Appendix two: role of the Social Enterprise Network (SEN)
The role of the Social Enterprise Network (SEN) can be flexible to the needs of the area but in order to realise some of the opportunities the focus could be on:
Provide links and peer support for existing and new businesses. Link the developments in the businesses to market opportunities and customers to Support growth. Support those developing new business ideas to develop skills and networks. Provide access to local provision of support services.
Working with business support agencies to streamline the tools and skills available to new and existing enterprises. The public sector partnerships are also crucial in linking the economic, social and environmental aims.
Support the development of materials and an online presence to raise the profile of social enterprise and its products and services for customers. Engage with the third sector and promote the role of trading in creating a sustainable organisation.
Support the organisations to seek out and find new business and develop their organisation to be able to deliver a quality service or product. Develop new businesses that are rooted in the third sector to deliver goods and services to customers, whether the general public, local authority or other business.
Upskill those that are already working in the sector by developing capacity and capability to increases skills, employment opportunities and create indigenous organisations that will contribute long term sustainability to the region. And provide for those that are not employed but may be farthest from the job market, underemployed or unemployed. They are often lacking in confidence to take the first steps and this can be linked to lack of formal education or experience of business.
Local people are engaged and benefiting at all levels from owner/manager to new employee and trainees.