The idea of social enterprises, businesses which make profits to fund social projects, has been rapidly growing in recent years and the South West has been at the heart of this movement. 

The University of Plymouth was the first university in the world to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of working as a genuine social enterprise, caring for communities and protecting the planet.   As a ‘global enterprise city’ and one of the first ‘Social Enterprise Cities’, Plymouth is a social enterprise ‘hot spot’. Plymouth Social Enterprise Network (PSEN) is one of the most active and leading networks in the UK.  Increasing numbers of organisations, businesses, customers and citizens are coming into contact with social enterprises as producers, suppliers and partners.  Setting up or getting involved with a social enterprise as a way of making a difference is an attractive proposition. This conference is aimed at:

  • Those who have little knowledge of social enterprise.  This conference will act as a starting point of where the sector is today.
  • Those who are social enterprises or work with them.  The conference will address key issues facing the sector throughout the UK, and how individual social enterprises might grow.

We have divided the day so that the two morning sessions are primarily looking at the macro nature of the sector, where it is currently and where it is and should be going.  The two afternoon sessions address more practical issues of how social enterprises can survive, grow and develop.  We hope that these four sessions will stimulate your thoughts, offer insights and hints and tips and provide a good means of networking with similarly minded people across the UK.