Sheffield Social Enterprise Network creates specialist support programme in Sheffield

Sheffield City Council (SCC) has commissioned the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network (SSEN) to create the Social Enterprise Growth Accelerator (SEGA).

In partnership with Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and the South Yorkshire Community Foundation (SYCF), the programme provides specialist business support and advice for social enterprises in Sheffield.

The programme will aim to create at least 30 new social enterprises in Sheffield, whilst providing expert advice and support to a minimum of 100 established social enterprises in the city.

Funded by UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), part of the government’s Levelling Up agenda, through the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), SEGA covers four key topics: engagement and diagnostic, specialist support, marketing and communication, referrals and networking.

As a priority, SCC has identified the provision of specialist, targeted assistance to support the startup, survival, growth and scale-up of the wider social enterprise sector within Sheffield.

Terry Murphy, CEO of the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network, said: “The SEGA programme will facilitate the development of a more connected Social Enterprise sector and support Social Entrepreneurs to develop the skills and knowledge they need.

“We’ll be welcoming more and more organisations into our network in the coming years as charities are forced to become more enterprising and businesses forced to become more social. Through SEGA, Social Enterprises can demonstrate that they can be the city’s trailblazers, galvanising the changes necessary to shape the future of Britain’s economy into a sustainable one.”

Louisa Harrison-Walker, CEO of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “One of Sheffield’s strengths is its thriving social enterprise sector and with collaboration at the heart of everything we do at the Chamber, initiatives like this are exactly what we’re all about.

“Social enterprises are a wonderful example of businesses operating as a force for good so it’s great to be able to contribute our collective business expertise to this cause. SSEN’s impact across the city, of which SEGA is a part, is vital to ensure Sheffield can be a hub for social enterprises. We’re delighted to have partnered with them and SYCF to see the aims of the commission come to reality.”

Ruth Willis, CEO of the South Yorkshire Community Foundation, said: “SYCF are looking forward to working with all the partners to the SEGA programme. This collaboration between key organisations within Sheffield will lead to a coordinated approach for social enterprise support.

“Through the programme, SYCF will be delivering a small grants programme of 30 grants to social enterprise start-ups, ensuring they have the resources they need to become resilient and to grow. Limited numbers of grants are currently available through SYCF and not for start-ups, so this is a valuable source of income for the sector. We anticipate a high take up of the grants on offer.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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