Category Archives: News

Selnet are excited to introduce our Flying Start Delivery Team

The Flying Start service provides valuable support and resources to help businesses navigate the challenges of their formative years.

The service is aimed at ambitious future business leaders, with a focus on building business acumen and to acquire and apply the core skills required to establish the business and drive sustainable business growth. If you’re looking to turn a brilliant business idea into reality or take your new business to the next level, Boost’s Flying Start service can help you achieve your personal and business goals.

In partnership with Boost, Selnet are leading the Flying Start service and bring together a team of experienced advisers:

Kerry Stevens  |  Business Advisor |  Beanstalk Business Centre CIC

Kerry’s role involves providing pre-start-up support to entrepreneurs starting a business, and business support to owners of young businesses, under three years old, with aspirations of growth.

Her specialisms include business administration, bookkeeping, community/social enterprises, and food and hospitality.

“Our niche lies in supporting the softer skills crucial for starting a business. This includes overcoming imposter syndrome, building confidence, business communication skills, and effective networking.”

Chris Trickett  |  Business Advisor  |  Community CVS

Chris’s role involves assisting organisations to improve and enhance their sustainability through professional business advice, best practice management, leadership consultation and training.

His specialisms include business processes, logistics, media, marketing, tech, leadership and management.

Lynn Trickett  |  Business Advisor  |  Community CVS

Lynn’s role involves extensive experience of delivering professional business advice and training, specialising in business set-up, growth, social enterprise, business law, and all areas across the logistics of set up and growth.

Her specialisms are all rooted in leading each client to a reality of business sustainability.

Daniel Fenton  |  Business Advisor  |  Practical Performance Coaching

Daniel’s role involves 1:1 coaching and masterclasses, with specialisms in branding, digital marketing, client engagement, pricing, sales, social media, business development, pitching and book-keeping.

His specialisms are rooted in changing lives of entrepreneurs by coaching and upskilling start-ups, and creating lasting & sustainable value & change.

Flying Start’s next workshop led by Daniel is now available to book for 15th February 5:30 – 8:30pm!

Tony Carr  |  Business Advisor  |  Social Enterprise Solutions

Tony’s role includes 1:1 coaching to enable business start-up and growth, including for social enterprises. His specialism is enabling creative thinking to inspire and enable entrepreneurs.

Lateef Badat  |  Business Advisor  |  Shout Network

Lateef’s role includes 1:1 business advice, mentoring, coaching, peer 2 peer support and masterclasses, specialising in digital, creative, media and professional services.

His ethos is focussed on enabling business growth through entrepreneurs’ empowerment, motivation and inspiration.

Jane Binnion  |  Business Advisor  |  The Growing Club

As a business advisor, Jane’s role is focussed on delivering Flying Start business support to female entrepreneurs across Lancashire.

“I love it when women realise how many entrepreneurial skills they already possess and that starting a business is not such a huge leap after all.”

Alistair Clarke MBE  |  Business Advisor  |  Tick the Publicity Box

Alistair supports people thinking of starting a company as someone to talk to, ask a million questions of and to inspire their confidence to get out there and make it work.

As an accredited, specialist social enterprise business advisor, Alistair has a wide range of experience from advising private businesses to grow, take on more staff and diversify their products and services, and supporting hundreds of  social businesses that want to do good in the community.

“The first 20 years of my career were in broadcast radio so I enjoy advising creative companies and bring lots of skills to clients about marketing, communications and effective use of social media. I’m here to take the worry and stress off clients who want to start a business but don’t know where to start.”

 

Selnet’s management team

The Flying Start service is led by Selnet, and our team includes:

Nina Cowell  |  Account Manager  |  Selnet Ltd

Nina is an excellent ‘networker’ and loves talking to people and finding solutions to help them move forward. Now as an Account Manager on the BOOST Flying Start Programme, she is helping entrepreneurs and businesses get the support to meet their needs.

She recognises the importance for businesses in Lancashire to get the help and support they need and is currently working towards Level 5 CMI Diploma in Professional Consulting.

Her skills include introducing project clients to new links and opportunities that can have a positive impact on their business, their enterprises and their own inspiration. 

Yvette Holden  |  Account Manager  |  Selnet Ltd

Yvette has been the front face for Selnet members for three years and excels at helping business leaders to market and promote their business. Now as an Account Manager on the BOOST Flying Start Programme, she is helping Entrepreneurs and Businesses get the support to set up and grow their businesses.

Yvette enjoys speaking to people and hearing about their business ideas, ambitions and plans and is now working towards Level 5 CMI Diploma in Professional Consulting.

“It’s really satisfying to support entrepreneurs progress to turn their ambitions into realities”.

Dawn Welham  |  Marketing and Promotion Manager  |  Selnet Ltd

Dawn is the marketing and promotion manager for Flying Start. With a background as a business advisor, she also has experience in coordinating cross-sector collaborations, bid writing, reporting, marketing and publicity.

“The scale and diversity of the support available through Flying Start is the most fantastic opportunity to empower entrepreneurs, businesses and enterprises.”

Alison Davies  |  Programme Manager  |  Selnet Ltd

Alison is managing the delivery of the Flying Start project, utilising her experience to achieve the project aims and have a positive impact on Lancashire businesses and the economy – all by enabling a partnership approach for entrepreneurs to realise their true potential.

Liz Tapner MBE  | Programme Accountability  |  Selnet Ltd

Liz is a chartered business adviser and business mentor with extensive experience of business support programmes and the driving force behind Selnet. She is responsible for developing Selnet into a major infrastructure organisation and securing over £25m investment into Lancashire enterprises. 

Her passion is supporting people to achieve their best and in the main her experience has been gained creating new enterprises and enabling growth. Liz loves to see viable and sustainable businesses operating for social good.

 

Want to know more?

If you’re starting, growing or scaling a business and want to find out how our funded services can help you, please contact our experienced team today. We’d love to support your growth ambitions.

Visit Selnet’s Flying Start page for more information, call 01772 200690 or email nina@selnet-uk.com or yvette@selnet-uk.com

As part of the Boost partnership, there is a range of services being delivered through partners including the Growth Company, Growth Lancashire and Selnet. Find out more here.

 


 

 

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Team Selnet’s visit to Let’s Grow Preston

“We all work on separate projects, and it was great to step away from our desks for a couple of hours to spend some team time together!” – Yvette Holden

On 28th November, seven members of Team Selnet attended Let’s Grow Preston’s Grange Community Gardens – making apple juice from the community garden’s orchard, then creating woodfired pizzas for lunch.

“We all had such a brilliant time – all in a production line to press apples from the Grange’s own orchard into juice that we could take home! Our woodfired pizzas were all fantastic.”

As an ‘infrastructure organisation’, Selnet are here to secure new opportunities, bring together partnerships, manage contracts and provide business development services for our sector to start up, develop, connect and grow.

For Selnet, 2023 has brought huge changes from closing long term projects (DR!VE, and Building Better Opportunities projects of Age of Opportunity, Invest in Youth and Changing Futures), to opening brand new projects (5 new UKSPF projects including Flying Start), to keeping services running (Under One Roof and network membership provision).

We’re on track for major new milestones, and all to bring you with us…

 


 

 

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Welcome to Boost Flying Start

If you are looking to turn your business idea into reality or take your new business to the next level, the Flying Start service, delivered by Selnet, can help you achieve your business goals.

The funded Flying Start service is part of Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, and is created for pre-start businesses and those that have traded for less than three years. It is delivered by an experienced team of qualified business advisers.

Our advisers can help you navigate the ups and downs of starting a new business, through support, mentoring and activities, tailored to suit your business needs.

 

How we can help

Through Flying Start, you will have access to a dedicated relationship manager who you will work with to determine the support you need to help you and your business.

All support is tailored to suit the needs of your business and delivered by an experienced adviser who will be able to assist you to develop a Business Growth Action Plan.

The adviser will meet with you regularly to help you to keep your business moving forward. Your business advisor will come with a wealth of experience, knowledge and a strong network of contacts who can assist with your business’s development.

 

“The company thrives and has grown to a team of eight staff members who all work part-time between six and thirty hours per week”.
“Thank you for all your help”
Lucy | Spring into Action

 

How Flying Start works

Contact us either by talking to one of our team on 01772 200690 or emailing hello@selnet-uk.com 

Initially, contact us to discuss your needs and to arrange an appointment to speak with our team, you’ll then be matched with the perfect adviser to ensure success. Your adviser will then work with you to formulate a plan to work through your businesses goals and objectives and develop a robust strategy to ensure continued success.

Throughout, we will keep in touch with you to assist when you need us, as well as identifying further opportunities and activities which will help your business grow. All support is fully funded and available at a time and place to fit around your busy diary.

 

Do I qualify for support?

The Flying Start service is available to pre-start businesses and businesses that have been trading for less than three years.

You must have an ambition to succeed and be ready to take the next steps to creating a successful business. You must be based within a qualifying postcode area, to confirm your business eligibility get in touch! If you do not qualify, we will be able to assist in directing you to an organisation who can.

This service is available to businesses within the following partner local authority areas: Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Burnley Council, Chorley Council, Fylde Council, Hyndburn Borough Council, Pendle Borough Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council, West Lancashire Borough Council and Wyre Council.

If your business is based outside of these local authority areas, please contact the Boost Business Support Helpdesk on 0800 488 0057 and we can advise you on what support is available in your area.

 

Testimonial

Fashion brand Northern Tide is looking smart

Scott McClymont’s new clothing company, which launched in the pandemic and focuses on environmentally friendly products, has a new strategy, and focus after receiving support from Selnet’s Business Support team.

Scott, from Fleetwood, said: “Above all, getting individual support has given me lots of confidence.

“I’ve got lots of information from my adviser, Alistair, on areas to work on including sales and marketing, approaching retailers, improving my website, and using social media to better promote the business.

“I developed a 12-month action plan so I can continue to work on developing all aspects of the company.”

Scott loves clothes, football and music. During the second Covid-19 lockdown, he decided to set up his own brand Northern Tide, which incorporates all the things he is passionate about and reflects his cultural heritage.

Northern Tide clothing is focused on being sustainable for the environment whilst still holding their appeal for customers.

“I’ve got a brand-new range of autumnal colour sweatshirts available with a range of small and larger sizes, each made from 85% organic cotton & 15% recycled polyester.”

(Photographs from Fleetwood beach and Affinity Outlets)

 

From September 1 2023, Boost is funded by Lancashire County Council, Department for Business & Trade (DBT), and UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) contributions from ten Lancashire local authorities (Boost local authorities partners). UKSPF is part of the Levelling Up agenda and succession to EU structural funds.

 

About Boost

Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and we are on a mission; to help Lancashire businesses thrive. 

Boost provides a range of funded services and support to help Lancashire businesses grow, scale and start, realising their growth potential, creating jobs and boosting the economy.

One of 37 Growth Hubs in the UK, Boost is led by Lancashire County Council and has supported over 14,000 businesses, helped create over 3,500 jobs while adding over £100m to the economy since 2013.

For further information visit www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk.

Boost local authority partners

 


 

 

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Selnet wins Growth Hub tender to deliver new funded startup service in Lancashire

Selnet has won a competitive tender to deliver a new funded startup service as part of a refreshed £3.9m business support programme.

The company will deliver the Flying Start service as part of Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, which has revealed a new funding deal.

The new funding will ensure that Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, continues until March 2025, with a potential extension beyond that.

If you are looking to turn your business ideas into reality or take your new business to the next level – the new Flying Start programme from Boost, delivered by Selnet can help you achieve your business goals.

The Flying Start programme is created for pre-start businesses and those who have traded for less than 3 years and is delivered by an experienced team of qualified business advisers. Our advisers can help you navigate the ups and downs of starting a new business, through support, mentoring and activities, tailored to suit your business needs.

Led by Lancashire County Council, Boost, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2023, has supported more than 14,000 businesses since its launch in 2013, creating more than 3,500 jobs.

The Growth Hub is aiming to support over 1,000 more businesses, in addition to helping 125 new businesses start and create more than 1,000 new jobs.

The £3.9million Boost programme is made up of contributions from Lancashire County Council (£1.2m), UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocations from 10 partner local authorities, and the Department of Business & Trade (£2.7m).

The partner local authorities are Blackburn with Darwen Council, Burnley Council, Chorley Council, Fylde Council, Hyndburn Borough Council, Pendle Borough Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council, West Lancashire Borough Council and Wyre Council.

Boost offers six core services including:

  • Business Support Helpdesk: A service that offers advice and guidance on available local, national and sector business support.
  • Business Advice Service: A service that matches a business with an adviser and includes a business review, a business support action plan, business clinics and regular updates.
  • Growth Catalyst: A service to help established businesses ready to take their business to the next level.
  • Scale to Thrive: An exclusive service for businesses over £1m turnover looking to scale 20% year on year.
  • Flying Start: A service that helps people start a new business or grow a young business.
  • Access to Finance: A service that helps businesses find and secure the finance and funding they need.

The Business Support Helpdesk is available to businesses across the whole of Lancashire, with the Business Advice, Growth Catalyst, Scale to Thrive, Flying Start and Access to Finance services available to businesses in the 10 partner local authority areas.

Andrew Leeming, programme manager of Boost, added:

“This is a powerful and exciting new Growth Hub partnership offering a rich breadth of business support to owners and leaders across the county.”

“We went through a rigorous tendering process and that has resulted a highly specialised and experienced new team of Boost delivery partners, well equipped to help Lancashire businesses start, grow and thrive.”

Liz Tapner CEO of Selnet said

“Through our Flying Start programme, we support pre-start and young businesses to start-up, establish, develop and grow – our team is excited to work with clients to determine the support THEY need to help them and their business”

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth, Lancashire County Council, said:

“It’s been ten years of impact for Boost and we are firmly setting the dial towards the future with a comprehensive range of services and programmes to help more entrepreneurs and leaders start, grow and thrive, especially those that have not received support from Boost.”

Lancashire business owners and leaders can get in touch with Boost by calling 0800 488 0057 or contacting Boost online.

 

About Boost:

Led by Lancashire County Council, supported by Government and ten local authorities, Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, one of 37 Growth Hubs in the UK.

Boost’s mission is to help Lancashire businesses thrive.

Since 2013, Boost has supported over 14,000 businesses, helping create 3,500 jobs while adding £100m to the local economy.

From September 1 2023, Boost is funded by Lancashire County Council, Department for Business & Trade (DBT), and UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) contributions from ten Lancashire local authorities (Boost local authorities partners). UKSPF is part of the Levelling Up agenda and succession to EU structural funds.

Boost’s local authority partners are Blackburn with Darwen Council, Burnley Council, Chorley Council, Fylde Council, Hyndburn Borough Council, Pendle Borough Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council, West Lancashire Borough Council and Wyre Council.

The Growth Hubs across England are designed to provide local businesses of any size or sector with access to advice and support via an impartial, funded, single point of contact. They bring together national and local support from across the public and private sectors to help businesses find the right support for their needs, at the right time, at any stage of the business journey.

The Business Support Helpdesk offers advice and guidance to anyone thinking of starting a business and all new and existing businesses in Lancashire. The Helpdesk provides information on local, national and sector programmes, and funding support help businesses start, grow and scale. The Business Support Helpdesk is available to businesses across all Lancashire local authorities.

Businesses located in the ten Boost local authority partner areas are eligible for the Business Advice Service, Flying Start, Growth Catalyst, Scale to Thrive and Access to Finance.

The Boost business support services will be delivered by a number of specialist local and national business support organisations including Growth Lancashire, Selnet and the Growth Company, with Lancashire County Council delivering the Access to Finance service.

The Growth Hubs across England are designed to provide local businesses of any size or sector with access to advice and support via an impartial, funded, single point of contact. They bring together national and local support from across the public and private sectors to help businesses find the right support for their needs, at the right time, at any stage of the business journey.

 


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Thank you to everyone involved! Fylde VCFSEs

Selnet were commissioned by Fylde Council to provide a detailed portfolio of organisations operating in Fylde – read more in this recent news article.

This project is now completed and the final report is with Fylde Council to contribute to an Objective of Fylde’s Investment Plan ‘Communities and Place’.

We would like to thank everyone who responded to represent Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise organisations operating in Fylde and providing support services within Fylde’s communities.

The questions we asked were all about:

  • Organisations– summaries of work delivered, and how this work supports Fylde residents/groups…
  • Specific Priorities– more information about services and activities provided, who these are targeted towards and the benefits they deliver…
  • What limitations are– from using social media to securing funding and bid writing, to starting partnership projects…
  • Highlighting gaps in community support – from difficulties around access to transport, to barriers for services, to support adults with special educational needs…

Through research, outreach, surveys, interviews and meetings from June to October we collated information from VCFSEs about their work, their priorities, any limitations and their insight into Fylde’s community needs.

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“Many thanks to everyone who has been involved, it was a fantastic project for us to work through to evidence VCFSE work, impacts and opportunities across Fylde!”

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from the Selnet team

 


 

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UK Shared Prosperity Fund Projects

Selnet has been commissioned for a variety of projects, funded by UKSPF and are bringing partners together to deliver these.

Information on each project is listed below
(you can scroll down or click on a project to go straight to it)

 

Invest in Youth – Preston

Invest in Youth is a new project in Preston providing employability for young people aged between 14 and 24 years old.

Invest in Youth (IIY) is specifically designed to support young people aged between 14 and 24 years who live in Preston and are furthest from the labour market, to help them overcome their personal barriers to economic activity.

IIY is delivered as an intensive Key Worker support project, linked with The Lancashire Colleges and will combine and continue some of the valuable and impactful successes that local delivery partners have achieved over the last six years through ESIF projects.

Eligible participants must live in Preston (within Preston City Council’s district) and must be economically inactive (individuals are those not in work and not actively seeking work – unlike unemployed individuals who are actively seeking work).

Click here for more information.

 

Move Forward – Pendle

In partnership with Active Lancashire, Move Forward is a new project supporting Pendle residents who are out of work and aged over 25.

Delivery partners working with Selnet will support eligible residents who are furthest from the labour market, helping them overcome their personal barriers to economic activity. The project will combine and continue some of the valuable and impactful successes that local delivery partners have achieved over the last six years through ESIF projects. Move Forward is an intensive Key Worker support project.

Eligible participants must live in Pendle (within Pendle Borough Council’s district) and must be economically inactive (individuals are those not in work and not actively seeking work – unlike unemployed individuals who are actively seeking work).

Click here for more information.

 

Move Forward – Preston

In partnership with Active Lancashire, Move Forward is a new project supporting Preston residents who are out of work and aged over 25.

Delivery partners working with Selnet will support eligible residents who are furthest from the labour market, helping them overcome their personal barriers to economic activity. The project will combine and continue some of the valuable and impactful successes that local delivery partners have achieved over the last six years through ESIF projects. Move Forward is an intensive Key Worker support project.

Eligible participants must live in Preston (within Preston City Council’s district) and must be economically inactive (individuals are those not in work and not actively seeking work – unlike unemployed individuals who are actively seeking work).

Click here for more information.

 

Fylde’s Voluntary, Community, Faith & Social Enterprises Baseline Study

Selnet were commissioned by Fylde Council to provide a detailed portfolio of organisations operating in Fylde.

This was to provide Fylde Council with a detailed record of all local Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise organisations that are currently active in Fylde – it was a Baseline Study for better understanding of these sectors and the contributions they make (contributing to an Objective of Fylde’s Investment Plan ‘Communities and Place’).

This research is now completed – find out more here.

 

 


 

 

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Last Chance to Share Your Insight in Fylde’s Community, Voluntary, Faith & Social Enterprise (CVFSE) Study

Fylde Council’s Community, Voluntary, Faith and Social Enterprise Feasibility (CVFSE) and Baseline Study, fully funded by Fylde’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation is well underway.

Selnet Ltd were commissioned at the start of summer to help Fylde Council fully understand the roles and contributions that the CVFSE sectors play within the Borough – visit Fylde’s news article encouraging urging as many organisations as possible to respond.

Project Engagement Lead for Selnet, Rachel Coupe said:

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“Over the past 2 months I have met over 100 people in CVFSE organisations across Fylde – I’ve heard from such a variety of community groups and voluntary work.

We’ve contacted over 400 organisations and have insight from faith organisations and social enterprises – and so many fantastic examples of their impacts.

Are you involved community, voluntary, faith or social enterprises in Fylde? Please include your organisations and insight in a survey for Fylde Council as soon as possible!”

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Initial findings have already demonstrated that Fylde Borough has a diverse Community, Voluntary, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector, with more than 400 groups and organisations located so far.

However, we know there are more, and we need your help in ensuring we make contact with as many as possible!

Chief Executive Officer of Selnet Ltd Liz Tapner, said:

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The response so far has been amazing!

What we really need to see now is if there are any gaps in provision. When our research is complete we will be able to boast about the real impact that the sector has in Fylde.

– So, please if you haven’t already, do take the survey and have your say!

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If you are a volunteer led organisation and want to find out more about the study, please visit http://selnet-uk.com/fylde-cvfse/ to fill in the questionnaire.

Alternatively, visit @SelnetLtd across social media, contact Selnet through hello@selnet-uk.com or the Community Team at Fylde Council at community@fylde.gov.uk. We would love to hear from you.

This UKSPF funded project is expected to conclude with a final report in Autumn 2023. Click here visit Selnet’s project page for more information as we complete this project.

 

 


 

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Selnet are named in the UK’s top 100 social enterprises – for the fifth year!

In 2005 Selnet was established by a group of Social Enterprise practitioners who recognised support needed for their sector to flourish. The network has since gone from strength to strength, all managed by social enterprises, for social enterprises:

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It is absolutely overwhelming to receive this recognition – everything we do is to secure opportunities for social enterprises to deliver their crucial work.


Our team works hard to build the professional reach of social enterprises across Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen. We are a membership network – our Expo event in January, workshops and promotion – we secure specialist advice and support for our sector – like DR!VE and Two/Zero – we enable partnership opportunities – like Building Better Opportunities and Under One Roof – and promote, highlight and celebrate our sector – especially through our Enterprise in Society annual awards event!

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Liz Tapner MBE, Selnet CEO

Selnet’s work, from project management of partnerships, bidding for contract opportunities, accessing practical training and more – is all for their sector to connect, develop and grow.

Photos in our header above include:

  • Our Social Business Expo on 17th January 2023 in Blackburn Cathedral
  • Our “Building Better Opportunities” programme partnership meeting at Blackburn Rovers conference room on 12th January 2023
  • International Women’s Day photo for a post of our team members Rachel Coupe, Alison Davies, Tracy Worden, Jill Blanshard and Maryam Patel
  • Our 2022 Enterprise in Society awards event promoting our Award Winners on 4th November 2022
  • NatWest SE100 Awards logo in formal announcement of 2023 winners
  • CEO Liz Tapner MBE, Volunteer of the Year Kizzi from Spring Into Action, and Membership Lead Officer Yvette Holden at our annual Enterprise in Society awards

 

SE100 2023

Applicants to this year’s SE100 have also painted a positive picture in terms of their outlook for the future – despite shrinking profits and continued worries about winning enough business, gaining investment and surviving the cost of living crisis.

This year’s SE100 Top 100 includes businesses and trading charities from across the UK delivering a diverse range of goods and services, from jobs and training to books, bread, period products, cycling and clean energy.

The list was selected according to a number of different criteria to reflect both business and impact issues – including financial performance, how thoroughly they measured and managed their impact, and their commitment to both climate issues and to taking positive action on equality and diversity.

The NatWest SE100 Index was created by Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital, the bank’s independent social investment charity.

In our special feature today, you can search through the 100 either by viewing images they have selected to sum up their stories, or using the alphabetical list below.

Megan Virrels, CEO of NatWest Social & Community Capital, said:

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“A huge congratulations to all those named in this year’s NatWest SE100 list. Social & Community Capital has been committed to supporting UK social enterprises for over 20 years, and we are constantly inspired by the resilience, ambition, and creativity that we see in the sector.

So we’re delighted to partner with Pioneers Post again to showcase the very best social enterprises across the UK and recognise the fantastic work of these impactful organisations.”

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To enter the SE100 Index applicants were asked to complete our detailed SE100 Social Business Survey, which was carried out online between March and May 2023.

Altogether, the total revenues of those who entered the SE100 this year came to almost £512m. This figure represents significant growth compared to total revenues the year before of £393m. However, while turnover shot up, the total profits actually slid down – from £9.3m to £8.3m – perhaps suggesting that the money that social businesses are generating is having to be spread more thinly.

Despite finances appearing to be tighter for social businesses this year, the overall attitude expressed by those in our survey was far from gloomy. Some 90% told us they were making a more positive impact than the year before and three quarters said they were feeling optimistic about the future.

The biggest barriers to growth they identified were winning contracts and access to capital/investment, with staff recruitment/retention and the cost of living crisis also mentioned by many respondents.

Tim West, founding editor of Pioneers Post, said:

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Like all businesses, social enterprises are dealing with the continued pressures and uncertainties of the cost of living crisis and other challenges that won’t go away any time soon – whether it’s about key contracts being renewed or the continued fallout from Brexit and its impact on staffing.

Running a social business is perhaps more challenging than ever before, and we know that a number of social investors, for example, have been bracing themselves for more of their investees to fail.

“But if we know anything about social entrepreneurs, it is that they are dedicated, resilient and full of positivity. What they seem to be telling us in this year’s SE100 survey is that they will use every ounce of their energy, skill and creativity to find solutions in the face of the hardest challenges, in service of their communities and their social mission.”

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The NatWest SE100 also includes awards for leading social enterprises across seven categories. The finalists were announced last week and the winners were revealed at a special awards evening hosted by NatWest in London on 10 July. This was a hybrid event delivered both in-person and online.

 


 

 

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Calling all Fylde Community, Voluntary, Faith Groups and Social Enterprises

This information is for reference only – the project is now completed and closed: Read more here

In the summer of 2023, Selnet were commissioned by Fylde Council to provide a detailed portfolio of organisations operating in Fylde –read this news article for more information.

Introduction to Project (Archived)

If you are involved in delivering support services within Fylde’s communities we are keen to talk to you. This is to provide Fylde Council with a detailed record of all local Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise organisations that are currently active in Fylde – it’s a Baseline Study for better understanding of these sectors and the contributions they make (contributing to an Objective of Fylde’s Investment Plan ‘Communities and Place’).

The questions we will ask are all about:

  • Your organisation – what do you do? How does your organisation support Fylde residents/groups?
  • What your priorities are as an organisation? (e.g. support for carers, providing community engagement for isolated people)  
  • What your limitations are? (e.g. limited experience in securing funding, bid writing, starting partnership projects etc)
  • Any gaps in community support that you are aware of? (e.g. access to transport, religious groups, children/adults with special educational needs?)

We respect privacy of everyone we work with and will anonymise insight as necessary.

As a first step, please complete our questionnaire. 

After you have submitted this information, our team member Rachel will contact you to hear more about your work, your priorities, any limitations and your insight into Fylde’s community needs.

If you have any questions, or would like to talk about this project please let us know – call 01772 200 690 or email hello@selnet-uk.com.

 


 

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Digital Freedom 2023

About Digital Freedom 2023!

Selnet and Lancashire’s Digital Skills Partnership secured funding through Lancashire County Council to support vulnerable residents aged 18 and above who were Digitally Excluded.

Digital Freedom 2023 has been completed and we are delighted to share that over 50 distribution partners made it possible to gift 920 digital devices (tablets/laptops) with internet connection and skills support, enabling Lancashire residents to engage with digital health services. Here are some testimonials from beneficiaries:

 

A combination of barriers that were addressed in partnership included;

  • Support for eligible Lancashire individuals with no digital device by applying on their behalf.
  • Enabled online access for Lancashire residents with no connection to the internet, or who were unable to afford a data package.
  • Provided support and training to make effective use of these resources including accessing information to save money, accessing health related information and services and to attend health related appointments.

Selnet’s role is securing and managing opportunities for funded work for social enterprises, so you can focus directly on your specialist work with disadvantaged people across Lancashire.

 

 

 


 

Digital Freedom 50+ (archived)

In 2020, during the Covid pandemic, Selnet and the Lancashire Skills Hub secured funding from the Community Foundation for Lancashire, to provide digital devices and connectivity to disadvantaged over 50s in Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.

Over 40 organisations working with local residents applied and became Distribution Partners, who submitted applications for support on individual beneficiaries’ behalf. The funding for this project secured a limited number of devices for residents in every district in the County, ensuring residents across the 14 Lancashire districts could be supported.

 

 At the end of 2020 the project team had allocated 510 devices for older people who had been digitally excluded, helping connect them with people and services during lockdowns.

Find out more about Lancashire’s Digital Skills Partnership and support available through Lancashire Libraries.

Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership was announced as the Winner of the Digital Leaders 100 Award in 2020.

 

Case Study

Click here to read feedback from a mature man whose life was transformed when he received a device and support from project partners

 

 


 

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