Monday, 19 November 2012

Budding social entrepreneurs given tips on how to grow

More than 50 social enterprises in Wigan have come together to learn the best way of growing their businesses.

A special event was held on Wednesday (14th November) to give enterprises looking to expand practical advice and tips on how to develop. Organised by Wigan Social Enterprise Sector Network, I was part of a panel who participated in a “Question Time” event, answering questions from budding entrepreneurs. Subjects covered included funding, partnerships, social impact measurement and ways to engage with customers in the public sector.

The theme of the event, organised as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week and held at the DW Stadium, was to pass on practical help and support needed by start-ups and individuals who are considering taking the plunge.

Gillian Bishop, corporate director at Wigan Council said, “Social enterprises play an important role in the economy of Wigan Borough. This event was an excellent example of what can be done to help promote their development and growth. It’s clear there’s a lot of encouraging work taking place across the borough and Wigan Council is keen to offer support where it can.”

This is an exciting time to be a social entrepreneur with a Bill to strengthen the sector making good parliamentary progress. If enacted, it would signal a further expansion of the role of social enterprises in public sector markets. Currently the government spends more than £236bn procuring goods and services –  making sure it does so with social value in mind could be enough to radically alter the economy ensuring that growth serves people and local communities.

Wigan Social Enterprise Network hosts bimonthly meetings. For more information contact Sylvia Pearson here.                                         

Wigan Social Enterprise Sector Network is part of the Wigan Borough Network of Networks. It is led by the School for Social Entrepreneurs North West and empowers, represents and supports its members and coordinated activities primarily for social enterprises across the borough. A whole spectrum of sector representation attends the network to promote a real partnership approach to business.

The “Question Time” panel members also included:

• Charlotte Young, National Chair of School for Social Entrepreneurs
• Paul Corcoran, Managing Director Agent Marketing & Chair of SSE North West
• William Greenwood, North West Region Head of Service Development for NHS Direct
• Liz Brooks-Allen, Director, The Connectives
• Andy Darron, Executive Director of Groundwork Lancashire West and Wigan

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