Unlocking funding for community micro-enterprises in Southwark
Back in January I attended a conference run by UnLtd called the Big Social. UnLtd are a social enterprise who offer business support and funding to other social enterprises. The aim of the event was to connect social enterprises, and learn from people around the country. I attended a couple of workshops at the conference, one focussed on measuring impact and the other on building local and regional ecosystems. On the day I met Roland Kingsinger-Smith, the London Awards Manager for UnLtd and spoke to him about the work Community Catalysts is doing in Southwark. Roland was really interested our work to nurture enterprises with a health or wellbeing focus with the aim to create a market of very small services in Southwark.
After the event, I met with Roland and we started to think of ways our two organisations could work in partnership. Together we created the concept of the Adult Social Care Awards – a funding pot aimed at small care and support organisations. Our next step was to turn our concept into reality and we decided that a partnership approach would be the most effective way to do this. Community Action Southwark and the Big Local were willing to add their expertise and the Adult Social Care Awards Consortium was formed.
Initially UnLtd pledged a pot of money for the awards project together with the requirement that it be targeted specifically at community ‘care’ micro-enterprises in the Big Local area of Bermondsey. Big Local is targeting areas of the country that have historically been overlooked for funding and resources and face other challenges such as the decline of local industry, high levels of unemployment, or a pressing need for new support services or activities.
The consortium decided that whilst a Bermondsey focus was positive it would be good to be able extend the reach of the awards project across Southwark. We applied to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust for some additional funding and recently heard that our bid was successful. We are now in the process of setting up our funding application process and plan to promote this to local community micro-enterprises in the few months
All the consortium partners are delighted at the power of this particular partnership and the potential for positive impact on very small care enterprises in Southwark.
Southwark community catalyst