London social enterprises in need of support

London’s social enterprises are facing an array of challenges, including a need for extra support. That was the message revealed by the Creating Community Wealth event held in Islington yesterday.

Business Link in London kicked off a campaign to support the capital’s social enterprises today, linking up with the Black Training and Enterprise Group to hold the Creating Community Wealth event.

Centred on discussing the key issues black and minority ethnic entrepreneurs were facing and giving practical advice on how to grow social enterprises in London, the event provided a much needed forum of debate and guidance.

Business Link in London has taken steps to assist the long term future of social enterprise in London by recruiting specialist advisors, equipped to plug the gaps in support provision. In addition, the organisation has instigated an extensive training programme for its front-line staff, giving them the know-how and skills needed to deliver the best advice possible to social enterprises.

Patrick Elliot, Chief Executive Officer of Business Link in London, commented: “Social enterprises are vital to London’s economy. They represent a rapidly developing new sector of London’s economy and are home to some of the capital’s most entrepreneurial individuals.

“However, it’s vital for organisations like us to ensure we deliver the support they need to thrive. Business Link in London is already adapting its services to respond to these needs and tapping into bodies like the Black Training and Enterprise Group will be crucial lifeline to social enterprises.”

Jeremy Crook OBE, Director of the Black Training and Enterprise Group, commented: “Encouraging more black and minority ethnic individuals to set up social enterprises will be a key part of regenerating large parts of London. We aimed to bring together that community in London at the Creating Community Wealth event.

“What we discovered was a vibrant, energetic and passionate group of individuals working to make a difference through their organisations. The difficulties they’re facing need to be addressed; it’s simply too important an area of London’s business and social fabric to be neglected.”

Predominantly involved with community, education and child services work, social enterprises are widely recognised as a key factor in any kind of long-term regeneration. The capital is home to an estimated 5,000 of them, employing around 192,000.

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