Funding, facilities and support for social entrepreneurs

Issue date: 09 November 2009

Poppy Stephenson of the Bristol Community Festival Group Free Q and A session 14.00 – 16.00
18 November – Bush House, Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QD.

Social entrepreneurs have a new opportunity to find out how to access funding aimed at supporting organisations that, like them, want to make a difference first and a profit second. A free session for people wanting to set up or develop a social enterprise will be held in central Bristol on 18 November.

Social enterprise is a growing sector in the South West and is made up of innovative organisations and inspiring people who have found new and ethical ways to trade. Like all businesses, social enterprises face tough challenges. Access to working capital, to facilities where they can meet like-minded people, and support from advisers and mentors can be hard to find.

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009, UWE Ventures and The Hub are holding a Question and Answer session for both new social enterprise start-ups and existing organisations facing the challenges of growth and expansion. The Hub is a place for meeting, working, innovating and inspiring enterprises for a better world. UWE Ventures is the business incubator for the University of the West of England, offering individuals and budding businesses a flexible and cost effective package of space, facilities, support and resources, with access to meeting space and mentoring from business experts. The event takes place on Wednesday 18 November, from 14.00 to 16.00, in Bush House, Bristol (the Arnolfini building).

The key speaker will be Annabel Sampson from UnLtd, which is custodian of a £100m endowment from the Millennium Commission. UnLtd is a pioneering organisation that provides funding and support for social enterprise. The talk will be followed by a question and answer session facilitated by Ken Peel, Director of Box Arrow, an ethical business providing project management advice, expertise and support. The panel will include representatives of UnLtd, UWE Ventures, The Hub and key partner organisations.

There will also be opportunities for networking and one-to-one appointments with advisers from UWE Ventures and representatives from The Hub. Already The Hub and UWE Ventures are home to several social enterprises ranging from ethical trading and the Bristol Festival to a micro-finance company.

Ken Peel said “The Q and A session is a friendly and informal chance to find out first-hand what funders are looking for and to learn about the great facilities in UWE Ventures and The Hub. Bring your questions – get answers!”

Places are free but limited. To register e-mail or phone 0117 32 81491.

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