmingham in the evening of 3rd March to help you find out more and provide insight into what a successful application looks like – Book a place now.

The deadline for full applications is 1:00 pm on 21st March. Applications here https://www.the-sse.org/courses/start-up/

Good Luck!


Co-operatives Training

For those of you considering whether the co-operative model is right for you then look no further the Co-operatives Essential Training Package is now live.

The programme begins with a  Strategic Planning and Change Management session on Wednesday 16 March in Manchester. The participative full day training is designed to help businesses manage change and improve their approach to strategic planning.

On Tuesday 22 March, also in Manchester, they have an opening training event specifically designed for co-op secretaries. Oversubscribed last year, this session will cover a secretary’s duties and responsibilities – including legal requirements and best practice.

From sustainability and co-op marketing to effective meetings and director duties, the co-op training programme continues throughout the year, with sessions held in Bristol and London as well as Manchester.

For more infornmation and the full list of training courses , dates and locations http://www.uk.coop/developing-co-ops/training-events


Awarding Times

Well it’s been a busy few weeks with our recent move to our brand spanking new office in the purpose built Solihull Enterprise Centre, but our highlight has been the West Midland Region – Social Enterprise Awards. For the second year running Development in Social Enterprise sponsored Social Enterprise West Midland’s SE Passion Award.

SE passion is about recognising the achievements of young social entrepreneurs who have adopted the social enterprise model as a way of doing business and are having impact in the region.

BEATFREAKSAWARD1This year we were extremly pleased to award Beatfreaks (pictured to the left) the top award. Betafreaks are an amaising, entusiastic and high energy social enterprise that engages young people through the medium of art, giving them a platform for social action which they have termed “ARTIVISM”. Check them out a truly inspiring social enterprise, with high impact and bound to go far.

And that’s not all, many of you will know our CEO David Lane who also picked up an award on the night. David received Highly Commended SE Professional award which was sponsored by Anthony Collins Solicitors, recognising his ongoing committment and achievements in helping social enterprises develop and grow over many years.

If you would like to see all the award winners and the category then visit Social Enterprise West Midlands here.

Well done to all the winners and a big conratulations to SEWM for another fabulous awards night.


Want to find out more about the School for Social Entrepreneurs?

The West Midlands School for Social Entrepreneurs is holding an information event ahead of its next round of recruitment. If you’re interested in the programme why not pop along to find out more?

Demand for the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Start Up programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs is high; so they are starting taster and information sessions early for our 2016/17 intake.

The programme provides 15 days of support, a Big Lottery grant of £4000 for participants, plus a mentor from Lloyds Bank over a 12 month period. As a result, demand outstrips the number of places they can offer – around 20 in the West Midlands and 20 in the East Midlands.

Their next programme starts in October 2016 and applications can be made between 1 February and 21 March 2016.

To help you understand more about the programme, decide if its right for you and get some useful tips and guidance on applying, we are running our first ‘taster session’ in Birmingham on 17 December from 5:30 to 8:00 pm.

More information and booking https://ssemidlands.typeform.com/to/irdQlA



Seedpod- investing in promising health and wellbeing ideas

If you’re involved in health and wellbeing you might like to know our colleagues over at PocZero Foundation CIC are hosting “Idea Canvas” events  over October and November, see below for further info.

For anyone interested in Seedpod: Birmingham’s first health and wellbeing academy investing in promising ideas – we would love to learn more about you, your ideas and how we might be able to help your idea grow! Come join us at one of our ‘Idea Canvas’ sessions – a fun, interactive and informal way to meet the team and connect with us. Sessions will be taking place at the following time and locations – to register simply follow one of the hyperlinks below.

If you like further information on Seedpod, please contact Eleanor Cappell Social Ventures & Community Lead PocZero Foundation CIC
E: eleanor.cappell@poczero.com  W: www.poczero.com @poczero

Links to book onto the events below!

Balsall Heath: Thursday or Friday afternoons 1:00 – 3:00pm @ Ort Café, 500 – 504 Moseley Road, Birmingham, B12 9AH






Castle Vale: Tuesday afternoons 2:00 – 4:00pm @ Castle Vale Library, Spitfire House, 10 High Street, Castle Vale, Birmingham, B35 7PR 






Shard End: Tuesday mornings 10am – 12noon @ Welcome Change Café, Onwall Road, Shard End, B34 7AJ







SEWM- Social Finance Fair – 1st Oct 2015

Just a quick note to say SEWM’s Social Finance Fair is fast approaching so if you haven’t booked yet then maybe now is the time.

Key speakers include:

  • Nick Temple – Social Enterprise UK and Chair of the Social Investment Forum
  • Melanie Mills – Big Society Capital – Social Sector Engagement Director
  • Kieron Boyle – The Cabinet Office – Head of Social Investment
  • Seb Elsworth – The Foundation for Social Investment – Chief Executive

As well as hearing from these key speakers, there are a series of master classes and a a host of exhibitors including:


Aston Reinvestment Trust |Big Lottery Fund | Big Society Capital |Black Country Reinvestment Society |Blue Sky Corporate Finance | CAF Venturesome | Charity Bank |Cogent Ventures | Crowdpatch | FSE Group CIC | Harris Accountancy | Locality | PwC | Resonance | Social Investment Business | SSE Midlands | The Key Fund | Triodos Bank | Unity Trust Bank

The event is being held at Birmingham Voluntary Service Council’s Conference Centre, just a few minutes away from New Street station (which as some of you will know is now called Grand Central) which opened yesterday (20th September 2015) after a five year £600m re-vamp, so perhaps worth a visit too!


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.