FUSE | The iSE Start-Up Programme

iSE CIC’s FUSE start-up programme is back for 2020. Taking learning from previous years, we’ve designed a dynamic programme for social enterprise and women-led businesses in Birmingham and West Midlands.

What is The FUSE?

The FUSE is a dedicated start-up programme for social entrepreneurs, innovators and change-makers near trade or at early-start stage that want to fast-track their social enterprise or women-led business, grow networks, develop collaborative opportunities and develop sustainable businesses that create social impact.

Delivered in partnership with industry experts, each month invited specialists will deliver a masterclass taking you through the ‘business basics’, giving you valuable insights and quality resources across a range of strategic and operational modules.

FUSE programme


The Model

We’ll work with you intensively through practical group pow-wow sessions built around the Business Model Canvas.

You will also have all the masterclass materials and resources enabling you to build your own, tailored ‘business toolkit’ to use as you take your enterprise forwards. Supported by your new network of business experts and peers, you can also access new ‘routes to market’, hot-desking and office space through the facilities offered at our Digbeth office or Women’s Enterprise Hub in Sparkbrook.

Topics covered on the programme include the business model canvas, developing a robust social mission, building a community and networks, social media and marketing, social enterprise models and structures, understanding numbers, funding and alternative social finance, social impact and developing your pitch.

Peer support is an essential element of the programme and one of the key reasons why it is essential to attend every session. Working within the group builds trust and confidence for sharing knowledge, skills, ideas and problem solving.

Who is it For?

iSE run a number of different FUSE social enterprise start-up programmes for Birmingham and the West Midlands throughout the year, each with a different focus.

Current priorities are health and social care, women-led businesses (both social enterprise and ‘private’) and developing social enterprise in West Birmingham.

The programmes are for individuals or small groups who want to develop a business that is financially sustainable but also (and importantly) delivers a strong and measurable social impact.

Hear from some of our recent FUSE programme graduates here  and here.

Practical work on your enterprise

Practical work on your enterprise

How is it Funded?

FUSE doesn’t happen by itself and iSE works with a number of funders and sponsors who understand the power that social enterprise can have in changing lives and communities.

Because of our sponsorship, The FUSE is free to you.

We’re grateful to The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) for funding our FUSE 2020.


To apply for the FUSE social enterprise start-up programme, your enterprise idea should be a start-up or have traded for less than 2 years, and based in the West Midlands area.

You will be receiving the equivalent of £1,500 of business support. We therefore ask that you agree to attend all the sessions and complete the programme.

The programme is financed through our sponsors and funders, and are always oversubscribed. Due to the collaborative nature of the programme it is impossible to bring in “substitutes” later.

To apply for the 2020 programme please:

> Either email simon.veasey@i-se.co.uk or elizabeth.forrester@i-se.co.uk.

> Or you can download an Application Form here: iSE FUSE 2020 Application Form

> Also complete our Equal Opportunities Form here: iSE Equal Opportunities Form 2020

What Next?

For more information on the programme and next dates, please contact a member of the iSE team.

Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to an informal interview with the FUSE team.

For specific questions and to apply email simon.veasey@i-se.co.uk