Ready, Steady, Grow! Inspires Social Enterprises
Social enterprises from across Somerset attended our inaugural Ready, Steady, Grow! workshop earlier this month at Monks Yard, Ilminster. Described by one attendee as "truly informative and motivating," the event was delivered by our Social Investment Manager, Steve McLauchlan, and featured presentations from Justin Sargent and Monks Yard Trust administrator Liz Tozer.
Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) Chief Executive, Justin Sargent, opened the workshop with a update on the current funding landscape for the charity, voluntary and social enterprise sectors. He reported on recent data showing that smaller organisations have felt the greatest impact of reduced public sector funding. Personal donations are not on the increase either, and the funding landscape is not expected to improve markedly in the coming years. Many small organisations will need to consider changing their models of operation in order to generate sufficient income to continue delivering their services. One option is to generate earned or commercial income, thus evolving into a social enterpise.
Workshop attendees came together to discuss their respective funding challenges and to exchange ideas for overcoming these challenges. They heard from Liz Tozer, Administrator for Monks Yard Trust, a charity and social enterprise that is support by The Monks Yard. The trust recently made a successful application to the Reach Fund with the support of Steve McLaughlan, SCF's Social Investment Manager. Their grant from the Reach Fund will help the trust meet the cost of legal, financial and consultancyexpertise that will, in turn, support an application to the Somerset Social Enterprise Fund.
Steve went on to introduce the Enhance Social Enterprise Programme that SCF is currently delivering. At the end of the day, attendees fed back that the workshop had been useful in raising awareness of the range of services that SCF can provide for charities and social enterprises. They also found value in connecting with people from different local organisations facing common funding challenges.
If you'd like to register your interest in the next Ready, Steady, Grow! event, please do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01749 344949.