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Awarding funds thanks to players of
People's Postcode Lottery
4 March 2020
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Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) Places Win Funding to Drive Growth of Social Enterprise

Birmingham, Bristol, Salford & Sunderland have been selected to be part of a programme to boost business to business (B2B) social enterprises. The Buy Social Regional Programme will support social enterprises by helping them find customers and access new markets.

Each city will receive £20,000 of support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery through the Postcode Innovation Trust, which will be used to grow the social enterprise ecosystem, bringing together the areas' social enterprises with other businesses and potential buyers such as public sector bodies and universities.

These areas are accredited SEUK Social Enterprise Places, having been recognised as hotspots of social enterprise activity. They are taking on some of the biggest issues we face from homelessness to the climate emergency and are helping create jobs and opportunities for people throughout their communities.

Men standing beside a works van

The funding will be used to drive engagement with local social enterprises with a commitment to have at least three major local buyers committed to buying goods and services from social enterprise suppliers. At least two training sessions will be carried out to encourage them to use their spend with social enterprises and ‘meet the buyer’ events will be held to enable social enterprises to connect with organisations they can do business with. The aim is to engage at least 100 social enterprises in the first year of the programme.

The Buy Social Local Expansion Programme is run by Social Enterprise UK, the membership body for social enterprises which represents the over 100,000 social enterprises in the country.

The Programme builds on SEUK’s Buy Social Corporate Challenge which has seen 20 leading businesses, from PwC to Johnson & Johnson, open up their supply chains to social enterprises. The local expansion will seek to replicate the Corporate Challenge at a regional level, working with local businesses and public sector bodies to create new partnerships. Social enterprises from each of the four areas will also be given the opportunity to work with companies from the national Corporate Challenge programme who have operations in the surrounding area.

Group at Downing Street

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK added:

“Social enterprises are at the centre of their communities – taking on local issues, creating jobs and opportunities where they are needed most and pushing a different model of doing business based on reducing inequalities whilst driving growth at a local level. They are transforming the places they work but often need help accessing markets.

The Buy Social Regional Programme will support social enterprises in these areas to win more customers and, in doing so, increase their impact.”