Could your new business have social benefits?

DO you have a business idea that could also do good for your local community?

By The Newsroom
Monday, 16th January 2012, 11:00 am

Then you should pay a visit to a social enterprise event being staged in Bedfordshire later this month.

This year’s first ‘Social Enterprise…is it for me?’ event is being supported by Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council, and is free for all attendees.

It takes place on Wednesday, January 25 at the Community and Voluntary Service (CVS) on Bromham Road, Bedford, and it is is aimed at people who have a business idea and would like to support the local community.

The seminar will explore the concept of social enterprise and have been designed to help delegates understand what a social enterprise is, offer practical advice on how to start one and provide a list of useful contacts that can help interested parties along the way. The first session will start at 10am, followed by ‘How do you start a Social Enterprise?’ at 11.30am.

Both Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council work with a wide range partners to help encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in Bedfordshire and have been supporting a range of social enterprise businesses over the past few years.

Councillor Ken Matthews, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development for Central Bedfordshire Council, said “As a local authority we need to work even more closely with potential businesses and key partners in order to achieve the area’s economic potential particularly in these challenging economic times.

“It is great to be supporting this latest event.”

Local company, Enterprise Start-Up & Development Association (ESUDA), has been successfully running for nearly four years having launched back in 2008.

The not-for-profit company, was set up with the aim of offering business support services to disadvantaged groups. The services have been well received, having launched a host of new programmes to get people into work.

They raised money to start work by selling donated items on Ebay and were lucky to recruit volunteer business advisors who were passionate about helping people to start their own businesses.

Adriana Lokman, company director, said: “Being a single mum with business experience I saw a niche in the market to offer specialist support and advice to mums wanting to start their own businesses or ‘mumpreneurs’ as we call it – especially those that are on their own and felt that they couldn’t start a business until their children went to school.”

“We then developed low-cost networking groups called Mums Business Clubs in partnership with www.mumsclub.co.uk where mums could bring their children and network with other mums for business and pleasure. This service was so popular that in the past year we have launched over 20 groups nationwide.”

For more information on how ESUDA can help local businesses or training for business skills, contact: [email protected] or call free on 0800 090 1651.

More Social Enterprise seminars are due to run throughout Central Bedfordshire over the next few months, for more information visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk