iSE | Round Up of City Drive 2018


Birmingham City Drive logo

Our fifth edition of City Drive saw 16 events take place right across the city showcasing Birmingham’s finest Social Entrepreneurs!

Full Festival programme available here

Here are some of our highlights:

Art in the City

The week kicked off at The Arches Project with their Art in the City exhibition, exhibiting local artists including eco-friendly textile and soft furnishings designer Giovanna Esposito and Aston Walker the inventor of a portable solar panelled water steriliser!

The Arches exterior Digbeth

New Start Stories

A little later we headed over to Evolve Café for an after-work social and roundtable for young, newer social enterprises. Curated by Alun Severn from BSSEC and our very own Sarah Crawley; iSE CEO, the afternoon was packed full of inspirational stories with no boundaries or hidden agendas!

Alun Severn presenting

Find your Finance and Banking

Day two saw our HQ in Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter packed full of participants for our Find your Finance and Banking. Conversation was flowing and smiles a plenty as we heard from our inspirational speakers including Andy King from ART Business Loans, Grace England; Social Investment Manager from Resonance, and Richard Rose; Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Unity Trust.

Group discussion inside an office

Divine Chocolate Masterclass

A little later that day we headed down to Impact Hub for our Divine Chocolate Masterclass where the competition was tough as eight bakers competed for the top spot! Amongst the sweet spongy goodness we also heard from Caroline Miller CEO of Birmingham Royal Ballet.

City Drive Divine Bake Off

Ruby’s Bakery made the winning bake with this delicious three-tier spongy extravaganza! Ruby is now taking orders and you can get in touch via email:


Post judging, everything went to local homeless choir, Choir with No Name to keep them going through their Birmingham rehearsal.

A young lady serving cake

Mikro Fund Your Social Enterprise

On Wednesday the Women’s Enterprise Hub hosted a mikro-fund event alongside Samosa Saturday that  attracted 30 people and raised £262 for Audrey to develop a support service for widows.

Micro-fund event participants group shot

Social Enterprise Stories

Running adjacently was our special City Drive edition of the Soho Social Enterprise Network. Conversation was a plenty and we were left with lots of food for thought from speakers, Janet Grey of Feed my Creative, Zehir Kadir of Birmingham Impact Football Hub and Saima Razzaq of Boatel Birmingham.


Pop Up and Pop In

Thursday saw our spectacular Pop Up and Pop In takeover alongside Miss Macaroon! Here’s Miss Macaroon herself; Rosie Ginday, receiving some good news:

The event attracted several inspiring speakers from the region including Andy Street; Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Change Kitchen were also on hand offering delicious vegan lunches and vegan sushi rolling workshops that went down a storm!

Change Kitchen vegan lunchJoe Trodden

And of course there were macaroons! So many delicious macaroons!

Miss Macaroon interior

Social Enterprise Festival

Friday brought with it our penultimate event, our prestigious Social Enterprise Festival at Birmingham Council House! With over 50 Social Enterprises exhibiting and over 200 festival attendees, this marked the largest celebration of Social Enterprise in the West Midlands to date!

Birmingham Social Enterprise Festival

© Ian Cuthbert

Here’s Sarah Crawley presenting Councillor Tony Kennedy and Jennie Assersohn; Community Investment Manager for Wates, with our biodegradable seeded paper.

Sarah Crawley presenting Councillor Tony Kennedy and Jennie Assersohn; Community Investment Manager for Wates, with iSE's biodegradable seeded paper

© Ian Cuthbert

Shelanu had an action packed stand where festival goers got to make, press and engrave bespoke jewellery.

Birmingham Social Enterprise Festival

© Ian Cuthbert

And finally… the moment Sarah Crawley announced Birmingham as an accredited Social Enterprise City!

Sarah Crawley

© Ian Cuthbert

Happy City Drive everyone! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

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