BEC Partners with Enterprise Nation to Deliver new Social Economy Support Programme for the West Midlands

BEC Partners with Enterprise Nation to Deliver new Social Economy Support Programme for the West Midlands

Enterprise Nation and Birmingham Enterprise Community have partnered up to deliver the Start your Growth Journey programme, as part of the WMCA’s West Midlands Social Economy Business Support project, a £1.7m initiative designed to support small social economy organisations across the West Midlands in the UK.

Funded by Commonwealth Games legacy money, the free support programme – one of the biggest of its kind ever launched – is now open to applications from leaders of social enterprises, community-owned businesses, cooperatives and charity trading arms. The money will be used to support 160 business leaders to help sharpen their key business skills through peer learning and for one-to-one coaching and mentoring to help them grow their organisations, become more sustainable and widen the impact they have in addressing inequalities. The social economy is the collective term for businesses that use their profits to achieve positive community and environmental impact.

Through the West Midlands Social Economy Business Support programme, the WMCA is delivering one of the key recommendations of the Social Economy Taskforce, which was set up by the Mayor to look at what the WMCA and its regional partners could do to help double the size of this key area of the economy so that even more local people benefit. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “Across our region we have around 11,000 social economy businesses and organisations providing valuable jobs, training, housing and other services which are being delivered by local people for the benefit of local people. These are underpinned by a central aim of doing good for their communities. “Thanks to the Commonwealth Games Legacy Fund, we’re now able to provide support to 160 leaders in this sector to ensure they have the right skills and capacity to develop their businesses – ultimately having a positive impact on the lives of even more people in their communities. “I look forward to seeing the opportunities this creates to help the social economy continue go from strength to strength in the months and years ahead.”

Cllr Kerrie Carmichael, the WMCA’s portfolio lead for inclusive communities, and leader of Sandwell Council, said: “Social economy businesses are run by people with first-hand experience of the issues and challenges faced by their communities and are therefore best placed to develop solutions that can address long-standing disadvantage. “The money the combined authority is putting into developing the services they provide and the people who run them is proof of the belief we have in their ability to be one of the driving forces of our commitment to ensuring people thrive in the places where they live and work right across the region.”

“We are immensely proud to be delivering part of this important series of work by running two programmes in partnership with Enterprise Nation” said BEC Chief Executive Daniel Evans, “As a social economy business ourselves we understand the specific needs of these organisations and will tap into all our experience to deliver support that will create a real impact and help them to growth – leading to support for more people and greater social impact across the region”.

Start your Growth Journey

The first of two programmes being delivered by BEC & EN is the Start your Growth Journey programme, as part of The West Midlands Social Economy Business Support project, designed to support small social enterprises across the West Midlands in the UK. The programme is designed to increase the confidence and skills of local social enterprises and their teams with the goal of achieving 80% attendance across all aspects of the programme, to receive a £2,000 grant to invest into their business.  

Who is eligible for the programme? 

Small social enterprises who are based in the West Midlands and have a total annual income between £15,000 – £50,000 are eligible to apply for this programme. In total 40 x applicants will be recruited to start training in April through until December of 2024.  

To find out more & apply click here.

Further details will be released shortly about our second programme which will provide support around social investment and contract readiness for the social economy.

More information on the other West Midlands Social Economy Business Support programmes can be found at:

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