CITY DRIVE 2018 | Welcome from our CEO
I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to our Birmingham City Drive 2018 Programme. Over the past five years we have been on a journey to gain recognition for the amazing work of social enterprises operating in Birmingham.
Our journey began when resources for infrastructure support for social enterprise were cut and, as a sector in Birmingham, we faced the challenge of supporting individuals seeking start up support and social enterprises seeking to grow. We harnessed the power of the sector and began our unique social enterprise walks which captured the imagination of politicians and those seeking to grow the sector which in turn resulted in the formation of a cross sector steering group to launch the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter in early December 2013.
Since then we have seen a continued growth of social enterprise, not only in Digbeth but Citywide. We also have new organisations in moving into Social Enterprise sector development which includes the Universities, we also have our first social enterprise university [Aston]; Impact Hub; Co-Op’s; a range of social finance agencies; GBSLEP Growth Hub; Locality; Enterpreneurial Spark; and of course UnLtd and School for Social Entrepreneurs continue their good work.
Over this time, we have also seen social enterprise mentioned as a economic contributor within the GBSLEP strategic economic plan, USE IT! a large project commenced to grow social enterprise in West Birmingham supported by Birmingham City Council and the inclusion of SE’s in private sector supply chains. There really have been many developments.
A new group has formed to steer Birmingham to become A Social Enterprise City, the next step in our development building on the work of the DSEQ. This year in City Drive, on the last day of our programme, we will be launching our new city status with a Social Enterprise Festival. Please do get involved in the week of events and especially the festival.
City Drive week is all about raising awareness of social enterprise with everyone who lives and works in the city. We also have 5 calls to action:
Buy from a social enterprise.
Start a social enterprise.
Work in a social enterprise.
Volunteer with a social enterprise.
Invest in a social enterprise.
See you at City Drive!
Sarah Crawley (CEO, iSE CIC)
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0121 771 1411 | i-se.co.uk