Like never before the world needs people and ideas that want to find positive solutions to the social and environmental issues we face.
The opportunity to make change happen through business is being opened up to people who may not normally have the chance through a unique, collaborative project called SEEK. The programme was launched on the 10th March 2017, across the Coast to Capital region, to support people who are not in work to become entrepreneurs and set up their own social enterprises.
Social enterprises are businesses which have a social or environmental mission and generate income through trading goods and services. Rather than profits going to shareholders, they reinvest their profits into furthering their mission. The Big Issue, the Eden Project, Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen and Divine Chocolate are all examples of social enterprises.
The SEEK project offers a 6-month intensive StartUp programme that includes a variety of learning and support to help take the first steps to setting up a business that trade to tackle social problems, strengthen communities or improve the environment.
Participants will gain access to a £500 StartUp fund; workshops and trainings; a mentor matched to their needs; opportunities to shadow social enterprise CEOs’ and Managers’ and build the connections they need to make their business a success.
This multi-partner project has the driving force of The Platform, with a powerful team of partners in UnLtd., StartUp Croydon, Croydon Council and University of Chichester.
“People in communities which face social and environmental problems are the most likely to create the most relevant solutions. The SEEK project will give people who are not in work the skills and support they need to make change happen and create a positive impact through business.” Fiona Ras, Business Development Director at The Platform.
Shahed Molvi, UnLtd Head of Programmes said: “Tackling some of the biggest challenges facing British society requires a radical shift in thinking and practice, that’s why UnLtd is delighted to be supporting SEEK. Social entrepreneurship is a key driver of employment in communities around the country. We’re here to help SEEK deliver the right chances to people who need new opportunities to find work and create new jobs for themselves and others.”
Applications for 2017 are open now for programmes that will take place in Brighton, Croydon and Chichester. We want to hear from people who are not in work who have a vision to create a better future and will work with them to develop their idea, find inspiration, build confidence, gain relevant skills and pitch for a place on the programme.
This project has received funding under the Building Better Opportunities Programme which is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.