Hot off the press




March newsletter

This month’s newsletter is out! 


  • Employed for Success Recruitment Support
  • £150m Community Enterprise programme
  • Case study: Olive Branch Kitchen CIC
  • Alternative finance models
  • Perfecting your Elevator Pitch
  • A Moment With… Dave Dixon
  • Call for contributions: Personalisation special
  • Events calendar

See previous issues of BULLETiN 


Social Value Action Learning Programme

Slide1Measure your Social Value with likeminded organisations

Expression of Interest Form

Social Value ALS Meeting Schedule

New for 2014 is our ‘Social Value Action Learning Programme’ which aims to take a group of VCOs and social enterprises through the ‘real time’ process of measuring their social impact.

Ten places are available for Solihull organisations that are eager to evidence their added value but perhaps have struggled to get started or feel overwhelmed by the process.

More details

Tender for floating support gypsies and travellers

Tender opportunity for floating support services for gypsies and travellers has just been published by Solihull Council.

The opportunity is for a one year contract with an option to extend (subject to longer term funding) for two further years.

See the council’s presentation here 14 Gypsies Travellers Dec 13

Enquiries should only be directed to the following SMBC officers:

The tender is an electronic tender opportunity and is on the following portal

Best of luck!

Development Manager Post

Three Trees Community Centre is looking for a dynamic person with Social Enterprise skills and knowledge for an exciting three year Development Manager post

£24,000 – £26,500

Three Trees needs someone who is a sorter outer, a consolidator, a focuser and a let’s-get-this-finisheder. We are bristling with people full of ideas and vision, who dive in and get on with it. We are looking for someone to come and work alongside us bringing skills of focus, administration, strategy and business development. If you have experience in project management and are a solutions person, you maybe interested in this job!
The role includes the day to day running of a lively community centre, designing and implementing administrative systems, working with a range of volunteers, community members and organisations from across the sectors, and developing a long term strategy for the Centre and fundraising.

Closing date for applications 12.30 p.m. Friday 6th December. Please apply using the application form. You can download the application pack from


Note applications need to be submitted in hard copy.

Solihull Social Enterprises Scoop Regional Awards

From left to right, Steve and Sarah Gill (Gro-Organic), Charles Rapson (Colebridge Enterprises)

From left to right, Steve and Sarah Gill (Gro-Organic), Charles Rapson (Colebridge Enterprises)

It was a great night for Solihull’s social enterprises, who scooped two awards at SEWM’s Social Enterprise Awards 2013 on 14 November. Three local nominees were shortlisted in the categories of:

SE PLANET: Gro-Organic CIC
SE PROFIT: Colebridge Enterprises Ltd
SEWM ASPIRE: Charles Rapson – School for Social Entrepreneurs

Gro-Organic CIC won their category and Colebridge Enterprises took home the Highly Commended award in theirs.
SEWM received over 70 nominations for the awards, which are held every year to mark Social Enteprise Day.
Well done to all the winners!

Solihull Together Fund 2013 – Open

Solihull SUSTAiN announced on Friday that following another great year of successful fundraising events, the 2013 Solihull Together Fund is now open to applications.

Voluntary groups in Solihull can apply for between £100 and £500.

More details along with the application form and guidance on the SUSTAiN website.

The deadline for applications is midday on Friday, 29th November 2013.

West Midlands Social Enterprise Awards




Social Enterprise West Midlands, the regional network of social enterprises has opened its 2013 social enterprise awards. The nominations are open now and there are eight categories in total. 

The awards ceremony is being held at PwC Atrium Cafe on November 14th from 5-7:30 pm and is free to attend!




  • SE People - a fabulous organisation that contributes to the community
  • SE Planet - an organisation that really is saving the environment
  • SE Profit - a social enterprise with a commitment to grow
  • SE Prima - a business that innovates beyond all expectations
  • SE Passion - a young social entrepreneur with a commitment to positive change
  • SE Potential - a start-up social enterprise with a promising future
  • SE Professional - an outstanding individual providing business support (Third-party nomination required)
  • SE Partner - a great supporter of social enterprise and social value (Third-party nomination required)

Should your organisation get an award? Do you know an organisation or person who you’d like to nominate? Would you like to attend the awards ceremony and network?

Then get nominating now click here for a nomination form

Click here to find out more

Click here to register



As the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme continues to go from strength to strength, Aston Business School announces the recruitment of new participants for a sixth cohort.


This innovative fully funded programme designed to unlock the economic and job creation potential of small businesses and social enterprises, is delivered by Aston Business School in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation and it is targeted at the owners of small businesses and the most senior decision makers in social enterprises who have clear ambitions to expand.

The aim of the programme is to provide participants with practical tools and resources to help them lay the foundations to grow their businesses. This support includes attendance at twelve high quality, practically-focussed business and management education modules, delivered by Aston Business School, plus a range of other tailor-made support services e.g. specialist workshops, one to one business support including a tailored business growth plan and becoming part of a growing alumni of like-minded business leaders both regionally and nationally.

The on-going success of 10,000 Small Businesses, is at the heart of a report launched earlier in the year. The report, entitled Stimulating Small Business Growth, charts the rise of the first 250 businesses to have completed the intensive four month Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme. Data collected independently from programme alumni, indicates that the intervention is helping participants grow jobs and turnover, with impressive results.


A total of 109 business leaders completed our first four programmes successfully between November 2011 and July 2013. Our fifth programme is currently underway with thirty participants and we are now seeking up to thirty business owners or senior decision makers of social enterprises to apply for the sixth cohort due to start in March 2014.  Through the on-going success of the programme, we are proud to be developing a growth orientated network of influential business leaders across the Midlands.

I would welcome your support in helping us to promote this innovative programme to your business contacts. The Applicant Information Leaflet provides information about the programme and how interested parties can apply. If however you would like us to prepare a bespoke piece for your business e-newsletter or your business portal about the programme, or you would like one of my team to come along and brief your business contacts at a forthcoming event please contact Andrea Law on 0121 204 3899 or email:

For full details of how to apply to join the programme, together with a link to the online application form and submission deadlines please visit our website:  Alternatively, application information can be requested by email from or by phoning 0121 204 3225. To note, the closing date for applications is Thursday 12th December (noon), 2013.


We will also be holding a number of Preview Events, during October and November offering those interested in applying to the programme the opportunity to understand how it can benefit them and their business, meet the delivery team, hear from a past participant, ask questions and network with other likeminded business owners. Dates for these events are listed on the right.


Community First Grants for North Solihull Groups Open to Applications

A quick post for you all, to let you know that Solihull Sustain have announced that the Community First Neighbourhood Matched fund has re-opened in three areas of North Solihull.

Grants range from £250-£2,500 and are available for local projects that work towards each area’s priorities.

Projects applying to the Matched Fund must also match the amount they apply for with other contributions – in-kind, volunteer time or cash.

Details of the programme in each area are available on their respective websites:

The closing date for applications in each area is 12 noon on 4th October 2013.

Don’t forget if you fit the criteria of the Community Enterprise for Success project we can help you develop your application and you may also be entitled to apply for the Community Enterprise for Success Kick Start grant of up to £2000.

Good luck!

‘Kick Start’ business grants for North Solihull start-ups

Business grantsEntrepreneurs in Solihull are to be given a boost through a new grant fund coming on stream for start-ups. Up to £2,000 is available for businesses (including social enterprises) that are based in North Solihull and are less than two years old.

Funded by North Solihull Partnership and managed by Solihull Council, recipients of the new fund must be accessing support from the Community Enterprise for Success programme or Enterprise for Success (the Council’s business advice offer for individuals).

Applicants must have a current business plan and be trading or preparing to start. The grant can be used flexibly towards set up costs, buying equipment and other running expenses.

Dave Lane, lead business adviser for Community Enterprise for Success said: “The new grant fund enables us to offer local groups a very comprehensive programme of support. On top of the tailored advice, seminars, case study visits, networking and newsletter updates, we can now help clients apply for financial help. This kind of package is increasingly rare given the economic climate and I urge local organisations to act quickly as there will be a lot of competition.”

Around 10 ‘Kick Start’ awards will be made and all monies must be spent by March 2014. Applications will be assessed and awarded by Solihull Council on a first come first served basis.

For more information and to apply visit call Dave Lane 0121 667 6810 or email

If you are a non social enterprise start-up please contact Marcus Cole or email