iSE | Round-Up of CITYDRIVE 2019


citydrive social enterprise

CITYDRIVE once again proved to be the biggest social enterprise event in Birmingham’s calendar, with 18 events taking place all over the city.

We micro-funded, conferenced, networked, heard from international speakers, engaged with corporates, took alternative city tours, explored Birmingham’s waterways, held a marketplace and hosted Birmingham’s first ever Ethical Wedding Fair! Phew!

Thanks to all who took part in what was a none-stop week showcasing Birmingham as a vibrant social enterprise city. We’d also like to thank all our very generous event sponsors, hosts and speakers for helping us to deliver an action-packed week of events.

Here’s a run-down of the best of CITYDRIVE 2019:


Social Enterprise Conference

Over 80 people joined us to kick-start CITYDRIVE at Aston Business School, where a packed room heard from national social enterprise brands including Madlug, Toast Ale and Belu. This event was supported by Aston UniversityGBSLEP and Resonance.

© Ian Cuthbert Design


We were delighted to be joined by guest speakers Karen Lynch of of Belu Water, Rosie Ginday of Miss Macaroon, Louisa Zane from Toast Ale and Richard Thinkpenny of Ashley Community Housing for a lively panel discussion with themes of social value, brand storytelling and impact.


© Ian Cuthbert Design



 © Ian Cuthbert Design


Digbeth Social Enterprise Tour

On Tuesday we took a group of visitors on a walking tour of Digbeth to visit some of the organisations working within the vibrant Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter (DSEQ) including the Warehouse Cafe, a vegetarian cafe and social space working to a co-operative model.




social enterprise citydrive

PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club Networking Event

On Wednesday CITYDRIVE took over PwC’s social enterprise networking club for an informative panel discussion on engaging with corporates, with over 50 people in attendance.





Music Archives Walking Tour

On Wednesday we delved into Brum’s lesser known musical heritage on a tour of the historic Jewellery Quarter Led by Jez Collins, founder of Birmingham Music Archive, discovering the hidden spaces, places and stories of Brum’s musical past.




Canal Cruise with Boatel

Great fun was had as we set sail on Birmingham’s waterways with Boatel, Birmingham’s only floating hotel, for a canal boat cruise led by founder Saima Razzaq.




Saima hopes to use profits raised to create more opportunities for People of Colour to  live, work and develop creative projects that utilise the canals.



Impact Investing for Place

A stimulating discussion took place over breakfast on Thursday, with over 30 people taking part in the conversation on place-based impact investment hosted by Big Society Capital.




Soho Micro-fund ‘Porridge’

Over 30 people attended a Soho Social Enterprise Network special which saw  entrepreneurs pitch for a micro-fund pot made up of door takings and sponsorship by Unltd.



Congratulations to Mothership Projects who won the audience vote and took home over £500 for their work supporting refugee women.


Micro fund7



Social Enterprise City Festival

Always the highlight of the week, some of the city’s finest social entrepreneurs congregated at the prestigious Council House for a buzzing festival marketplace showcasing Birmingham the vibrant social enterprise city.


zehir© Ian Cuthbert Design


Mohammed Zehir of Birmingham Impact Football Club and his map representing the diverse membership of his club.


© Ian Cuthbert Design


iSE CEO Sarah Crawley welcomed everyone to the festival and Birmingham the Social Enterprise City.


 © Ian Cuthbert Design

Living Well UK showcasing their services in the festival market hall.

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 © Ian Cuthbert Design


Janet Grey, founder of Feed My Creative demonstrating what can be made from fabrics destined for landfill.

 This event was supported by The Key Fund and Birmingham City University.


The Ethical Wedding Fair

This year’s final CITYDRIVE event was a first for the sector – and for Birmingham. In partnership with ChangeKitchen CIC and Birmingham Museums Trust, the Ethical Wedding Fair showcased social enterprises to new markets.



© Bluebell Photo Studio


The Elizabethan barn at Blakesley Hall ready to welcome visitors to the Birmingham Ethical Wedding Fair.  Nearly 100 people attended to discover more about ethical, eco and social enterprise wedding suppliers.



© Bluebell Photo Studio

BlueBell Photo Studio and our musician for the day, Gina Baker Music.



© Bluebell Photo Studio

Enjoying the vibes at the Ethical Wedding Fair.



© Bluebell Photo Studio


The raffle! Thanks to all exhibitors supplying prizes including Toast Ale, Bluebell Photo Studio, Devenish Girl Bakery, Miss Macaroon, Warwillow Studio, ChangeKitchen CIC.


Thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters for helping make CITYDRIVE 2019 the best yet.

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