Digbeth-based organisation Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs (iSE) are delighted to announce that Birmingham is set to become an accredited Social Enterprise Place, as recognised by national body Social Enterprise UK, a leading global authority on social enterprise.
Sarah Crawley, CEO, iSE commented: “It is with enormous pride that I am able to announce that our application to Social Enterprise UK for Birmingham to become a social enterprise city has been agreed. This is something very special for social enterprises in Birmingham that recognises the energy and commitment of the sector and all those who support it.”
Birmingham has the largest number of social enterprise’s outside of London – over 70 in Digbeth alone and an estimated 700 across the city - with new social enterprises locating in Birmingham all the time. Over the past few months, iSE and partners have been working hard to recognise Birmingham as a hotspot for social enterprise activity, involving local councils, businesses, charities, consumers and budding social entrepreneurs.
Through gaining the Social Enterprise City status, iSE aims to grow Birmingham as a city of one thousand social enterprises – a magnet for economic opportunity, employment and growth - in a nod to Birmingham’s industrial past where levels of enterprise were high and unemployment was low.
iSE will be celebrating their achievement with a soft launch at their Social Enterprise Festival on Friday 27th April at Birmingham Council House, sponsored by wates, a champion of social enterprise. The festival is an opportunity for organisations and key partners to get together and show the innovation, power and economic impact of the sector across the city.
The award has the full support of Birmingham City Council, all the local universities, the growth Hub, WMAHSN, School for Social entrepreneurs, UnLtd, Co-Ops UK and will be launched fully in September with the support of Unity Bank.
Sarah Crawley said: “This is a very exciting time for Birmingham and the social enterprises that operate in the city. We are keen to harness the power of the sector and work with key stakeholders to address the many social issues we have. Social enterprise is now on the map!”
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1) Social enterprises are businesses that aim to make a profit that can be invested back into social and environmental causes. They have at least 50 per cent of their income streams through business to business or business to customer trade so sit in between the SME sector and the Third Sector and are often referred to as the ‘Fourth Sector’. 70,000 UK-based social enterprises now add more than £24 billion to the UK economy and employ over 1 million people, often from disadvantaged backgrounds or deprived communities. (https://www.socialenterprise.
2) iSE is an infrastructure support organisation that has been supporting and growing the social enterprise sector since 1998. We work throughout the West Midlands and beyond, supporting start-ups and strengthening existing organisations through capacity building services and access to opportunities.
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