'Business Navigator' FREE signposting service for Brighton area

Whether you are a new business or social enterprise, growing or looking to become more sustainable, there is support available to help make it happen. In 2015 Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce delivered the Business Navigator service in the Brighton area, and now in its second year we are helping to spread the word about the new team of Business Navigators based in Shoreham.

This FREE signposting service helps businesses navigate the myriad growth schemes and providers in order to help you access grants, funding and other practical support. Claire Atkinson, is the Business Navigator for the Brighton area, and she is providing a free service to businesses in the area via the telephone or face to face. Claire will guide you to the right local and national schemes, advice and support to help your business develop and grow. Claire can help you save time, money and stress by locating the best potential opportunities.

You can reach Claire on 07912 894409 or email claire@prevista.co.uk

The service is FREE to use – all you need to do is talk to Claire claire.atkinson@c2cbusiness.org.uk at Coast to Capital.

'Social Good Guides' a collection of 16 subject-specific guides

Social Good Guides are a collection of subject specific guides created for startup changemakers. The guides are an initiative of the Social Innovators Collective.

Each guide has been authored by a distinguished professional with sector expertise across; Strategy, Operations, Accounting and Taxes, Funding, Evaluation and Impact Assessment, Marketing, Branding and Identity. The guides are based on US experiences and business landscape, though have an international appeal also. The covers have been designed beautifully by seasoned graphic designers, and brought to life by a dedicated team of volunteers. Check out all 16 here!







'Transitions to Trading' course for charities and social enterprises

School for Social Entrepreneurs, London have a limited amount of funding available for Transition to Trading course, which begins next Thursday (31st March) and runs over 6 days until June. The funding will not be able to cover the full cost of the course but does mean a reduced price for some participants.The course is for charities and social enterprises that wish to move away from reliance on grants and develop more sustainable income streams.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the funding please contact David McGlashan, Sales and Marketing Manager, SSE London david.mcglashan@sse.org.uk


'UnLtd Social Entrepreneur Supporter Programme 2016/17'

UnLtd are recruiting 4 x part-time posts

UnLtd are looking for four part-time ‘Social Entrepreneur Supporters’. These posts are supported by Local Trust as part of their Big Local Programme. Participants will be paid above the living wage at £10,000 per annum for 17.5 hours per week during the 11 month programme. This is a carefully crafted programme to develop great social entrepreneur supporters, based on the principle of ‘learning by doing’ and informed by UnLtd’s skills and competency framework.

  • This is the second iteration of the programme and the aim is for it to become the ‘benchmark’ experience for all supporters of social entrepreneurs.
  • Social entrepreneurs have varied journeys and the programme will equip you with the skills you need to support them at different stages of their journeys.
  • Participants will be supported and mentored by a named Award Manager throughout the programme giving them a mix of practical hands on experience and formal training

UnLtd are recruiting during February and March 2016. To apply visit here. Important dates include;

  • Short-listed candidates will be invited to participate in an assessment centre/interview on either March 29th (London) or 30th (Birmingham). In addition they will need to be available to visit a local community during
    the week of 21st March.
  • Successful applicants must be available to start on Monday 25th of April (unfortunately there is no flexibility on this as there will be a crucial training residential running from 25th – 28th April).
  • The programme will run until the end of March 2017 (approximately 11 months duration).

#Socent Social & Showcase - a whistle stop tour

October’s #Socent Social & Showcase was an energetic affair.

#Socent Social & Showcase

#Socent Social & Showcase – Ruth at hiSbe

We started with a whistle stop tour of Brighton’s pioneering hiSbe supermarket, where co-founder, Ruth Anslow, shared her experiences of setting up what is now a thriving social enterprise that successfully explodes the traditional supermarket model.


One thing we would have done differently? … asked for help earlier on.‘ BHSEN at The Platform didn’t exist then, so make sure you reach out for help as soon as you know you need it.


#Socent Social & Showcase – The Rose Hill


We then sauntered / strode down London Road to convene the ‘social’ aspect of the event at The Rose Hill, a new community owned pub and social enterprise at the very early stages of its journey where Kassia shared with us their vision for the arts hub.



#Socent Social & Showcase – Kassia of The Rose Hill

The social began in earnest with budding social entrepreneurs chewing the ears off existing social entrepreneurs, #socent supporters sharing their offers, with enthusiasts and ‘simply interesteds’ exploring ideas and hearing stories.

There was space to share what you needed and space to share what was offered:

I need – 

A space to run a regular fitness class on a one off charity fitness event. Contact via Facebook: Vida Woman

I can offer – 

Desk space; we are going to run a competition for startups to win 6 months desk space at our offices. Contact The Platform info@theplatform.org.uk

Desk & furniture – Contact The Platform info@theplatform.org.uk

@weareneo can help puropose driven #socents with your brand, communications and campaigns. Contact alex@weareneo.com

Join us at our next extra special #Socent Social & Showcase on Wed 16th Nov, which is a fringe event to the meaning conference that is happening on the 17th Nov. Tranood will be available and showcases will be with The Big Lemon Bus and The Bevy.

15th December welcomes Stoneham Bakehouse as the showcase. Click to book your free place.

Email info@bhsen.co.uk for more info

A letter from your new #Socent Rep

Dear Social Enterprise Sector of Brighton & Hove

I am very happy to have been elected as the new Social Enterprise Rep on Brighton  & Hove’s Community Works Rep Council. I would like to express my full commitment to developing a strategic voice for the sector to influence key policies, plans and service re-designs –

  • Providing a strategic vision and direction for the sector representation and leadership activities, suggesting which key agendas should be focused upon at which times
  • Maintaining dialogue and influencing key policies, plans and services by;
    • Developing relationships with key decision makers in the city
    • Attending committees, partnerships, steering groups etc. as relevant and according to priorities in the Reps Council action plan
  • Connecting with the sector via Community Works membership and networking activities (as well as other groups and organisations) to ensure the sector’s current views are heard and understood.
  • Feeding back to the sector on reps influencing activities and outcomes.

I am always keen to hear from you regarding the challenges, opportunities and support needs that you face. I commit to sharing regular updates as to the activity of the Reps council with you, this will be done via this e-list, here on our website blog and also via the social enterprise network’s e-list. You can sign up for this at the bottom of this page.

I look forward to representing you well, now, and in the future.

Best wishes

Emma Turner

Be part of Uni of Leeds #socent research

A new research project on social enterprises is being conducted at the University of Leeds.

What is the research about? The study is looking at how key leaders and decision makers, such as yourself, manage different types of goals (e.g. social benefits, environmental well-being), the conflicts these goals can cause, and how leaders manage financial sustainability.

Who will benefit? The aim is to identify key interventions to help the current and next generation of social entrepreneurs/NGO leaders to run stronger, healthier businesses; resolve problems more effectively; and make a bigger impact in society.

To do this, they need your help: they are asking for 30-60 minutes of your time to share and reflect on your own personal experiences, stories and thoughts

As a thank-you: The lead student will provide you with a summary of the key findings and recommendations as soon as these are ready (and prior to these being submitted for international publication). Also available is a presentation to you and your colleagues to talk about the findings.

How to participate: Please contact, Yuyan Jiang bn15yj@leeds.ac.uk, with your availability for a short telephone/Skype interview in July.

Or, for more information about the research, contact the project leader, Dr Kerrie Unworth (Head of Organisational Behaviour at Leeds University Business School) at K.L.Unsworth@leeds.ac.uk.

Brighton & Hove City Council - Annual Grants Programme 2016-17

Brighton and Hove City Council is now inviting applications to the Annual Grants Programme 2016-17. The programme provides funding to local community groups, voluntary organisations & not-for-profit social enterprise.

Please see the attached “At a Glance” Guide to Grants 2016-17. Further guidance and bid forms can be downloaded from the council’s website here. There are 3 deadlines for applications;

*         15 April 2016

*         8 July 2016

*         14 October 2016

For further information or any questions please call the Communities, Equality & Third Sector Team on 01273 291114 or E mail jonathan.best@brighton-hove.gov.uk<mailto:jonathan.best@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Brighton & Hove Social Enterprise Network event - 11th June from 10am to 12pm

Our EVENT for anyone involved in social enterprise in Brighton & Hove

  • meet our new Social Enterprise Officer
  • find out our plans for network
  • get involved in the network and let us know what kind of thing YOU would like to happen, and
  • take part in our fab ACTION LEARNING SETS: a powerful process of sharing and exploring your challenges with other social enterprise leaders to enable you to reach effective solutions).

This is a strictly ticketed event so in order to book please go to our Eventbrite page today!

Brighton-based ethical swimwear company goes from strength to strength

Brighton-based RubyMoon have been making ethical and sustainable swim and active wear for 5 years and due to demand, now offering a new high-tech multi-sports bra called ‘Zarina’. Support their campaign here…

They donate all net profits to women entrepreneurs in 11 developing countries, ‘because women invest in all the important things including nutrition, housing and education- leading to better chances for the children – and empowering women at the same time. Why did we call this bra Zarina? As a nice touch, we call are the pieces in our collection by the names of the women we invest in- Zarina Bibi lives in Pakistan and creates an income for herself by recycling knitwear. You can see her story on the RubyMoon blog‘.

British Council - Report: Social enterprise in the UK

This handbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the UK’s thriving social enterprise sector. Packed with illuminating examples and useful links, it contains information on everything from the legal structures and ownership models adopted by social enterprises to the vibrant ‘ecosystem’ of support provided through schools and universities, incubators and accelerators. In its pages, you’ll also find an overview of the funding available for UK social enterprises covering grants, loans and investment as well as crowd sourcing and social impact bonds. There is a discussion of social impact measurement tools and of social enterprise networks, associations and media. The closing chapter looks at the critical role government has played in facilitating and steering the development of the sector in the UK. Read more here, and download your copy here

Budding Social Entrepreneurs Start their Journey to Success

In May 2017, we were excited to welcome 10 budding social entrepreneurs to The Platform to take part in a course to help develop their ideas and confidence in setting up a social enterprise. The 6-day intensive course, otherwise known as the Launch Pad, was the first stage of the application process for the SEEK Programme which starts on the 3rd of July.

We were in awe of the applications that came through which covered a wide range of ideas to tackle social and environmental issues in Greater Brighton. Key themes were mental health and wellbeing and several ideas focused on supporting socially isolated groups and individuals.

Pitching Workshop 12 edit

The course, co-created by The Platform and the project partners – StartUp Croydon, University of Chichester, Croydon Council and UnLtd, offered a thorough introduction to social enterprise (what is and what’s not a social enterprise?), a chance to understand social issues and uncover the root causes and activities to explore viable business models.

The content covered was designed to provoke applicants to dig deeper and explore their idea thoroughly. Tools and techniques were shared to encourage applicants to develop an entrepreneurial mindset that would build their confidence in setting up a social enterprise and embarking on the startup journey. A safe space was created where there were no silly questions and we saw support being offered by applicants as well as specialists delivering sessions.

Before I started the Launch Pad course I had little or no idea of what a social enterprise was. All I knew was that I had an idea about helping young communities. Two weeks later, and now I am able to say I know what a social enterprise is and what they do. Thanks to SEEK I can now call my idea a social enterprise.

Following the Launch Pad applicants attended a pitching workshop and were then given the opportunity to pitch for one of seven places on the programme. The panel consisted of Project Coordinator, Sara Osterholzer; UnLtd startup specialist, Rebecca Luff; and social entrepreneur and Founder of FotoDocument, Nina Emett. Nina shared that she “was very impressed by the quality of the candidates and their ideas. The SEEK programme is clearly a great way to get people who are out of work back into the workforce in an exciting and innovative way”.

The selected entrepreneurs start their journey in July 2017 with a week-long training event in Brighton followed by 6 months of group and individual support to help build a strong foundation from which the participants build their enterprise and achieve their social mission. We will be highlighting the SEEK social entrepreneurs individually on a monthly basis so keep an eye out to follow their journey.

I would absolutely recommend the course to others as it was a very positive and inspiring experience. The course forces you to address issues you may not have known even existed. Good for personal growth as well.

Day 4 Launch Pad 01 edit

Interested in hearing more and applying to the programme?

The programme is taking place simultaneously in Brighton, Croydon and Chichester and much of the activity sees cohorts come together to engage in larger groups. The SEEK team will be recruiting for the 2018 cohort from November 2017. If you would like to stay in touch with updates and recruitment dates, sign up to the SEEK mailing list here.

The SEEK project has received funding under the Building Better Opportunities Programme which is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.