Smart Communities – Creating a new Social Enterprise Network for Somerset
The Smart Communities team has created the Enhance Social Enterprise Network, Somerset to help social enterprises across the county to flourish and for the sector to grow.
What is a social enterprise?
Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world for the better. Like traditional businesses they aim to make a profit but it’s what they do with their profits that sets them apart – reinvesting or donating them to create positive social change. Social enterprises are in our communities and on our high streets – from coffee shops and cinemas, to pubs and leisure centres, banks and bus companies. Famous examples include Big Issue, Divine Chocolate and the Eden Project. In Somerset we have some excellent social enterprises making really difference to our communities, this includes Rusty Road 2 Recovery in Bridgwater, Minehead Eye, the Great Western Hotel in Taunton, the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury and The Hub Yeovil, and all our community run shops and village halls.
What we are doing:
- Running training events, visits, and networking opportunities to meet the needs of new and developing social enterprises. These will be spread across the county. There will also be events that our Devon colleagues are organising that are open to Somerset. Please see the sidebar for latest Somerset Events!
- Create a useful membership offer for the network so we create a network that keeps going and growing after the funding is gone.
- Promote social enterprise to policymakers and commissioners.
- Created a dedicated website for the Enhance Social Enterprise Network for Devon & Somerset:
- The website has details of all events across all network partners, and importantly has a searchable social enterprise business directory to facilitate business to business selling, public procurement, and business to customer selling – helping us spread the word about the amazing work of our social enterprises! Search for your organisation by name and then click Claim My Listing!
Membership to the network will be free for the first year, as we are funded by the ERDF.
To join, now go to:
You can also email the team: EnhanceSEN@Somersetrcc.org.uk
The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise Programme is receiving up to £1,053,610 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union, ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/england-2014-to-2020-european-structural-and-investment-funds
This funding created the :
Enhance Social Enterprise Network Devon & Somerset
The Enhance Social Enterprise Network Devon & Somerset programme is a partnership of:
- Devon Communities Together (DCT), covering the rural Devon area
- ESSENCE of Exeter CIC, covering Exeter
- Plymouth Social Enterprise Network (PSEN), covering Plymouth
- Local Spark: Torbay Community Supported Enterprise, covering Torbay
- Smart Communities Ltd (of Community Council of Somerset), covering Somerset, with the Enhance Social Enterprise Network, Somerset