Social enterprise workshops to inspire start ups

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WORKSHOPS detailing the process of setting up a social enterprise will be run across the county next month.

The West Sussex Social Enterprise network, funded by West Sussex County Council, will help participants develop business plans and inspire would-be entrepreneurs with success stories from guest speakers.

The workshops will be held in Worthing, Crawley and Horsham in February and March.

West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith, said: “These workshops are a necessity for any organisation thinking about setting up a social enterprise.

“They will be run by professionals with significant expertise in providing exactly the kind of helpful advice and guidance that enables organisations to turn their social enterprise ideas into reality.”

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, life chances, or the environment.

They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but reinvest profits back into the business or the local community.

Mrs Goldsmith added: “Social enterprises play an important role for our local economy, communities and environment.

“The county council has an ongoing commitment to support social enterprises and these workshops are an ideal place to gather information and support and to exchange useful tips and ideas with fellow organisations.”

The first workshop will aim to inspire participants by hearing stories from existing social enterprises.

The second workshop will help develop an idea and find a legal structure that fits the proposal.

The final session will focus on the process of developing a business plan.

The workshops are free and follow up one-to-one sessions can also be booked with an advisor. The follow-ups will also be free.

In addition to these events, a one day conference has been planned to support existing social enterprises across West Sussex to learn new skills and techniques to improve their marketing.

The event, entitled ‘Getting your message across’ is free to West Sussex Social Enterprises and will be held on Thursday, February 25.

For more information about the sessions and to book, visit https://wssen.eventbrite.com

Alternatively, call Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester on 01243 840305.