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Junction Point CIC, Connected Voice and PNE represent the current Social Enterprise UK steering group for Newcastle. Together we’ve been collecting data from Social Entrepreneurs to better understand the current status of the sector and its future potential.

On 19th April, the steering group members hosted a meeting with influencers, service providers and decision makers who impact the Social Enterprise sector in Newcastle. Our hope is to grow the steering group from this event to include a wide range of organisations and individuals who can drive positive change for the sector.

Help Shape the Future of Social Enterprise in Newcastle

The audience included representation from Newcastle and Northumbria University, Newcastle City Council and the North of Tyne combined authority, training providers and business networks. They were treated to delicious treats provided by Newcastle-based social enterprise; Big River Bakery as well as a chance to network in person, a rarity since the Covid-19 restrictions.

The event provided an opportunity to share the data collected so far as well as to identify ways in which the fantastic organisations in attendance could build upon strengths, plug gaps and raise the profile of the sector. The interactive activities explored three key themes:

  • Improving connectivity within the sector (networking and partnership opportunities)
  • Improving understanding and awareness of the sector (to open new opportunities to tender and increase traded income)
  • Improving the training and capacity building offer (ensuring a joined-up approach across different organisations offering relevant opportunities)

Connecting the Social Enterprise Community activity Understanding the Social Enterprise Sector activity Defining the Social Enterprise Support Offer activity

So, what’s next?

We’re currently compiling the report that will include a practical action plan to move these discussions from idea to ignition. Our hope is that this report will also secure Newcastle as a nationally recognised ‘hot spot’ for Social Enterprise under the Social Enterprise UK Places programme.

We’re also hoping to inspire other North East areas to consider developing their own Social Enterprise steering groups. This would enable local offers to be developed in coordination with existing recognised hot-spots which currently include Durham, Gateshead and Sunderland. In time, this would enable us to come together as a wider area of cohesive support for the sector.

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