Finding the right people and resources can be tough in a climate of austerity, especially if you are a social entrepreneur.
However, there are great opportunities in the sector for those willing to put in the hard work. Andrew Stunell, Communities Minister, has recently announced that £30 million in grants will be available for local communities under the local Community Rights support service. Moreover, the government has newly promised to set up a three-year programme, which will dedicate £448 million to fighting truancy, youth crime and antisocial behaviour in local communities.
These initiatives represent, for social enterprises, a glimmer of hope in these economically-depressed times.
However, in order to secure new forms of investment and compete for public service contracts, social entrepreneurs need to prepare themselves meticulously and that is where the difficulties lie… Indeed, many social entrepreneurs fail to raise capital effectively because they lack preparation, contacts and the adequate support.
An upcoming Social Business Conference will have plenty to offer in this respect. The conference title is “Moving capital in a shocked economy”, and while the urgent need to address this core issue remains, the gathering will also focus on themes crucial to growing the social enterprise sector whatever the economic conditions.
Hot topics include: ‘charities in transition: leveraging social investment’, the role of large social enterprises in creating social innovation and interactive lunch discussions. The latter will focus on investment readiness, the Olympic legacy and building your team.
Sector experts ClearlySo, will host the Seventh Annual Social Business Conference on the 9th of October at LSO St Luke’s. A great variety of speakers will share their knowledge and expertise with social entrepreneurs while many investors and corporates with an interest in the field will also be present. So there will be outstanding networking opportunities for all attendees!
Last year’s conference introduced the Social Business of the Year Live Award, a competition where all social entrepreneurs in the audience got a chance to pitch their business and walk away with a £2,000 cash prize. Bristol Together won the award last year and went on to secure a further investment of £250,000. Read CEO Paul Harrod’s story here.
Social entrepreneurs can register their interest to enter the competition when they purchase their SBC12 ticket. Book early to benefit from the advantageous early bird rate and make sure to block out the 9th of October in your calendar.