BG Futures & Lincolnshire Co-operative joined forces to raise awareness of the importance of social enterprises and community businesses to Greater Lincolnshire at a collaborative event.
The event - “Supporting the creation of Social Enterprises and Community Businesses" - was organised by BGFutures in partnership with Lincolnshire Co-operative and hosted on Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) campus at Lincolnshire Social Economy Hub. The focus of the event, sponsored by Key Fund, was to identify the support available to individuals and organisations interested in becoming a social enterprise or community business.
The event featured a panel of speakers from organisations who support the creation of community-owned enterprises.
Harriet English, Head of Engagement at the Plunkett Foundation, discussed the business support available and how they can partner directly with local county councils and support bodies to help raise the profile of the community business model.
Emma Laycock, Head of Co-operative Advice at Co-operatives UK, spoke about the benefits of co-operatives and how they can be used as a legal structure for social enterprises, while Dave Thornett, Business Development Manager at Key Fund, outlined the different types of social enterprises and legal structures.
Allison Webb, Director of External Engagement at Bishop Grosseteste University, shared insights into BGU's involvement in the sector including the recent development of a social economy hub and academy.
She also announced the exciting launch of Greater Lincolnshire as a Social Enterprise Place, which will see local authorities, organisations and enterprises coming together to promote the growth of the sector in Greater Lincolnshire.
Allison said the event was a great opportunity to work collectively. She said: "It was really inspiring to see the collective enthusiasm and support available to aspiring enterprises. The event helped us raise awareness and equip attendees with the skills required to support individuals interested in exploring these business models.
"We're excited to move forward with our launch of Greater Lincolnshire as a Social Enterprise Place and identify more ways we can make real, impactful change for individuals and community businesses.
"The development of these enterprises is so important because they offer a direct response to the wants and needs of the local communities they serve. So many of these businesses have positive social impact at the heart of what they do and we're proud to be part of that."