Great Yarmouth's Social entrepreneurs showcase their success.
10 Social Entrepreneurs from Great Yarmouth had their first experience of pitching their services to potential purchasers at a showcase event organised by responsible business charity Business in the Community. Representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors attended The Future of Social Business event on Thursday 17th September at Great Yarmouth Town Hall, which coincided with a key milestone of the Skills, Enterprise and Assets (SEA) project being reached. The event was supported by Social Enterprise East of England who provided an insight to challenges and rewards of creating a Social Enterprise with some fantastic examples of good practice and creativity.
From Uniquely Chic who upcycle donated items and in turn up skill local residents to Turning Tides who provide tailored counselling for those furthest from the labour market the social entrepreneurs pitched their diverse mix of social enterprises. For many this was their first experience of pitching to a crowd and will help them in further growing their enterprises.
Commenting on the experience Debra Nicholson of the Wind Energy Museum said 'It was a great opportunity to put into practice some of the previously obtained training that has been provided by this project. 12 months ago I would never have dreamt that I would be here pitching in front of an audience let alone running my own social enterprise. It's been a great experience and I would like to thank everyone that has provided help and support along the way'.
The Wind Energy Museum is the only one of its kind in the UK. Debra's dream was to turn the site in to a delivery centre to benefit vulnerable groups and increase recognition of the site in terms of local heritage but was unsure how to approach creating a sustainable enterprise whilst protecting the exhibits. Through contacts made on the programme funded by the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), the project is forging ahead with and has also been host to a cohort of young people engaged on the National Citizen Service from a local school. Debra was successful in winning a place on the coveted Lloyds Social Entrepreneur Programme and is working in partnership with 3Sun Engineering to promote learning in the wind energy sector.
Speaking about the event Jacqui Starling Project Manager at Business in the Community added 'It's been great to be able to showcase both the social enterprises and the individual behind their success at this event. Each of the individuals is now at a stage that they can self-sustain their operation and will be working with other local partners to further build on the foundations they have set. Having Nicky Stevenson from the Social Enterprise East of England present enabled the audience to fully appreciate the role social enterprises can play in helping to regenerate local communities'
Cllr Graham Plant, the leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: "The borough council is delighted to see new social and community enterprises setting-up in Great Yarmouth, which have an important role to play in driving forward the local economy.
"The commitment and passion of the social entrepreneurs to develop their ideas, and to work collaboratively, is fantastic, and we are proud to have supported the work of Business in the Community to help make this happen.
"We wish the ten social entrepreneurs who attended the event every success in building their businesses, and we look forward to playing our part, along with other local groups and employers, to help them network and grow in the coming months and years."
Business in the Community is now calling on local residents, employers and commissioners to take an active role in further supporting the entrepreneurs and in turn support their local community. If you are interested in discovering more about the social enterprises involved in this programme please visit www.bitc.org.uk/east and select the Supporting Social Enterprise option.
For more information please contact:
Mike Toy, Communications Manager, Business in the Community T: 023 9241 5760