The Spark Project

Support for the start-up and growth of social enterprises in West Sussex.

The Spark Project enables social enterprises to develop and deliver more sustainable and high impact innovations leading to increased growth.

What we've done so far

  • Undertaken comprehensive research amongst social enterprises and stakeholders to identify barriers to growth through innovation.
  • Published a Strategy and Action Plan.
  • Started involving key stakeholders in Action Plan activity.
  • Launched the innovation model for social enterprises to help make the most of new ideas.
  • Held visits, workshops and training sessions with social enterprises from the UK, Belgium and Netherlands over two weeks (12-16 June 2017 in the UK, 2-6 October 2017 in Belgium and 12-16 March 2018 in Netherlands).
  • Took 25 social enterprises in the UK through completion of the Accelerator programme, which included one to one sessions, peer to peer learning, specialist training and project and international conference in Open Innovation techniques.
  • Launched My Start Up Social Enterprise, an online learning platform for start-ups, held several events to promote the use of the tool and held webinars on subjects such as innovation, impact assessment and business modelling.
  • Re-launched the project's website including a huge variety of resources.

What we'll do next

  • Continue growing the Social Enterprise Innovation Accelerator network.
  • Evaluate the impact of the Accelerator and the My Start Up Social Enterprise tool, in the social enterprises that participated.
  • Continue engaging stakeholders in the Strategy and Action Plan.
  • Deliver activity in the Action Plan.
  • Hold an event with MEPs in November 2019 to raise the profile of social enterprise and its role in the economy and society.
  • Hold a dissemination event in December 2019 for stakeholders and support agencies.


The Spark Social Enterprise Project has received funding from the Interreg 2 Seas Programme 2014/20. This has been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under subsidy contract No 2S01-043.

Find out more about the Spark Project (external link)
Spark Project logo
Last updated:
17 September 2019
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