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Social Enterprise in West Sussex

The term 'social enterprise' is used to describe a business model where profit is reinvested principally to fulfill social objectives or to grow the business, rather than maximise profit for shareholders and owners.

Examples of social enterprises include some cooperatives and staff mutuals, social firms, community interest companies, some companies limited by guarantee or shares and community enterprises.

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is leading a network of organisations which provide countywide infrastructure support for social enterprises. We focus our efforts both on start ups and on existing social enterprises that wish to grow, as well as promoting and raising the profile of social enterprise and providing access to support, advice and information.

If you'd like to learn more about social enterprise or the opportunities for support and information available, please visit the West Sussex Social Enterprise Network (WSSEN) website.

Social Enterprise Fund 2014-15

The Social Enterprise Fund (SEF) was established in 2011/12 as one of a number of initiatives to support the social enterprise sector in West Sussex and to promote social enterprise throughout the county.

This year the SEF is offering two streams of grant funding as a means of investing in the social enterprise sector for the longer term. These are:

  • Stream 1 - Social Enterprise Early Stage Development Grant to support social enterprise at earlier stages of development.

    Deadline: 12 August 2014, 5.00pm.


Up to £50,000 is available to fund up to 10 organisations that want to undertake a piece of work to explore their idea for social enterprise. The maximum grant that may be awarded to an individual or organisation is £5,000. 

This grant scheme is to help individuals and organisations who have an idea for a social enterprise business and who wish to explore and investigate this further so as to be able to assess whether it is a viable business proposition. Any proposal must be a business idea linked to clear social objectives. We anticipate that the fund will support a wide range of proposals.

  • Stream 2 - Social Enterprise Main Grant scheme for social enterprises at the point of delivery of new products or services.

    Deadline for Expression of Interest Form: 14 August 2014, 5.00pm
    Deadline for Full Bid Application Form: 18 November 2014, 5.00pm


Up to £275,000 is available from the SEF for individuals or organisations to deliver new products or services as a social enterprise. The maximum grant that may be awarded to an individual or organisation is £25,000.

Any proposal for funding must be a business idea, linked to clear social objectives working to achieve social impact when delivering services and products as a social enterprise. 

You can apply for either Stream 1 or Stream 2, not for both. Please ensure you read the guidelines and eligibility criteria before applying.

Application forms, Guidelines and other documents related to this grant fund are available to download below.

Please note that that the process for Stream 2 has two phases. Anyone wishing to apply must fill in and submit the Expression of Interest Form first.

Only if your proposal is selected, will you be invited to submit a Full Bid Application Form.    

Information workshops

We will also be running some free information workshops about the Social Enterprise Fund. These will be held at the following times and locations:

  • Centenary House, Worthing - Tuesday 8 July 8 2014 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
  • County Hall, Chichester - Wednesday 9 July 2014 from 10.00am to midday
  • County Hall North, Horsham – Friday 11 July 2014 from 10.00am to midday


If you would like to book a place on one of the workshops above please email social.enterprise@westsussex.gov.uk with your full name, a contact phone number and the location of the workshop you’d like to attend. Please note that there are a limited number of spaces and places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

For details on the projects funded in previous years please see the supporting documents below.

For queries on Social Enterprise or the Social Enterprise Fund please email social.enterprise@westsussex.gov.uk.

Supporting documents



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