Social Enterprise East of England

Social Enterprise East of England

Project: Bridge to Social Investment
Grant: £31,000

The project aims to raise awareness of social investment (SI), develop capacity for trading for sustainable income (and to make repayable investment a viable option) and develop a social enterprise network in Essex to provide peer support, lobby for increased resources, support and use of social enterprises by commissioning agencies.

SEEE’s project is aiming to influence both the supply and demand sides. Activities aimed at social enterprises will include holding an event to raise awareness of SI and social enterprise (SE); reviewing existing data on SE activity in Essex; sharing information with local enterprises and potential users of SE and SI about what works and what support is available; delivering a development programme targeted at specific local identified need; linking social enterprises to existing support; and signposting enterprises to potential funders including social investors and commissioners.

On the funding side, SEEE will work with the Essex Growth Hub, helping it to have a better understanding of social enterprises. SEEE will use its own links, and those of the growth hub, to try to influence better commissioning. SEEE will also promote the concept of social enterprise, encouraging more individuals and organisations to “buy social”, both directly or via supply chains. Finally, it will be working with a local large health provider (Provide CIC) which currently has a small grant scheme which Provide CIC hopes to be able to (at least partially) transform into a repayable finance scheme for smaller organisations.

The primary purpose of the project is to create a sustainable thriving social enterprise network in Essex, increasing capacity for, and awareness and use of social investment and a social enterprise approach.