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Capacity Builders' Improving Support to South West Social Enterprises

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Capacity Builders awarded �374,065 to the South West Social Enterprise Programme for 2008-11 to improve the quality of support to them (as part of Capacity Builders national programme). There are four unique projects being supported in the South West of England:

1. Development of the Social Enterprise Mark with the English Regions � led by RISE, amount funded: �138,000

2. Reaching BME Communities � led by CEMVO in partnership with Social Enterprise Works, amount funded: �119,965

3.Survive and Thrive: connecting rural Social and Community Enterprises across the South West � led by the Development Trusts Association, amount funded: �120,000

4. Mentoring for social enterprise leaders - led by COSMIC, amount funded: �140,000

Project summaries

1. Development of the Social Enterprise Mark with the English Regions
The Social Enterprise Mark is the South West�s �national learning� project. The Capacity Builders funding is therefore supporting learning and development work towards a nationally available Social Enterprise Mark service as the new ethical label being used by social enterprises on their products and services. The Social Enterprise Mark is currently available in South West England only (the funding is restricted). However, all the regional social enterprise networks are committed to working in partnership to deliver the Mark nationally and were eager to prioritize the Mark as a Capacity Builders national learning project. The learning and development work that will be supported specifically by the Capacity Builders funding will include:
1. Additional detailed research and fact finding programme to appropriately inform delivery of a national SE Mark and support its ongoing success.
2. A comprehensive training and support programme for delivery partners across the country, to ensure quality delivery of a national SE Mark and support its ongoing success.
3. Expert advice to delivery partners across the country in order to determine and implement robust ways of working together, ensuring seamless and effective benefits for social enterprises.
Contact: Paula Howley,

2. Reaching BME Communities
CEMVOs recently successful bid to support BME groups in developing social enterprise models will focus on a highly proactive approach that is required with groups that have a greater oral tradition and method of working, and who because of the way they tend to operate need more direct contact and embedded support than might be the case for many groups.
In a process that will involve what is essentially a lot of 'hand holding' eight groups will benefit from an intensive programme of commercial and economic awareness relating to how and why a social enterprise is the way forward, why it is the right time for social enterprise and how to ensure you are 'fit for purpose'. They will be helped to analyse the prospects of success in the present economic environment of different models and direct support in developing a model of their choice from inception.
Contact: Nicholas Duffin,

3. Survive and Thrive: connecting rural Social and Community Enterprises across the South West
Development Trusts Association's Survive and thrive aims to be a catalyst for inspiration, learning and exchange for rural communities across the South West to grow lasting enterprise solutions to local social and environmental challenges.
� Inspiring: sharing the passion, the ups, the downs � learning from �local heroes� to build a better business, make more money and better social and environmental impacts.
� Informing: uncovering trade secrets and building skills to create resilient rural social and community enterprises
� Exchanging: bringing together social entrepreneurs committed to working on real problems and implement solutions for their enterprise and pursue opportunities for their communities.
Contact: Diana Moore,

4. Mentoring for social enterprise leaders
COSMIC is running an exciting and innovative mentoring programme designed to enable leaders of Social Enterprises of all levels to develop their confidence, competence and commitment in order to inspire their organisations and their people with passion and a sense of shared purpose.
The project will give leaders at all levels an opportunity to realise their full potential and access the most appropriate support available including the ground-breaking use of ICT both through the project and through other sources. The programme will be flexible and will be tailored to the individuals� needs and aspirations. Participation in this project will arm 100 leaders of Social Enterprises with the tools and advice they need to drive their enterprises forward in a planned and strategic manner.
Contact: Sarah Stevenson,

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