A West Sussex group is putting on a programme of events to inspire a new audience into setting up social enterprises.
The West Sussex Social Enterprise Network, which is funded by West Sussex County Council, is holding a series of workshops throughout February and March across the county.
Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community.
Examples of Social Enterprises in West Sussex include, The Base Skatepark in Bognor Regis, Woods for Learning based in Horsham and the Mid Sussex Wood Recycling Project based in Haywards Heath.
A series of three workshops are being held throughout February and March in Crawley, Horsham and Worthing to explain how to set up a social enterprise.
• The first workshop is to inspire people by hearing stories from existing social enterprises.
• The second workshop helps participants develop their idea and find a legal structure that fits.
• The final workshop moves the participants towards developing their business plan.
The workshops are free of charge and free follow up one-to-one sessions can also be booked with an advisor.
In addition to these events, a one day conference has been planned to support existing social enterprises across West Sussex to learn new skills and techniques to improve their marketing. The event ‘Getting your message across’ is free to West Sussex Social Enterprises and will be held on Thursday 25 February 2016.
West Sussex County Council Leader, Louise Goldsmith, said: “These workshops are a necessity for any organisation thinking about setting up a social enterprise. They will be run by professionals with significant expertise in providing exactly the kind of helpful advice and guidance that enables organisations to turn their social enterprise ideas into reality.
“Social enterprises play an important role for our local economy, communities and environment. The County Council has an on-going commitment to support social enterprises and these workshops are an ideal place to gather information and support and to exchange useful tips and ideas with fellow organisations.”
For more information about these sessions and to book your place please visit https://wssen.eventbrite.com or call Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester on 01243 840305.