Applications open for SSE Community Business Trade Up Programme

More power to community businesses, with up to £10,000 and a learning programme on offer to help them grow.

Applications are now open for the Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs in partnership with Power to Change

Community businesses across England can now apply for a learning programme and a grant matched to their earnings of up to £10,000, to support their growth and increase the difference they make to their local area.

The Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change, is open for applications until Thursday 14th February 2019. This is the third year the programme has run.

The programme supports the leaders of community businesses with:

  • a Match Trading™ grant of up to £10,000
  • a fully funded nine-month learning programme (consisting of 12 learning days)
  • a community of supportive peers

The Match Trading™ grant, created by SSE, is a new type of grant-funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. By rewarding sales growth, Match Trading incentivises social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures.

Community businesses from across England can find out more and apply
now until Thursday 14th February 2019, at: 

We will also be running a series of Information Sessions across the Midlands.
Coventry – 9th Jan – Book via
Central Birmingham – 16th Jan – Book via
Leicester – 23rd Jan – Book via
Smetwick – 30th Jan – Book via


18-30? Start a business with help from the Prince’s Trust

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme is recruiting in Solihull now.

The programme helps budding entrepreneurs aged 18-30 to find out how to start a business, test ideas, write a business plan and get the business off the ground. 

If you meet the eligibility criteria (below), book an appointment with an adviser on 29th June at Solihull Enterprise Centre.


Are you a UK resident and….

  • Have a business idea you want help to explore
  • Are aged 18-30
  • Are unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week

What Business Support does The Prince’s Trust provide?

  • Training to provide you with the information you need to start your own business
  • One-to-one support with business planning to explore and test the viability of your idea and turn it into a business plan
  • Opportunity to apply for low interest finance of £500 to £5,000 to help start your business.
  • Mentor support for up to 2 years after you start trading to help with sustainability

Find out more 

Visit the website 

Book an appointment on one of the following dates and times:

29 June: 11am; 12pm; 1:30pm; 2:30pm and 3:30 pm

Appointments will be held at the Enterprise Centre, Elmwood Place, Smith’s Wood, B36 0UG

Contact: Alice Granger, 0121 772 9237,

Download flyer

New enterprise support for Solihull’s voluntary sector

A new business support package is set to increase the entrepreneurial skills and sustainability of voluntary and community organisations in Solihull.

Solihull Enterprise Centre

Launched by Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Growth Hub and funded by European Regional Development Fund, Community Enterprise for Success targets existing charities, community groups and social enterprises looking to develop, grow and become more resilient through trading and enterprise.

Charity leaders have welcomed the new support to explore alternative sources of income to run the vital services they offer to local communities.

Organisations in Solihull are eligible to access free business advice, seminars, workshops and networking events delivered by business advisers from Development in Social Enterprise.

Dave Lane, Managing Director of Development in Social Enterprise said: “The voluntary sector has faced many challenges over recent years due to austerity measures and increasing competition for resources and increased demand for services.

“People may not realise that charities and social enterprises deliver a range of advice and guidance, health and wellbeing, sports, disability support, social care and housing services under contract to local authorities and the NHS. They also offer quality services and create local jobs which contribute to vibrant and caring communities in Solihull.

“Community Enterprise for Success will equip organisations to adapt to market opportunities, build on their strengths and emerge fitter and stronger.”

A networking event on 10 May at Three Trees in Chelmsley Wood is being held to introduce the programme and register organisations. For more information visit, call 0121 776 6810, or follow @Solihull_ComEnt.


More information For press enquiries, please contact Ranjit Bansal – 0772 505 3355 or email

1. Community Enterprise for Success is a business support programme run by Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP which offers help and advice to strengthen existing voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

2. Development in Social Enterprise CIC, a business support organisation based in Solihull, has been awarded the three year contract to deliver Solihull Community Enterprise for Success.

3. Community Enterprise for Success is part of the wider programme of enterprise support provided by the GBSLEP Growth Hub which aims to provide a holistic approach to business support across Greater Birmingham and Solihull.

4. The Community Enterprise for Success Project is receiving up to £150,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit

Heading for procurement success

Health and wellbeing organisations preparing for changes in the commissioning and procurement landscape were recognised and congratulated on their involvement in Solihull Council’s ‘Ready for Success’ programme this week.

Karen Murphy, Assistant Director, Public Health and Commissioning at Solihull Council thanked the group for engaging with the six month business development programme at a special event which saw the presentation of certificates and the launch a networking directory profiling the organisations that have take part in the process.

Ready for Success Highlights Video

Karen said: “We know that the process of commissioning and procurement can cause anxiety for smaller local organisations, and not be a pleasant experience if ill prepared. Procurement practices have traditionally tended to favour big organisations and we hope programmes like this will go some way towards levelling the playing field. We are committed to investing in our local providers and this piece of work has flagged up learning for us too, things we can do better. Above all, we see you as our partners and thank you for the work you do.”

Local social enterprise experts Development in Social Enterprise CIC managed programme delivery. David Lane, Chief Executive said: “Since last October we have worked closely with organisations delivering a wide range of services including advice and guidance, advocacy, mental health, recovery support, and therapeutic indoor and outdoor activities. There was a genuine desire amongst the group to identify and address development areas, explore business opportunities and build relationships with one another for the benefit of service users.”

The package of support included one to one diagnostics, action planning and consultancy alongside a series of workshops and networking events open to any VCSE organisation in Solihull covering Effective Boards, Safeguarding, Social Media Marketing, Equalities & Diversity, Financial Management, Measuring Outcomes and Procurement & Commissioning.

Workshop handouts can be downloaded here.


North Solihull enterprise hubs on film

It’s a great time to set up and grow a business in North Solihull. First came the launch of Solihull Enterprise Centre in January 2015, and now there’s the brand new Enterprise Zone at Elmwood Place in Smith’s Wood.

Both facilities are showcased in a short film launched by Solihull Council to encourage local businesses and would-be entrepreneurs to take advantage of the modern and fully equipped co-working spaces, meeting rooms and offices situated in the heart of new village centre developments at Chelmund’s Cross and Smith’s Wood – served by excellent transport links.

Enterprise support, networking events and business seminars are also on offer to tenants and co-workers to facilitate new connections, business and learning opportunities.

Competitive rates and introductory offers / trial periods are available.

For more information contact Solihull Council on 0121 704 6894.


Solihull Enterprise Centre: 1 Hedingham Grove, Chelmsley Wood B37 7TP 

Elmwood Place Enterprise Zone: Smith’s Wood Neighbourhood Library, 37 Burton’s Way, Birmingham B36 0UG

Great news for Start-Ups in North Solihull


North Solihull Partnership has launched a new round of funding to help start-up businesses get off the ground.

The grant programme is designed for businesses that have been trading for less than two years and are based or operating in the North Solihull regeneration area.

Grants of upto £2,000 per applicant are available – community/social enterprises and privately owned ventures are eligible to apply.

The fund is managed by Solihull Council who are delighted with the impact it’s had so far. Kevin Kane-Brooks, Project Officer says: “We’ve seen with previous grant winners just how much can be achieved with relatively small amounts of start-up capital combined with access to business advice from the Community Enterprise for Success programme. We’re delighted to see it continue for another year.”

The Business Start-up Grants scheme is open until March 2016, with applications approved on a first come first served basis.

For more information about the Business Start-Up Grants and to apply call 0121 667 6810 or email

November’s Newsletter is out!


We have another great newsletter for you this month showcasing the enterprising culture developing in North Solihull. November saw the new Chelmund’s Cross Enterprise Centre open its doors and we are also excited to see a second hive for enterprise develop in the form of Chelmund’s Space.

If you don’t receive our monthly e-bulletins and event invitations, you can subscribe for free here

Nov 14_page 1Inside November’s issue:

  • Enterprise Centre open for business
  • Chelmund’s Space – sparking learning and creativity
  • A Moment With… Stacey Smith
  • Writing Better Funding Applications
  • CEFS events and workshops
  • Case study: Wayne Elcock’s Amateur Boxing Club

Read previous issues of BULLETiN



Voluntary and Community Sector Support Vacancy – Solihull

Solihull SUSTAiN are recruiting a Sector Development Officer

£25,060 pa (37 hours per week)

Main duties

  • to provide one-to-one advice, information and guidance to Solihull’s Voluntary Sector to enable it to sustainably improve the quality, quantity and diversity of services it provides to local people and communities.
  • to support voluntary organisations to successfully apply for financial assistance through a range of grants, tenders and commissioning opportunities as well as assisting them to refresh and develop their business plans.

This post is subject to an Enhanced DBS check.

For an informal discussion please contact:

Alan Crawford (Infrastructure Services Manager) on 0121 711 3148 or 077955 61943

To apply download the application information:

Or you can request an application pack from Steven Breese on or phone 0121 711 3148.

PLEASE NOTE: CVs will not be accepted.

For more information on the organisation please visit

Closing date: Monday 26th May 2014. Interviews will be held on Friday 6th June.

If you have not heard from us by Friday 30th May, please assume that your application has not been successful.

Voluntary Sector Infrastructure support is one of four strands of work delivered by ‘The Colebridge Trust Ltd’ under the banner of Solihull SUSTAiN. Colebridge Trust Ltd is a Registered Charity, Company Limited by Guarantee and member of Locality.