In late 2011, Birmingam YMCA asked iSE to help them generate ideas for a social enterprise trading arm. They were clear that they wanted to create employment opportunities for formerly homeless people, whilst also offering a high quality product or service that would generate income for the charity. Working closely with project leads, we explored a number of options for the charity including a social enterprise letting agents, but it was decided that a specialist food business would be the best fit. iSE undertook an extensive feasibility study and market research exercise which fed into the business development plan for the new enterprise, which is set to start trading in autumn 2012.
“We went to iSE because they were recommended to us – and it’s easy to see why. We needed someone to cut through all the jargon and offer us clear, consistent, high-quality advice. Sarah and the team were brilliant; scoping our options and giving us a clear steer on what they felt was realistic. They had clearly done their research and knew what they were talking about. The business plan they produced was very detailed. Overall, this was some of the best value consultancy I’ve ever accessed.” Alan Fraser, CEO, YMCA