DSEQ | Exploring Digbeth’s Social Enterprises
Social enterprise tourism is a great way to showcase Birmingham the social enterprise city to the world.
This month we’ve hosted two groups of visitors to the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter (DSEQ) in Birmingham, both looking to understand more about how social ventures are contributing to the local economy and providing alternative approaches to the way business is done.
First we welcomed 30 students from Tsuru University in Japan, who had an interest in the environmental and health and social care sector, specifically mental health and homelessness.
The group setting off on the guided Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter walking tour in Birmingham’s creative heart, visiting social enterprises, taking in the street art and the old industrial architecture of Digbeth’s past.
First stop on the tour was Better Pathways, a social enterprise supporting people with mental-ill health into employment.
Hearing from Melissa from Sifa Fireside on their day services for the homeless and vulnerably housed.
Visiting Clean Kilo, Birmingham’s first zero-waste supermarket in the heart of Digbeth. Recently deemed Birmingham’s ‘coolest’ neighbourhood by the Sunday Times, the formerly industrialised hub is now home to a new wave of entrepreneurs, digital natives, galleries, bars and street food pop-ups.
Our visitors the following week joined us from from India on an exchange with Warwick University business school.
The group were very interested to find out more about worker-owned co-operative models at the Warehouse Cafe.
Lots of questions were asked about not-for-profit structures and exploring the differentiation between social enterprise and the more familiar NGO. We also had a inspiring talk from Zehit Kadra of start-up Birmingham Impact FC (pictured below) on embracing diversity through sport.